Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 Results UofA19

The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021) were released on 12 May 2022. The REF, which last took place in 2014, assesses the research of UK universities and is used to determine quality-related research funding provided by the funding councils. 

Politics and International Studies (P&IS) at the University of Glasgow comprises researchers from Politics and International Relations, Central and East European Studies and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Our mission is to conduct innovative, high-quality research that has academic and real-world impact locally, nationally and internationally. We are delighted that in REF2021 90% of our research has been evaluated overall as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The REF2021 expert panel rated our books and research papers particularly highly, with 83% classed as either ‘world-leading’ (48%) or ‘internationally excellent’ (35%) – an endorsement of the fundamental strengths of our research.

Building relationships with non-academic partners is crucial to achieving our goal of helping to understand and address political problems in Scotland, the UK and around the world. We have supported colleagues to develop and sustain relationships in multiple ways. In Scotland, we have worked with the Scottish Government, Parliament and NGOs via leading roles on advisory bodies and in stakeholder forums on issues from migration to local government reform. In the UK government, we have worked in close collaboration with colleagues in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Ministry of Defence through secondments and joint events evaluating foreign policy and military strategy. Internationally, we have forged relationships with governmental bodies and NGOs working to change foreign policy and improve people’s rights through the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Oxfam, European Court of Human Rights and Democracy International. The success of our approach is reflected by the fact that 100% of our research impact has been rated world-leading (25%) and internationally excellent (75%) in terms of its reach and significance.

The inclusive and diverse research environment in Politics and International Studies at Glasgow enables staff and postgraduates to flourish and sustains a vibrant research culture. That the expert panel judged 100% of our research environment to be conducive to producing world leading or internationally excellent research and impact is testament to the depth and breadth of support we provide to researchers, the quality of our research infrastructure, and our contribution to the discipline and its subfields at home and abroad. We achieve this in part through our local, national, and international partnerships and networks, with our researchers involved in at least 42 collaborative projects, involving more than 30 research institutions in 17 different countries across the world.

Professor Jane Duckett, REF Champion for Politics and International Studies said: “I would like to thank all colleagues across Politics and International Relations, Central and East European Studies and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies for their commitment to doing research of the highest quality, for their dedication to world-changing engagement and impact, and for creating a research environment that celebrates diversity and makes a major contribution to the discipline of Politics and International Studies.” 

We are committed to building on the successes of the REF2021 and ensuring the future success of research in Politics and International Studies at Glasgow by recruiting, supporting, and developing the next generation of students and researchers. During the REF period we recruited 24 Early Career Researchers, and over the past two years have continued to make important strategic appointments, particularly in the key sub-fields of Comparative Politics, International Relations and interdisciplinary, language-based Area Studies.

Recent major externally funded projects exemplify how we will deepen our research and capacity for impact in our distinctive areas of excellence from authoritarian resilience and democratic backsliding, through international organizations and migration, to international relations, including those of the East-European and Eurasian region.