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Outstanding performance in REF 2021

12 May 2022

DENTL student in clinic

The School of Dentistry’s thriving and innovative research culture has one overarching aim: to produce high quality, impactful research that addresses key global challenges around oral and general health.

Today, the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF21) - a process of expert review undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies -  announced its results. Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry’s research was assessed as part of REF21’s Unit of Assessment 3 (which encompasses allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy).

We foster an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community. Reflective of this, we submitted 100% of our eligible staff.

In this Unit of Assessment, 91% of Cardiff University’s outputs were assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent, and the research environment was awarded the highest possible score (4.0).

With an overall GPA score of 3.39, the UoA’s interdisciplinary research secured an overall quality position of 16th (out of 90) which, alongside the volume of the Unit’s research, delivers a position of 4th (out of 90) for Research Power (an indicator of the scale and quality of our submission).

Prof Daniel Aeschlimann, project lead for the Research Excellence Framework submission said:

"I was delighted to learn that REF2021 has confirmed Cardiff's capacity to deliver world leading research at scale. The vibrant interdisciplinary environment with dedicated staff across our Unit's disciplines has fostered innovation, reflected in key developments across a wide spectrum of activity from drug discovery, to evaluation trials of new health interventions, and policy development to maximise impact on health across the nation and beyond.

It is pleasing to see that not only are we a major player in terms of Research Power but we have substantially increased the proportion of research outputs at the highest level of quality, while submitting 100% of eligible staff to REF.

This is an excellent achievement and confirmation of our strategic direction. My sincere thanks go out to all colleagues who made this strong submission a reality, but most of all, all the staff who over the REF cycle have driven the important research carried out by our Unit forward, and continue to do so."

The School of Dentistry’s research forms an important component of the Allied Health Professions Unit of Assessment (UoA3), which comprises a critical mass of researchers from five schools across the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences.

Examples of our world-class research which was submitted for review includes:

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Reducing violent crime

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Preventing tooth decay in children

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Changing attitudes towards alcohol

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