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Our ambition is to maintain – and improve – Scotland’s world-leading position in university research, and maximise its impact through a combination of strategic investment and innovative policies.

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Scotland’s universities have an outstanding reputation and record of success in research, appearing prominently in international rankings of research and attracting high levels of funding. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework – which measures the quality of research in UK universities – 77% of research in Scotland’s universities was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We support the competitiveness of Scotland’s research base through a range of investments and the training and development of postgraduate teaching and research students. We aim to develop and sustain a dynamic and internationally competitive research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion of knowledge. 

REF 2021

The results of REF 2021 were published on 12 May 2022.

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) built on the previous exercise carried out in 2014 and the recommendations of the independent review of REF 2014.