Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 UofA13

Urban Studies submitted to Unit of Assessment 13 (Architecture, Built Environment and Planning) in the REF2021 exercise.  The panel found that 96% of our research was internationally excellent or world leading in terms of its originality, significance and rigour.    

This is testament to the hard work of all the academic and professional staff and postgraduate researchers who work within our three UKRI research centres - UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE); GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC); Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) - and two research groups - Neighbourhoods, Welfare and Wellbeing; Urban Change: Planning, Development and Governance. 

We submitted 66 research outputs (academic articles) from 26.3FTE staff to REF2021, representing the work of over 40 research active colleagues. The vast majority of our outputs (94%) were considered to be internationally excellent or world leading.  This reflects the close attention we pay to the quality of our publications, with peer-review and support shared between colleagues during the writing process.   

We are pleased that 100% of our research environment was considered to be internationally excellent or world-leading by the REF panel.  We seek to maintain a vibrant research culture and environment that supports all our colleagues, staff and postgraduate researchers, to achieve their research objectives and career aspirations.  We continue to expand out staff complement through investment in new positions in areas of research growth, attracting colleagues who have expanded the geographical coverage of our work across the globe.  Our research environment, along with our professional staff support, enabled us to almost quadruple our research income during the REF period (2014-2021), with the majority of our income coming from UKRI sources (73%).  

We submitted three Impact Case Studies to REF2021, with 100% of rated as internationally excellent or world-leading.  This impact work has resulted in significant policy and legislative changes, including: influencing changes to the UK welfare system, particular reductions in Universal Credit sanctions; proposing legislative reforms to deal with derelict land in Scotland; and assisting public bodies and local authorities across the UK to assess the place-based equality impacts of their strategic decisions and expenditures on public services. Beyond the UK our research and capacity building efforts were recently recognised through the Times Higher Education’s Rankings for Impact upon the UN’s Strategic Development Goals, where we made a significant contribution to the University of Glasgow’s top 20 global ranking. 

In the future, we will continue to seek to produce research of the highest quality, to have impacts upon real world issues and challenges, and to inform public and policy understanding and debate about issues of urban inequality.  We will also maintain a research environment where our colleagues can thrive, so that they may enjoy career advancement both here at Glasgow and elsewhere.