Results issued today by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) show that Canterbury Christ Church University has more than doubled the proportion of world leading research it has produced since the last REF in 2014. It has also more than quadrupled the world-leading impacts and benefits that its research provides for people’s lives.

The REF assesses the quality of research across UK universities, including the impact research has on our society. Research, and its impacts, are assessed on a four-point scale, topped by that which is world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*).

Today’s results show how Canterbury Christ Church University is delivering tangible changes and solving real problems via its world leading research that is relevant to our communities in Kent and Medway, as well as across the UK and around the world.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “Today’s excellent results recognise not only the breadth and variety of work at the University, but significantly the public value of our research and the impact it has in the community. 

“I am proud that Canterbury Christ Church, in its Diamond Jubilee year, is able to deliver world-leading, global research with local, national and international impact, and continue to demonstrate our core belief in the transformative power of education. We look forward to the next 60 years, building on the quality of our research to deliver more world leading research with true impact.”

The assessment showed that more than 60% of the University’s research and almost 85% of its impact was judged to be in the top two categories of world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*). The volume of work also increased, with 50% more staff submitting research for assessment than in 2014.

Research submitted as part of our assessment and illustrating our impact and appeal include:

  • demonstrating that the use of Justice Support Dogs to support the victims of crime enhances the quality of evidence and leads to more secure convictions, leading to their use being commissioned throughout criminal justice systems in the UK, Canada and all 52 US states.
  • Developing the first UK national physical activity recommendations and clinical guidance for pregnant and postpartum women with supporting standards and training for health professionals.
  • A new assessment framework for registered firearms dealers and gun owners which has been adopted by all 43 police forces across England, safeguarding communities and leading to the closure of multiple criminal enterprises.
  • A new approach to delivering sport and physical activity for the least active, increasing physical activity levels among 1.1million young people, and supporting over half a million young people to newly achieve activity levels exceeding national guidelines.
  • Unearthed silenced voices of the Spanish Civil War, supporting communities in 68 towns and villages to challenge state-sponsored narratives and to re-capture memories of the 144,000 ‘disappeared’ victims of oppression.
  • Supported investment regulation in Africa, developing a new arbitration code for treaty negotiation and, in Uganda, informing legislation to combat organ trafficking.
  • Developed new eligibility protocols that facilitated the inclusion of athletes with Intellectual Disabilities in the Paralympic Games and other elite global sporting competitions.

For more information on the REF and the University’s research work visit the Research Hub.