School of Computing reaffirms its research impact

The REF 2021 results have recognised that 99% of the submitted computing research activity is rated as either "world-leading" or "internationally excellent", with 63% rated as "world-leading".

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions along with the environment that supports this research.  

This is a fantastic result for the School demonstrating the breadth and depth of our research, as well as the commitment of all concerned over a sustained period. In particular I’m delighted by the endorsement of the real-world impact that our research has had outside of academia in domains ranging from public transport scheduling, decision support systems for the built environment and digital pathology.

Professor Bulpitt, Head of the School of Computing

View the University of Leeds REF 2021 results for all units of assessment.

Researchers in the School of Computing undertake a significant amount of genuinely world-leading and world-changing research at the University, ranging from theoretical computer science to leading edge interdisciplinary work. The REF 2021 results again demonstrate that our researchers along with their collaborators are expanding the frontiers of knowledge and achieving a real-world impact.  

Notable successes include:  

  • 83% of our impact case studies classified as “outstanding in terms of reach and significance”, and all the others as ““very considerable in terms of reach and significance”.
  • 55% of our outputs studies classified as “world-leading” and 44% as “internationally excellent”.
  • Leading two UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in Medicine and AI, and Fluid Dynamics, each producing 10 PhD students a year. 
  • Joint 9th on Grade Point Average (GPA) – Times Higher Education – GPA is a simple measure of the overall or average quality of research.

We look forward to building on these successes as we pursue our vision to deliver sustainable, high-impact, long-term research excellence as demonstrated by outstanding outputs and the benefits which accrue to our disciplines, partners, industry, the local and wider economy, and society.  

Researchers in the School collaborate with a wide range of external partners to translate their research into real-world solutions in areas such as transport scheduling, the built environment, health, and energy efficiency in the cloud. 

The REF 2021 results are testament to the School of Computing’s ability to attract world-class talent and how it fosters an environment that supports these researchers and their research ambitions, with 63% of our research environment having been classified as “world-leading” with the remainder “internationally excellent”. Moving into the new £96 million Sir William Henry Bragg building is providing an outstanding modern research environment for our research in the heart of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. We are proud that the Faculty has gained the Athena SWAN Silver Award from the Equality Challenge Unit, the national body that promotes equality in the higher education sector, which recognises our strong and continued commitment to gender equality. 

[It] is so encouraging that the REF 2021 results show we continue to provide research that is shaping the world around us for the better.

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor