REF 2021 results

REF 2021 results

Sheffield Hallam has been recognised for its research and impact in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Overall, 72 percent of the research submitted by Sheffield Hallam received the prestigious rating as ‘world-leading’ (4*) and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).

Our research is changing lives through its impact on society, the economy and culture. These real-world impacts of our research have been judged as outstanding, with 78 percent of our impact assessed as world-leading and internationally excellent.

The University’s submission was its biggest and most diverse to date, doubling the number of staff to 500, across 14 subject areas. The submission comprised 47 percent female staff and 15 percent people from an ethnic minority background.

Key highlights from the University’s REF results include:

  • 72% of research is world leading or internationally excellent (4*+3*), up from 65%
  • 78% of impact is world leading or internationally excellent (4*+3*), up from 72%
  • Top 10 in the UK for research impact in Planning, Sport and Art & Design
  • The results moved the University up 10 places in the national research power league table

View our full results here

Browse our impact case studies here


The Submission

We 'hit the button' on our REF 2021 submission on 29 March 2021. In all we submitted 500 staff, 1106 outputs, 45 impact case studies (ICSs) and environment statements for our 14 Units of Assessment (UoAs).

In all 500 staff were submitted (458.22 FTE). This represents 32% of all academic staff and a doubling of the number we submitted to REF 2014. We also returned staff to three additional UoAs that we did not submit to in 2014. 47% of our submitted staff were female, up from 41% in 2014.

We submitted 1106 outputs to REF 2021. As well as journal articles, this included 118 hardcopy books, 69 creative portfolios (incorporating performances, designs, artefacts, exhibitions and digital media), four research reports and a patent.