The four main panels and their sub-panels have produced an overview report detailing how they carried out the Research Excellent Framework (REF) assessment, and providing observations about the assessment and the state of research within their discipline areas.
UOA 7: Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences and Sub-panel 14: Geography and Environmental Studies are most applicable to our subject area, but elements of environmental research do appear elsewhere.
The report provides some interesting information on the sources of grants for research, the direction of research and innovative thinking around impact.
The number of submissions received by the UOA 7 Sub Panel fell from 45 in the last REF round (2014) to 39 in 2021, but these submissions were high quality, with 48% judged to have reached the 4* standard. The report states that “Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences continues to produce outputs of the highest international standard across its full range of disciplines and the outputs submitted showed continued excellence and sustainability in the discipline.”
The range of outputs has increased with a greater presence of social science and environmental economics. The use of computational modelling and machine learning continues to grow.
Read the UOA 7 report (pdf)
Read the Sub-panel 14: Geography and Environmental Studies report (pdf)
All the Panel reports (pdf)