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Warwick Economics ranked 2nd in the UK for research excellence
99% of the Department of Economics' research has been rated world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) overall in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.
The REF results, released on Thursday 12 May 2022, place the Department as 2nd in the UK for overall research quality in the discipline of Economics and Econometrics, according to rankings of institutions by Grade Point Average (GPA)* published by Times Higher Education. Submissions to the REF are made by institutions and assessed by subject-level expert panels in three key areas:
- The quality of research outputs in terms of their originality, significance and rigour (accounting for 60% of the overall outcome)
- The reach and significance of research impact beyond academia (25%)
- The vitality and sustainability of the environment that supports research (15%).
The weighting of these elements forms the overall quality profile. Each area is rated as 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* or unclassified.
Key highlights from REF 2021
- The Department ranks 3rd in the UK for quality of research output in Economics and Econometrics, according to Times Higher Education.
- 98% of the Department’s submitted research outputs are rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).
- The Department ranks 2nd for impact in the UK.
- 80% of the Department’s impact is rated 4* (outstanding) and 20% is 3* (very considerable).
The assessment was based on the submission of impact case studies, which describe specific examples of how the Department’s research has made a positive difference to the economy, society and quality of life beyond academia.
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- The Department ranks 3rd for research environment in the UK.
- 87.5% of the Department’s environment submission is rated 4* (conducive to producing research of world-leading quality and enabling outstanding impact).
The assessment considered a wide range of factors including:
- How research is structured in the Department
- Strategies for research, impact, staffing and staff development
- Research income, infrastructure and facilities
- Collaborations and contributions to the research base, economy and society.
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Commenting on the results, Head of Department Professor Jeremy Smith, said: “These results reinforce our position as one of the leading departments in the UK for economics.”
“Our strong performance in the REF reflects the incredibly hard work of staff from across the whole Department in conducting and supporting the production of innovative research that pushes the boundaries of the discipline. That this research is also shaping policy as indicated by the evaluation of the impact case studies is also very gratifying.”
“We are extremely proud of this achievement and look forward to building on our strategy for developing research excellence in the coming years.”
Professor Carlo Perroni, Research Director for the Department, said: “The Department of Economics at the University of Warwick is home to a vibrant and diverse research environment that produces relevant and exciting work across all major sub-fields of economics.”
“We are proud of our researchers and of our PhD students, and we are pleased that the REF result recognises the value of what we do.”
About the REF
The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It is led by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.
REF results inform the allocation of public research funding and are used in university league tables and benchmarking. The process ensures accountability for public investment in research and provides evidence of the benefits of this investment.
Notes on rankings
*Grade Point Average (GPA) is a measure of average quality of research. It is calculated by multiplying the percentage of 4* research by four, 3* research by three, 2* research by two and 1* research by one. The totals are added together and divided by 100 to give an average overall star-rating.
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