RVC demonstrates strength and breadth of research - Veterinary Practice
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RVC demonstrates strength and breadth of research

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated the breadth and depth of its research excellence with the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated the breadth and depth of its research excellence, celebrating 88 percent of research being rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), according to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results.

The results highlight the increasing relevance of the RVC’s research to society, with 83 percent of RVC’s impact being scored 4*, and 7.5 of the 9 impact case studies submitted found to have “outstanding reach and significance”.

Additional highlights from the results include:

  • A 54 percent increase in the number of full time equivalent academic staff submitted since the last assessment – establishing the RVC as the largest veterinary research institution in the country
  • An increase in the proportion of our research scored as world-leading and internationally excellent in all categories of REF 2021, compared with 2014 results, including 17 percent improvement on the impact of its research, an 11 percent rise in its research output and an 11 percent increase in overall performance

The impact case studies submitted by the RVC covered a broad range of research areas, including those which advance clinical practice; protect public health by enhancing food safety; inform World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation policy on the control of disease afflicting some of poorest people in the world; and tackle antimicrobial resistance through innovations in drug delivery.

Many of these are underpinned by the RVC’s One Health approach to research, the importance of which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results also highlight the RVC’s holistic and transdisciplinary approach to research, with researchers, teachers, clinicians and pathologists working collaboratively to ensure ‘real world’ impact and advances in clinical practice.

Professor Stuart Reid, CBE, president and principal of the RVC, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of the REF2021 exercise – as a specialist institution with a clinical focus, the challenge of addressing the scientific spectrum, from fundamental research to clinical application, is at the very core of our mission. Knowing that we are assessed as delivering to that agenda by our peers is important and encourages us to continue our efforts of making meaningful impact on animal and human health globally.”

Professor Oliver Pybus, FRS, vice principal for research and innovation and professor of infectious diseases at the RVC, said: “I am delighted that the REF2021 results reflect the strength, scale, and diversity of research undertaken at RVC. I warmly congratulate the RVC’s researchers and celebrate their achievements, which are enriched our commitments to world-leading teaching and clinical service, and supported by fantastic teams of non-academic staff.”

Professor Jonathan Elliott, professor of veterinary clinical pharmacology at the RVC, said: “REF 2021 has recognised the outstanding reach and significance of the impact of our research which is so pleasing to see. I know all my academic colleagues are motivated to innovate in order to make a difference to lives of people and those of the animals they keep.

“Our submission truly reflects the breadth of scholarship at the RVC which generates the new knowledge we teach our students, the high quality of which has been endorsed by this external review.”

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