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Government reveals how Manchester rates for research

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For the first time since 2014, the government has completed its UK-wide assessment of the quality of research at universities – with Manchester retaining 5th place for research power1

The world-class research which the University produces feeds in directly to our teaching and many of our teaching staff are leading researchers. 

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) measures our researchers’ work on a scale going up to 4* (world-leading), alongside submissions about what it’s like to work in research at the University and the difference our research makes out in the world. 

Watch: What is the REF 

Many of these case studies are now published on the University website. They provide examples of how our research activity has made a positive contribution to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, with benefits felt beyond academia.  

These are just some of the examples of how people across campus are changing the world (and bringing cutting-edge knowledge into our teaching). It’s partly this activity that saw us ranked 9th in the world for delivering against the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. 

The University is also highly ranked for its research environment with a score of 99% classed as internationally excellent or world-leading, meaning that it’s been independently assessed as a great place to start and develop a research career through postgraduate study.  

During the seven-year REF period, 48% of our postgraduate researchers (PGRs) published one or more outputs, across a diverse range, with examples including journal articles, books, datasets and compositions. PGRs co-authored 22% of our REF-submitted journal articles, highlighting this contribution. 

Postgraduate research at Manchester 

Now that the results are out, the government will make important decisions about how and where research, including opportunities for postgraduate research, is funded over the next few years.  

You can find out more about our results and how they’re calculated on our research pages.  

Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research 

Professor April McMahon, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students 

1 Research Power is calculated by grade point average, multiplied by the number of FTE staff submitted (FTE – full-time equivalent head count) and gives a measure of scale and quality.  

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