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​REF2021 - Results 

​In May 2022 the University received the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) which is the national assessment of research quality, conducted across all UK universities in all disciplines.

To learn more about the previous Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) watch the video from the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Antonopoulos which provides an overview of the most recent UK Research Assessment exercise, including information about the University’s recent REF2021 results. 


Edinburgh Napier performed phenomenally well.


We are now the top Scottish modern university for both research power and research impact.  Our impact score proves what we know to be true – that we are difference makers – improving people’s lives and society as a whole.  You can see just a snippet of examples of our impactful research here.

The improved power rating is a consequence of a major increase in the number of staff submitted and, most importantly, has resulted in a substantial increase in research funding from government.​​

Highlights of our results include:

  • We are the top Scottish modern university for both research power and research impact
  • 68 per cent of our research is now assessed as “internationally excellent” or “world leading”, up 15 per cent since 2014
  • 80 per cent of our impact is now assessed as “internationally excellent” or “world leading”, up 25 per cent since 2014
  • We submitted 251 staff, up significantly from 99 in 2014
  • We submitted research in 13 units of assessment (UoAs) and we improved in every single one which we had submitted to previously, while we also entered four new areas of research
  • The University’s Research Power metric, which takes into account the overall quality of the submission and the number of researchers whose work was submitted, rocketed from 250 to 718

​The research submitted covered a wide range of academic disciplines, from environmental science and computer science to built environment and social policy. It included projects focusing on mangrove and seagrass conservation, cybercrime-busting technology, offsite construction solutions, cardiovascular health and police stop and search policy, to name just a few.  


The above headlines are just a taster of the many fantastic results across all our Schools that show the strength and capability we have built at the University since 2014.


You can find more in-depth REF results for the University and the sector here >

Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation:

Nick Antonopoulos 200.jpg"I am delighted to see these REF results firmly placing Edinburgh Napier as the Number One Modern University in Scotland, both in research power and impact. This is the outcome of the tireless, collaborative efforts of our academic and professional services staff over the past seven years, for which I am truly grateful.

"These outcomes, and in particular the fact that nearly 70 per cent of our research has been evaluated as internationally excellent or world-leading, providing the best possible confirmation that Edinburgh Napier delivers excellent research with substantial real impact, nationally and internationally.

"Going forward, through our continuous investment into our great staff, we are confident that by the next REF exercise we will be able to establish ourselves as one of the world leading UK universities in research.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Find out more about REF2029 >