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Research Excellence


Research Excellence

Newcastle University has a world-class reputation for research excellence. We were 16th in the UK for research power in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, and our research has global impact.

Research impact

As a member of the Russell Group, an association of 24 research-intensive institutions in the UK, we are committed to delivering pioneering research that makes a positive impact in the world.

From reversing Type 2 diabetes to protecting cultural property, our researchers are tackling international challenges to improve lives and influence policy around the world. Read our case studies to find out about our research impact

We have one of the largest European Union research portfolios in the UK. Our research partnerships span the globe, including strategic partnerships with Monash University in Australia and Groningen University in the Netherlands.

Newcastle University researchers are also working with international partners to tackle global challenges such as ending poverty and cutting sugar consumption through our Global Challenges Academy.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the latest in a series of national research assessment exercises in recent decades. It encompasses research undertaken from 2014 until December 2020. 

REF 2021 confirmed growth in research excellence and impact at Newcastle:

  • the University’s research capacity - or ‘power’ in REF terms - has grown by 65% since 2014
  • 42% of our research was scored as world-leading up from 31% in 2014

These reflect the contributions from a growing team of researchers which has increased by 54% this time. The results consolidate our position as one of the UK’s world-leading broad-based research-intensive universities.

Read about our REF 2021 results

We’re celebrating the contribution that everyone has made to our collective excellence, creativity and impact across the full range of disciplines.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Strategy and Resources, Professor Brian Walker

Queen's Anniversary Prizes

We are proud to have received honours for our world-class research. We have received Queen's Anniversary Prizes for our:

  • pioneering research treating polluted water from abandoned mines
  • world-leading work on ageing and health
  • internationally renowned research into sustainable rural economies and societies
  • interdisciplinary research programme of global excellence in water security