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Ranked 5th in the
Research Excellence Framework.

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Warwick Business School and Institute for Employment Research ranked fifth in the UK after strong REF performance

As part of the Business & Management Unit of Assessment, Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) has been ranked 5th in the country for its research by the Times Higher Education after it analysed the UK’s Research Excellence Framework results.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the country’s system of assessing the quality of research undertaken by universities, with 128 higher education institutions having been assessed.

Warwick’s Business & Management Unit of Assessment, which includes the prestigious Warwick University Business School, was judged to have a strong performance across the board, proving once again that it is among the country’s top universities for cutting edge research that has real-world impact.

The Times Higher Education also ranked the Unit 4th for research environment, while 93% of the school’s research outputs were rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The submission comprised of 365 research outputs such as papers in peer-reviewed academic journals, nine impact cases demonstrating the ‘real-world’ influence of the research and a 15,000-word statement on the research environment.

Andy Lockett, Dean of WBS and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, said:

“I am delighted that Warwick Business School has been ranked fifth in the REF 2021 exercise by the Times Higher Education. This is testament to all the hard work and dedication of our academic and professional services staff; and reflects the world-class quality of our research outputs, impact and environment”.

“The strong REF result follows the recent QS world ranking of universities by subject, which saw the University of Warwick ranked: 21st globally for Business and Management, 36th in the world for Accounting and Finance and 14th globally for Statistics and Operational Research.”

Chris Warhurst, Director of IER, said:

“The REF results highlight the strong impact made by IER research on employment policy and practice. Having external peer acknowledgement that our research makes a huge difference to solving real world problems makes all the hard work doubly worthwhile. It shows that we’re getting things right and getting things done.”

During the assessment period for REF-2021 the Unit of Assessment:

  • Increased its number of full-time equivalent (FTE) research staff from 104 in 2014 to 158.15 in 2020; more than 35 per cent of the researched-focused staff hired were female.
  • Generated more than £32.7million of research income.
  • Faculty published 1853 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 44 books and special editions of journals and 196 book chapters.
  • Awarded 232 research doctoral degrees.
  • Awarded 146 PhD scholarships; more than 47 per cent of those went to female students.
  • Saw 60 per cent of staff contribute to 124 impact cases, 41 of which were led by female academics and nine of which were submitted to the REF.

All of the research impact cases submitted were assessed as being either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ as they tackle big societal issues with research influencing UK Government, national and regional policy, organisational strategy and major international agencies.

The impact cases submitted by IER included:

  • Professor Chris Warhurst and Dr Sally Wright’s research to understand, measure and promote job quality in the UK. It is influential in the development of government policy, including the 2017 UK Government’s Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Read more here.
  • Professor Clare Lyonette and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes’s research to inform the new personnel strategies of the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence and which underpinned the establishment of a flexible working programme across the Armed Forces. Read more here.