RHUL enjoys success in 2008 Research Assessment Exercise

The exercise was conducted jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

The results of the RAE help determine the research grant each institution receives from 2009-10.

The assessment process for the RAE focuses on quality of research outputs, papers published in academic journals and conference proceedings, research environment, and indicators of esteem. For RAE 2008, institutions were invited to submit four research outputs, published between January 2001 and December 2007, for each full-time member of staff selected for inclusion.

The new scoring system that applies for the RAE 2008 measures research quality in four categories, with the top score of 4* indicating quality that is world-leading and of the highest standards in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

The Principal, Professor Stephen Hill, told The Founder: “The results of the RAE 2008 demonstrate that Royal Holloway remains one of the UK’s leading research universities. The College is ranked 16th in terms of research of 4* standard. Royal Holloway has a broad range of excellent researchers and departments. Our results are testament both to the hard work and dedication of our staff and the investment that we have made over the past seven years.”

Overall, Royal Holloway is positioned above many of the Russell Group universities, including Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool.

The College is ranked 6th out of 18 institutions belonging to the 1994 Group of research-led institutions on 3* & 4* scores, and in the South East region, Royal Holloway ranks 3rd after Oxford and Southampton.

The Department of Music at Royal Holloway was ranked number one in the UK during the Research Assessment Exercise.

Enjoying continued success, the Department of Music’s outstanding achievement is the result of world-leading research excellence.

Commenting on Music’s outstanding achievement, Dr James Dack, Head of the Department, said “This result is further recognition of the excellence in the Department and reflects the breadth and depth of its musicological research.”

The Department’s strengths include large-scale centres and research projects funded by research councils and charities including AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and the Mellon Foundation.

Within the last 18 months individual or collaborative research has secured some £166,000 of funding to support various projects.  A three-year British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship has been located in the Department from 2008, with a research specialism in the musical culture of the Far East the Chinese Diaspora.

Most recently, a collaborative project involving a member of the Department as co-investigator has been awarded a substantial grant under the AHRC Beyond Text Scheme.

The Department is equally active in terms of research in the creative fields of musical performance and composition.

The Department established its status as one of the foremost university departments in the UK for research with a 5* rating in the 1996 RAE and was one of only three departments of music to gain a second 5* in 2001.

A further eight departments at Royal Holloway are in the top 10 of the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 ranked by proportion of 3* & 4* research: Biological Sciences (joint 3rd), Drama (joint 9th), Earth Sciences (joint 7th), Economics (joint 9th), Geography (joint 9th), German (joint 5th), Media Arts (joint 6th) and Psychology (joint 5th).

Commenting on the result, Professor Peter Bramley, Head of the School of Biological Sciences said, “I am delighted that the internationally competitive quality of our research has been recognised and that the School is in the very top tier of research-led departments in the UK.”

Head of the Economics Department, Professor Andrew Mountford said, “The value of the research conducted in the Department has already been recognised by the various governments and international bodies who have used its members as advisors and this value has now been underlined by this excellent result in the RAE. This outcome is richly deserved and gives due recognition for all the hard work that has gone into developing the Department since it was founded just over 10 years ago.”

Biological Sciences has benefited from strategic investment in staff, research and teaching facilities, boosting the internationally competitive quality of its research.

The Economics Department has attracted first rate staff from all over the world and excels in research across the discipline, from Economic History to Econometrics, from Microeconomics to Macroeconomics and from Experimental Economics to Labour Economics and the Economics of Education.  All three Research Centres in the School have attracted major funding for research during the past year.

With reference to Royal Holloway’s ongoing collaborations with partners including the SWAN alliance and the proposed merger with St George’s, University of London, Principal Professor Stephen Hill, added, “The strong results in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Management and Departments of Psychology and Health and Social Care provide an excellent basis for our merger with St George’s, University of London.”

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