We believe in putting our knowledge to work and fully supporting our researchers to fulfill their potential in an atmosphere of friendly collaboration. 

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REF 2021

REF 2021 Results

Salford rises 22 places in the Times Higher Education league table based on the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results.

In the REF 2021 exercise Salford’s research was rated overall as 78% world-leading and internationally excellent (24% 4* and 54% 3*). This performance placed us at 65th in the UK in terms of research quality in the Times Higher Education league table; an impressive jump of 22 places, up from 87th in REF 2014. 

Professor Karl Dayson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, has congratulated colleagues on this achievement, saying “The results are testament to the hard work and diligence of those involved in our research and we are pleased to see areas of our expertise being recognised as world-leading in all of our submissions”.

Research Impact


We believe that our research should directly benefit the world around us. This demonstrable contribution and improvement to society, the economy, the environment, technology, and community wellbeing is known as ‘impact’.

Our commitment to demonstrating real-world impact from our research has been recognised in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise, where 88% of our research impact submission was rated as outstanding (4*) or very considerable (3*) in terms of its reach and significance.

In five of our unit submissions our impact case studies achieved 100% outstanding or very considerable impact, namely:

  • Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (50% 4*; 50% 3*)
  • Engineering (33% 4*; 67% 3*)
  • Social Work and Social Policy (75% 4*; 25% 3*)
  • Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies (50% 4*; 50% 3*)
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management (50% 4*; 50% 3*)

Browse our Research with Impact Blog for more detailed information on our REF2021 impact results and to view our impact library of videos and podcasts:

Partnering with communities

Public Engagement


Research Governance

The University of Salford’s Research Code of Practice outlines our commitment to conducting all research and impact activities to the highest levels of integrity. Our research governance policies and procedures ensure we act responsibly, ethically and in accordance with professional standards.

Our Research Community

Supporting our Researchers

Salford is committed to creating a supportive and collaborative environment in which researchers from all backgrounds can fulfil their potential. We align our training and development activities to the principles in the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and our long-term commitment to our research community has been recognised at the European level through the HR Excellence in Research award, renewed again in 2018.  

Find out more about our researcher development programme.