Research Excellence

Research Assessment

Independent assessment ranks UCL's research among the best.

UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the new Research Excellence Framework 2014 published in December 2014, by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted. 

UCL researchers received a ‘grade point average’ of 3.22 (out of 4) and submitted over 2,500 staff to be assessed in REF2014, giving UCL an overall research power greater than both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. 

Other highlights of REF2014 for UCL include:

  • UCL enjoys the greatest amount of 4* (“world leading”) research in Panel A, covering medicine and biological sciences, much of which is conducted in collaboration with our partner hospitals 
  • UCL has the largest amount of academic research activity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics);
  • UCL has the strongest research power and share of 4* research in Panel C, covering social sciences, and overtaking both Oxford University and the LSE for the first time;
  • UCL Economics, UCL Psychology & Language Sciences, UCL Neuroscience, the UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, the UCL Institute of Education, UCL Chemistry and UCL Computer Science are among the university’s top research performers;
  • UCL received a ‘grade point average’ of 3.54 (out of 4) regarding the real-world impact of its research, placing it among the top comprehensive universities rated.

Research Funding

Competitively won research grants and contracts account for more than a third of UCL’s income.

Income – 2016-2017

Research grants and contracts  £459.8m
Tuition fees and education contracts  £460.6m
Funding body grants  £194.6m
Other operating income  £185.4m
Donations and endowments £20.6m
Investment income  £6.4m


Nobel Laureates & Scholarship

There has been at least one Nobel Laureate who is or was a student or academic at UCL every decade since the establishment of the Nobel Prizes in 1901.

As befits London’s Global University, almost half of our 29 Nobel Laureates were born outside the UK, including in Belgium, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Sweden and the USA. Indeed, we have more Nobel Laureates than were born in any single country other than France, Germany, the USA and the UK.

A further 11 UCL Honorary Graduates or Honorary Fellows have been awarded Nobel Prizes:

Our current academic community includes 56 Fellows of the Royal Society, 51 Fellows of the British Academy, 15 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 121 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

UCL Library Services hosts an online exhibition about nine of the university’s Fellows of the Royal Society.

Page last modified on 06 feb 18 15:37