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Sports science takes top five finish

Brunel’s sports science research is the 5th best in the country, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Eighty per cent of the university’s submission in the discipline was rated internationally excellent or world-leading, and the number of staff submitted increased by 30%.

It means that, among the 51 Higher Education Institutes (HEI) to submit research, Brunel came fifth for research power – a rating that combines the university’s average research quality rating and number of submissions.

Meanwhile, of the submissions made by Brunel to the REF in the research area of sport and exercise sciences, leisure and tourism, 100% were recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent for research impact.

Overall, the university was particularly strong in demonstrating the real-world impact of research, brought into the assessment for the first time, with two-thirds of its 78 submissions classified as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Professor Geoff Rodgers, who led Brunel’s submission, said: “We’re delighted that all the hard work that has been put into the REF from across the campus has led to real successes. Brunel has demonstrated that its sports science research is among the best in the country.” 

Among the submissions was globally significant research by Brunel’s Professor Celia Brackenridge, which has helped to bring together leading sports organisations and child protection agencies such as UNICEF to develop ways of preventing abuse in sport. Thanks to her research, safeguarding in sport has changed dramatically over the past two decades.

Overall, the volume of world-leading and internationally excellent research being carried out at Brunel University London has increased by more than half in the past six years.

The REF placed 61% of Brunel’s submitted work in the top two categories, compared to just 43% in its precursor, 2008’s Research Assessment Exercise.

Another four areas of study, including public health; art and design; politics; and environmental and earth sciences, had 100% of their submissions  recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent for research impact, placing them among the best in the country.

Further information and analysis is available here