12/05/2022

University of Bolton celebrates research quality results

The University of Bolton is celebrating impressive results in the national assessment of research quality across the UK.

Almost half (48%) of the research publications from the Allied Health Professions including nursing, were rated as “internationally excellent”, or “internationally recognised”, by the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Professor Patrick McGhee, Assistant Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bolton, said: “This is significant for the University because this area has not been submitted to this research evaluation exercise previously.

“It is also set against a backdrop of the work the school is doing to support frontline healthcare across Greater Manchester.”

The University’s research in Business and Management Studies also made a good first appearance in the REF.

Overall, more than half of the activity and 45% of all research publications were rated as “internationally recognised”.

In Engineering, almost 20% of research publications were rated as “world-leading” and almost a further 40% as “internationally excellent”.

The international panel of experts were impressed by the School’s research on fire-safe materials.

They also recognised the commercialisation of advanced sensors for gas detection and particle monitoring and the practical impact of the research.

The percentage of Engineering research publications falling into the top “world-leading” category has almost doubled, to 19%.

The University of Bolton has examples of “world-leading” research in the majority of its submitted areas and “internationally excellent” research in all areas but one.

The Research Excellence Framework involves panels of international experts judging ground-breaking research in universities.

The University made submissions to seven units of assessment in REF 2021.

Three were submitted to REF for the first time - Business and Management, Allied Health Professions (which includes Nursing) and Art and Design.

There was an increase of more than a third in the number of staff submitting research.

Professor McGhee said: “For an institution which puts teaching first, we are delighted by these excellent research results.”

“Students in all three of our faculties have access to world-leading or internationally excellent research.

“We are particularly pleased that not only long-established centres of excellence, such as Engineering and English, have done so well, but that our new research areas such as Nursing, Business and Art & Design have entered the research landscape so impressively.”

In the subject area of English, 60% of activity overall was rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”, up from 40% in the last assessment round.

The University’s strength in the Art and Design area has also been recognised. More than half the research activity has been rated as either “world-leading”, or “internationally excellent”.

This reflects the subject area’s commitment to community engagement and the creative industries.

Education received an increase in “world-leading” research publication outputs to almost nine per cent, from around three per cent in REF 2014.                       

In Psychology, more than 10% of research publications were rated as “internationally excellent”.

Professor McGhee added: “Although we are a confident institution with a strategic commitment to growth and excellence, the positive evaluations of independent research experts on our work are very heartening.

“I would like to congratulate all of our hard-working researchers and professional services staff supporting research for these results.”

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