The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
REF is coordinated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It is a process driven by external review. Each research-active University submits a return for each research unit. These submissions are reviewed by expert panels appointed by HEFCE.
Newcastle University is ranked 16th (out of 154) in the UK for research power, a rise of one place from 2008.
The REF 2014 showed that the vast majority of Newcastle University’s research was placed in the top two categories of 4*(world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).