Sheffield Hallam University research recognised for delivering real world impact

12 May 2022

Sheffield Hallam University research recognised for delivering real world impact

Sheffield Hallam University has been recognised for delivering real-world impact through its research as part of a national assessment

Press contact: Jo Beattie |

The impact of the University’s research was judged as outstanding, with more than three quarters rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

The results were published today (Thursday 12 May) as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Sheffield Hallam University’s mission is to transform lives. Our research teams work with people and organisations across the full breadth of society, providing innovative, practical solutions that really make a difference.

Examples of how the University’s research is transforming lives include:

  • Improving outcomes for prostate cancer patients – researchers looked at how exercise and targeted lifestyle changes could make meaningful improvements to prostate cancer survivors’ quality of life. The research has been used to update international guidelines for treating prostate cancer — changing how doctors around the world manage the adverse effects of cancer treatment and improving the lives of thousands of patients.
  • Addressing water poverty in the UK - researchers worked with hard-to-reach customers to understand how water companies could better communicate with them. The research has been used by the water industry to encourage vulnerable households to take up affordability schemes.  Two million additional households have joined such schemes in just three years, saving £212million.
  • Highlighting Scottish identity, culture and memory missing from mainstream history - our researcher’s BAFTA nominated documentary, From Scotland With Love, – commissioned for the 2014 Commonwealth Games – has become a touchstone of Scottish identity, and helped bring a new kind of history to audiences around the world.

It has benefitted Scottish diaspora, school children, new migrants and communities living with dementia.

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: “Sheffield Hallam is a university that makes a difference, and this year’s REF results are a clear demonstration of this. I am delighted that over the REF census period we have doubled the size of our entry and raised the overall quality of our research. I am especially proud of our striking success on demonstrating the impact of our research portfolio.”

The University’s submission to REF was its biggest and most diverse to date, doubling the number of staff to 500 staff across 14 subject areas. The submission was comprised of 47 per cent female and 15 per cent ethnic minority staff.

Key highlights from the University’s REF results include:

  • 72 per cent of research is world leading or internationally excellent, up from 65 per cent in 2014.
  • 78 per cent of impact is world leading or internationally excellent, up from 72 per cent in 2014.   
  • Top ten in the UK for research impact in Sports & Exercise Science, Planning and Art & Design

Browse Sheffield Hallam University’s impact case studies