The Bartlett confirmed as research heavyweight in the Government’s Research Excellence Framework
18 December 2014
The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment has the most world-leading research in its field in the UK, according to the Government’s Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). As one of UCL’s ten faculties, The Bartlett’s performance directly contributed to the institution’s overall success and its confirmation as the top-rated university in the UK for research strength, calculated by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted.
“A key component in UCL’s research success’, says Professor Murray Fraser, Vice-Dean of Research for The Bartlett, ‘is that it has excellent faculties like The Bartlett that are leaders in their fields.”
REF2014 is the latest in a series of periodic reviews of university research and determines how the funding councils allocate £2bn a year of funding from 2015/16 onwards. In the exercise, 46% of The Bartlett’s research was rated 4* world-leading, with a further 35% recognised as 3* internationally excellent. This means that Bartlett staff produced the largest quantity of 4* world-leading research outputs (156 items) of any university submitting to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel. The Bartlett has a very strong ‘grade point average’ of 3.25, which when multiplied by the unparalleled number of research staff makes it the highest ranking institution for built environment research.
The Bartlett’s submission stands out for its inclusiveness; it submitted 151 scholars (c. 136 FTE overall), which was over twice the size of the nearest other submission to the REF sub-panel, and represents 94% of eligible staff. Nearly a third of the staff members in The Bartlett’s submission are Early Career Researchers, more than any other university within the same sub-panel. Every one of its young researchers was included, which demonstrates the faculty’s strong collective commitment to the future of built environment research. To further illustrate this point, the research environment that The Bartlett provides for its staff and students was graded as almost 90% at 4* world-leading level, the highest score for the sub-panel.
The Bartlett also submitted the largest number of Impact Case Studies to the sub-panel. Just over half of its research impact was rated as 4* world-leading in quality. The case studies show the breadth and quality of The Bartlett’s research impact, and evidence the difference it is making in the outside world at every level ranging from one-off or local projects to national and international policy.
“We are delighted to have managed to double the size of our research submission while still scoring significantly higher than we did last time”, notes Professor Fraser. “Nearly 50% of The Bartlett’s research profile is now at world-leading level, and it is telling that our research strength figure is larger than that of the next three highest ranked institutions combined.”
These results confirm The Bartlett’s position as the UK’s most comprehensive faculty of the built environment, unrivalled in its scale, breadth and depth of disciplines, programmes and departments. The Bartlett’s areas of expertise include architecture and planning, construction and project management, transport and cultural heritage, through to energy and the Global South.
The Bartlett’s results in the REF 2014 exercise are among the very best within UCL, which was ranked 1st overall for its research strength, returning a total of 2,750 scholars (c. 2,566 FTE) as 92% of the eligible staff in the university. UCL’s highly inclusive approach, as exemplified by The Bartlett, reflects its status as a genuinely research-intensive university where a supportive environment enables staff to live up to their potential as world-class researchers.