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Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

12 May 22

Today the UK funding bodies have published the results of the UK’s most recent national research assessment exercise, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Research from the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics in Oxford was submitted together under Unit of Assessment 10. Overall, 78% of our submission was judged to be 4* (the highest score available, for research quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance, and rigour).

In a joint statement, the two heads of department, Mike Giles (Mathematical Institute) and Alison Etheridge (Department of Statistics) said:

“This outstanding result is a testament to the breadth, quality and impact of the research produced by colleagues in our two departments, and the outstanding environment in which they work, supported by our excellent professional services staff. We’d like to thank everyone involved in sustaining Oxford Mathematical Sciences, especially those who worked tirelessly in the preparation of the REF2021 submission.”

Among the highlights of the research impact case studies we submitted are:

  • the use of rough path theory to improve the effectiveness of machine learning in Chinese handwritten character recognition for mobile phones
  • the use of homogenisation theory and asymptotic analysis in the mathematical modelling of filtration to improve the effectiveness of filters in both commercial applications and the removal of arsenic in groundwater contamination
  • statistical analysis of Covid-19 epidemiological data in the early days of the pandemic, including the statistical design and analysis of REACT studies for the assessment of community transmission.

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