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REF2021: Faculty's research makes UK top rankings

The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine has maintained its position among the world’s best universities for research excellence and power in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2021).

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The REF exercise takes place every seven years and is the UK higher education funding bodies’ system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. Over 400 members of staff from the Faculty, from early career researchers to senior academics, submitted their work under the six different Units of Assessment: Clinical Medicine, Biological Sciences, Pharmacy/Allied Health Professions, Population Health, Engineering and Sports Science.

The results show a strong performance across all areas. King’s was the top ranked institution for Allied Health Professions and Pharmacy, Clinical Medicine achieved the top score for research environment (100% 4*), Public Health was among the top 10 for world-leading impact (rated 4*) and Biological Sciences significantly improved its GPA score.

Engineering was in the top six for impact, while Sport and Exercise Sciences was ranked second for its proportion of ‘world-leading’ (rated 4*) research, 4th overall and achieved the maximum impact score (100% 4*).

The case studies submitted by the Faculty show the depth and breadth of its research and how it is benefitting society. Examples include giving evidence-based advice on the introduction of human papillomavirus testing into the national cervical screening programme, improving the quality of life for patients undergoing Acute Myeloid Leukaemia treatment and reducing new HIV infections through investigations into the efficacy of PrEP.

In addition, research from across the Faculty has also led to conditioning programmes that help RAF pilots sustain the effects of G force for longer, working with the Department for Transport (DfT) Drink and Drug Driving Policy Unit to improve road safety policy, peanut allergy research which led to new international guidelines on infant weaning, drawing up a new internationally-recognised definition for sepsis and accompanying clinical guidelines and the ZOE COVID Symptom Study App which has informed changes to national and international policy on symptoms and long COVID.

Professor Ajay Shah, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, said: “I am incredibly proud of our Faculty's results which are testament to everyone’s incredible work across our academic and professional services colleagues. The depth, breadth and high quality of our research holds many benefits to society and we will continue to work with colleagues in the Faculty and across King’s to ensure that we continue to generate positive global impact.”

To find out more about King’s impact case studies, visit our Spotlight hub.

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Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah

Executive Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine