UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCL Mathematics and UCL Statistical Science ranked 8th nationally for research power in REF 2021

12 May 2022

The excellence of research at UCL Mathematics and UCL Statistical Science and their positive real-world impact has improved since 2014, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) assessment results announced today.

Improving aircraft safety in icing conditions

The UCL REF 2021 submission for Mathematics has been ranked 5th on 4*+3*. Their overall GPA has increased from 3.08 to 3.40, impact ranking has increased from 31st to 18th and they are ranked 8th nationally for research power. The mathematics unit of assessment submission had the 2nd highest 4/3* outputs (publications) of any unit of assessment at UCL - 97.9% of the papers submitted were graded as 4* world leading or 3* internationally excellent. The UCL REF submission for mathematics is a joint submission from UCL Mathematics and UCL Statistical Sciences.

The REF is carried out approximately every six to seven years to assess the quality of research across 157 UK universities and to share how this research benefits society both in the UK and globally. 

The results are significant for benchmarking research excellence across UK institutions and are used by the four UK higher education funding bodies to inform the allocation of around £2billion of public investment in research every year. This Quality Related (QR) funding enables us to invest in the best people and facilities, to provide an environment in which early career researchers can thrive and work with our partners to address the biggest challenges facing humanity. 

Case studies submitted to REF 2021 by UCL Mathematics and UCL Statistical Sciences include; 

Professor Gianluca Baio, Head of Department for UCL Statistical Science said: “The positive results in our REF returns are a clear indication of the success of our long-term strategy for growth in terms of academics and students. We’re extremely pleased to see steady improvements over several metrics, including research power and, importantly, impact. We expect this trajectory to bring even more success and to be able to capitalise even further on our investments in the coming years.”

Professor Helen Wilson, Head of Department for UCL Mathematics added: "We have been through a period of rapid expansion - from just over 60 FTE to over 90FTE - since the last REF. This investment in people is starting to pay off, with steady improvements in research power and impact. We expect even more success in the future as our relatively new staff members become central to Mathematical Sciences at UCL."

The REF 2021 submission includes only a small sample of the dynamic and ground-breaking research undertaken by UCL Mathematics and UCL Statistical Science, please see their department research pages for information on their other research successes.