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National assessment highlights research excellence

UK Research Excellence Framework results affirm outstanding research environment and impact on society.

The Roslin Institute has an outstanding environment in which to conduct scientific research, enabling outputs with an excellent impact on wider society, according to the latest national assessment of higher education institutions.

In a joint submission to the latest UK Research Excellence Framework exercise, research at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS), of which the Roslin Institute is a part, and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been ranked number one in the UK for agriculture, food and veterinary sciences by combining Times Higher Education’s ratings for each institution.

The judgement, based on the quality and breadth of research, maintains the R(D)SVS and SRUC’s position as the strongest provider in these subject areas.

The institutions’ research environment was classified to be 100 per cent world leading or internationally excellent for agriculture, food and veterinary sciences research.

This finding reflects an outstanding environment in terms of quality, equipment and culture underpinning a fertile, exciting research base.

The Vet School and SRUC submission was also assessed as being 100 per cent world leading or internationally excellent in terms of the impact its research work has on wider society.

Strong performance

Overall, the University of Edinburgh has been ranked fourth in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research, known as research power, and is Scotland’s top-ranked institution, by combining the Times Higher Education’s ratings for both.

The University of Edinburgh’s submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise was among the largest and most comprehensive in the UK. Around 2,800 individuals – all of the University’s academic independent researcher workforce – had their research assessed. 

Nearly 90 per cent of the University’s research activity is assessed as being in the highest categories of 4 star – classified as world-leading – or 3 star – internationally excellent.

This excellent result reflects the talent and commitment of all who contribute to creating and upholding a world-class, creative, collaborative research environment. I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved in enabling us to maintain our leading position in research in agriculture, food and veterinary sciences.

Professor David ArgyleHead of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Acting Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Our strong performance in the Research Excellence Framework exercise recognises the quality and breadth of Roslin’s research and the impact it has for wider society. It also reflects the strength and relevance of our partnerships with academic and industrial collaborators, which we will continue to apply to challenges such as preparing for future pandemics, tackling the cause and effects of climate change, and ensuring data science is working for the good of societies.

Professor Bruce WhitelawDirector of the Roslin Institute

This fantastic result is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and sheer hard work of our staff. It shows that our world-class research is playing its part in making the world a better place in a way that few places – with a combination of the brightest minds, the most cutting-edge facilities, powerful partnerships, and a commitment to tackling sticky problems from all angles – can do in the way that Edinburgh can. This success is shared with our industrial, charity and philanthropic supporters with whom we have collaborated to maximise the impact of our work locally and globally.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh

** The Roslin Institute receives strategic investment funding from the BBSRC and it is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. **

Related links

Times Higher Education REF 2021