Harper Adams University: Increasing proportion of research at Harper Adams is of international quality

New research figures released today have shown that 60 per cent of the research conducted at Harper Adams University is either world leading or internationally excellent.

The figures form part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 21 results, which are used as a means to allocate around £2 billion of research funding per year. The thoroughness of the exercise is designed to provide accountability for public investment in research, demonstrating its benefits and impact.

Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ken Sloan, said: “These figures show that, compared to the last REF, an increasing proportion of research being carried out at Harper Adams is of international quality – with both world-leading and internationally excellent research being undertaken.

“This is positive to see in an institution which was granted full university status only a decade ago.

“The University is increasing research capacity across the areas of greatest value to industry and society. Harper Adams, through its Future Farm, campus technology platforms and outstanding industry partnerships, provides a unique real-world environment which focuses on translatable research delivered in collaboration with and for the benefit of the UK and international agri-food sector.

“This same environment also contributes to the development of the graduate skills and talent that these vital industry sectors need. As we discuss and finalise the University’s new strategic plan, I look forward to even further growth and acceleration of our impact on society through high quality research and education in the period ahead.”

Research activity at HAU delivers international research and impact in a number of areas – including in policy and practice.

The University’s research has a clear focus on agriculture, livestock systems designed to help reduce emissions to the environment, and new approaches to the management of soils, forests, water resources and biodiversity. Sustainability has been placed at the heart of research activity – which is aimed at helping those looking to move towards sustainable food production systems.

Harper Adams Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Lee added: “‘The University’s focus continues to be on providing applied solutions for the agri-food and animal-veterinary sciences sectors through world leading education and problem-solving research.

“We will be building on these REF results over the coming years to further grow our research in fundamental and applied disciplines, targeting sustainable agriculture towards net zero and the future of the UK and global agri-food industry to feed a growing population – whilst protecting and enhancing our environment.”

Harper Adams Director of Research, Professor Dawn Arnold, said: Harper Adams Director of Research, Professor Dawn Arnold, said: “I’d like to thank colleagues for the hard work they have all put into this process and into becoming research active.

“We have increased the number of staff who have submitted research to this assessment, we have increased the amount of research itself we have submitted – and we have increased the amount of that research which has been judged as either world leading or internationally excellent.”

Since the last time REF results were released, in December 2014, the number of research active staff at Harper Adams has increased – with 45 current staff members’ work included in the University’s REF2021 submission. This is more than double the number entered into the previous assessment.

Research income at Harper Adams also grew by more than a third during the REF 21 assessment period, to £3.17 million in the last pre-Covid year.

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