The 2021 results reflect Cranfield’s global reputation for excellence in applied research that has a real-world impact, with 88% of its research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
It was also rated seventh in UK for Engineering research power with Research impact increased across all submitted areas.
Professor Karen Holford, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “This strong set of results confirms that Cranfield is a place where exciting research is shaping the future.
“We can be rightly proud of this assessment, and I want to thank all of our researchers and staff across the whole University who have worked so hard to contribute to the process.”
Cranfield submitted research to three Units of Assessment including Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science, Engineering, and Business and Management. In each area, the institution was assessed on the sub-categories of outputs, impact and research environment.
In Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science, Cranfield saw increases in its Grade Point Average across all sub-categories of assessment and was ranked 7th in the UK for its research impact.
Engineering, which is a new Unit of Assessment in 2021, was ranked 7th in the UK for research power.
Business and Management increased its ranking for research impact, ranked 7th in the UK out of 108 institutions.
As an institution Cranfield has the second highest income of all UK universities in terms of income per FTE from industry (source: HESA 2019/20 data).
Professor Leon A Terry, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “The clear strength Cranfield has in research impact reflects the passion and dedication of our talented researchers, and the deeply embedded work we do with industry partners and governments.
“With a new research strategy launching later this summer, Cranfield has an exciting future ahead as we build on our vision to be globally recognised as the UK's applied research powerhouse.”
The REF is a system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK universities and helps inform an element of research funding that institutions receive.