UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


REF 2021

The impacts of UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences research on the wider world have been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Research Excellence

Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Mark Emberton, talks about the REF 2021 results and highlights some of the transformative research from the Faculty.

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Key highlights

  • UCL has again come second in the UK for research power with 93% of research graded 4* and 3* -  world-leading and internationally excellent. 
  • We have maintained our position as top for research power in life and medical sciences and social sciences.
  • In the Clinical Medicine unit of assessment, we are 1st in the UK, England, London and the Russell Group for our impact and research environment.
  • In the Education unit of assessment, comprising submissions from UCL's IOEMedical School Research Department of Medical Education and MAPS, we are ranked 1st for overall research power and research strength.

Medical Sciences impact case study highlight 

Prof Jayant S Vaidya in surgery

Single-dose radiotherapy transforms breast cancer patient care

Our clinicians transformed breast cancer care by developing a single-dose radiotherapy treatment to delivered in the same operation as tumour surgery. To date, the treatment has benefited 45,000 patients in 38 countries, reducing the need for follow-up visits, saving healthcare costs and avoiding 2,000 deaths from non-breast cancer causes in the process.

Read more

Where research transforms lives: the podcast

Transforming Cancer Treatment

Ep.2: Professor Jayant Vaidya explains how, as a young surgeon in Mumbai, he set out to invent a new radiotherapy device to make his patients’ lives a little easier, and wound up discovering new things about how the body heals and transforming breast cancer surgery around the world.

All Medical Sciences REF 2021 impact case studies

A UCL device to support breathing, based on a concept called continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP)

UCL-Ventura CPAP breathing aid: solving a COVID-19 challenge at pace

In March 2020, as admissions to UK intensive care units increased, the UCL-Ventura team designed a simple, cost-effective and reusable breathing aid for COVID-19 patients. This went on to save lives globally.

Heart rate measuring device

A breakthrough for rare, untreatable heart disease

Clinical researchers at UCL have pioneered a new method to more easily diagnose the often-fatal heart muscle disease ATTR amyloidosis, which has helped in the development of new treatments.

A patient on an MRI machine, overseen by a doctor

Catching and treating more prostate cancers worldwide 

Thanks to UCL research, millions of men each year benefit from more accurate diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer with fewer side-effects. Our teams discovered that MRI scans could identify tumours without the need for risky biopsies.

All case studies

REF 2021 News

UCL comes second in the UK for research power

The excellence of research at UCL and its positive real-world impact has improved since 2014, according to the REF 2021 assessment results announced today.