Research excellence


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

In the most recent REF14, Heriot-Watt was ranked 9th university in the UK and 1st in Scotland for research impact. The results of REF21 will be announced in May 2022.

Over 80% of our academic staff are engaged in research at internationally recognised levels, delivering impact across society in areas as diverse as providing greater equality for deaf people, managing risk in the insurance industry and enhancing oil extraction from our seas.

Overall 82% of our research is assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent in our core disciplines of science and engineering, business and management, languages and design.

Read more on the REF website about publication dates.

Key information

REF enquiries