UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Research Excellence and Impact

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology is one of the world's largest, most productive and highest-impact neuroscience centres.

More than 80% of UCL’s neuroscience research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the last REF.  Our mission is to translate neuroscience discovery research into treatments for patients with neurological diseases. Our research spans the whole spectrum of basic and clinical research into neurological disorders, and we have extensive collaborations with both the UCL Neuroscience Domain and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. 

Please also see the following pages for further information on specific areas of research:

Our research excellence

  • UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research power, and we are home to one of the largest group of neuroscience experts in the world
  • UCL is 1st in Europe and 2nd in the world for neuroscience and behaviour, based entirely on quantitative data relating to scientific papers (2020 National Taiwan University report)
  • UCL is 1st in Europe and 2nd worldwide for citations in neuroscience and behaviour, with more than twice as many published papers as any other European university (InCites Essential Scientific Indicators 2020)
  • UCL is 1st for neuroscience in the REF, with more than 80% of our research rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) (UK’s Research Excellence Framework). Please see our REF2014 news item for further details.
  • 12 of our professors are named as being among the most influential academics in the world (Clarivate Web of Science’s ‘Highly Cited Researchers 2020’). Please see our news item for further details.
  • We are home to a Nobel Prizewinner (James Rothman) and Professor Ray Dolan was awarded the Brain Prize in 2017, followed by Professors John Hardy and Bart De Strooper in 2018. It was unprecedented for academics from the same institution to be awarded the coveted prize two years in a row. Please see our news item for further details.
  • Neuroscience accounts for more than 33% of UCL’s entire research income, with 130 principal investigators leading our research
  • We are the hub of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), the single biggest investment the UK has ever made in dementia thanks to £290 million from founding funders the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • In the calendar year 2019, Institute staff published 1727 papers; 71 were published in the top 50 of all scientific journals (ranked by ESI impact factors), including Nature, Science, Lancet, BMJ and NEJM

Impact case studies (from the UCL Impact website)

See also case studies on the UCL Dementia research website:

UCL ranked as a leader in academic-corporate and academic collaborations in Alzheimer's research

Elsevier has published a new metric for Alzheimer’s research, which finds that UCL is #3 in the world for Alzheimer’s research (2013-2018), while also being a leader in academic-corporate and academic collaborations. Elsevier’s report entitled Alzheimer’s Disease Research Insights: Impact, Trends, Opportunities finds:

  • UCL is amongst the top three global institutions for scholarly output on Alzheimer’s research between 2013-2018, with Harvard University and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale narrowly above. This makes UCL the leading institution for Alzheimer’s research output in the UK.
  • Globally, Elsevier’s report finds that UCL is the top university for academic-corporate collaborations in Alzheimer’s research, with 15.2% of UCL research involving a corporate.
  • UCL is the second most prolific institution for international academic collaborations (75.7% of UCL’s output of research in Alzheimer’s disease between 2013-2018).
  • Read the full report

    RAND report shows that UCL has the highest share of highly cited publications in Neurology in England

    An independent report by RAND (2015) which examined highly-cited research, i.e. research publications falling into the top 20% for citations in their year and field, showed that UCL has the highest share of Highly Cited Publications (HCPs) in Neuroimaging (21.1%), Neurosciences (18.1%) and Clinical neurology (15.6%) and in the Dementias Highlight Area (15.5%) – in all cases significantly more than the nearest competitor.

    Neuroimaging is one of only two subject areas covered in the analysis where one HEI has over 20% of all HCPs