Faculty of Technology

REF 2014 Results

Results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework


REF 2014

96% of the University of Portsmouth’s physics research outputs have been judged world-leading or internationally excellent in the national Research Excellence Framework 2014. Portsmouth is one of the top three universities nationally for the proportion of such high quality physics outputs.

Overall 89% of Portsmouth physics research outputs, impact and environment was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Portsmouth’s overall research grade point average makes it the top ranked Alliance university and the top ranked new university in physics, on a par with many Russell group universities.

The REF2014 submission included research from 17 scientists, including 7 early career researchers, in the Institute for Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG).  ICG was set up in 2002 and has established an international reputation for research in cosmology and astrophysics, playing a leading role in several major astronomical surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Survey.

This is Portsmouth’s first submission to the Physics sub-panel. In the last national research assessment exercise (RAE2008), research from ICG was submitted to the Applied Mathematics panel, alongside work from the University’s Department of Mathematics.

Portsmouth is a member of the South-East Physics Network (SEPnet) and now runs undergraduate courses in Applied Physics and is starting a new degree in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology in 2015.

  • 89% of Portsmouth physics research outputs, environment and impact were judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • 96% of research outputs world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 90% of research environment internationally excellent
  • top rated new university for physics research
  • top rated Alliance Group university for physics research

Find out more

Mathematical Sciences

REF 2014

The University of Portsmouth submitted to a new Unit of Assessment within the REF 2014, 'Mathematical Sciences', comprising work from two main research clusters: Nonlinear and Complex Systems, and Logistics and Operational Research.

The work spanned the spectrum from theoretical advances in these subjects, through to applications addressing specific challenges in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. Eleven staff were submitted by the University of Portsmouth. The submission included two impact case studies illustrating our impact on healthcare logistics and the management of financial risk.

  • 9.8% of our research outputs were rated world-leading (4*) and 61% either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • 80% of our impact was rated as having very considerable reach and significance (3*)
  • Out of 53 institutions across the UK submitting in this Unit we were ranked 24th for impact at world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) level, and ranked joint 1st among post-1992 universities
  • 62% of our submission overall was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • Among post-1992 universities, we were ranked 2nd for overall performance

Find out more

Computer Science and Informatics

REF 2014

We are delighted with the outcome of the REF 2014 for Unit of Assessment 11 'Computer Science and Informatics'.

This is a significant achievement in comparison to RAE 2008 despite returning a similar number of researchers. We are particularly proud of the positive evaluation of our Impact Case Studies, and this clearly asserts our strategy to focus not only on developing the underpinning science but also to build our portfolio of applied research to have impact on society.

This REF submission reflects the core strengths of research in computer science and informatics that spans many departments in the University of Portsmouth. We returned three broad research themes: Computational Intelligence, Health Informatics and Networking and Security.

A significant proportion of researchers are at an early stage of their academic career and this result is a vindication of the quality and standard that they have already accomplished. These achievements are the start of a long journey for the team to drive the progress and to engender more success in the future.

  • 100% of  our impact was rated as either outstanding (4*) 40% or as being very considerable in terms of reach and significance (3*) 60%.  We are rated first nationally for 4*/3* impact.
  • Top overall world-leading research 4* amongst post-92 universities and University Alliance group.
  • 20% of our research was rated world leading (4*) and 64% either world leading or internationally excellent. This compares to 5% 4* and 20% either world class or internationally excellent in RAE2008
  • 19% of our research outputs were rated world leading (4*) and 60% either leading of internationally excellent.
  • The average GPA increased by 48% from 1.9 in 2008 to 2.81 in 2014.
  • Nationally, we have progressed from Q4 in 2008 to Q2 in 2014.

Find out more

Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering

REF 2014

Results from REF2014 highlight the significant growth in research in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Portsmouth since RAE2008. They reflect the strategic staff recruitment and development that have enabled the number of staff included in the submission to increase by 64% when compared to RAE2008.

Our submission was based on four key research themes - Materials and Structural Integrity, Biomechanical Engineering, Polymer and Composites, Thermo-Fluid, Energy and Manufacturing Engineering - which bring together a broad range of expertise at the University of Portsmouth. Importantly, we have made a significant number of new academic staff appointments at all levels in these areas.  In doing so we have significantly increased the number of early career researchers; and doubled the number of female staff submitted in comparison to that in RAE2008. This has provided a good foundation for future strategic research planning and development.


  • Ranked third overall out of new universities submitted in this Unit.
  • 61% of our research outputs were rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • 50% of our research overall was rated as either world leading or internationally excellent.
  • 50% of our impact was rated as having very considerable reach and significance.

Find out more

Computer Science and Informatics

The School of Engineering also contributed with four full-time-equivalent academic staff and one Impact Case Study to the University's submission to Unit of Assessment 11: Computer Science and Informatics.

Find out more