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School of Business and Management

School of Business and Management celebrates major achievements in research excellence

The School of Business and Management is celebrating huge success in the national Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), which assesses the quality of research across all of the UK’s universities.

An image of QMUL library

The School’s REF2021 results – released in May 2022 – reflect Queen Mary’s commitment to outstanding research. The School has dramatically moved up the Times Higher Education rankings and among 108 UK business schools, the School now ranks:

  • 22nd for overall research quality (up from 39th in REF2014)
  • 28th for research outputs (up from 34th) 
  • 12th for research impact (up from 24th)
  • 21st for research environment (up from 59th)

The overall assessment of the School’s research moved to a grade point average of 3.3 in 2021, up from 2.85 in the last REF in 2014. This result is a composite of three categories of research work that is assessed in the REF: publications, impact and environment.

The School’s publication outputs moved up to 3.12 GPA from 2.77 in REF2014, which means that 31% of the REF2021 submission was ranked as ‘world-leading’ and 51% ‘internationally excellent’. This is a strong signal of the success of the School’s research strategy, emphasising the quality of publications. The School will continue to encourage academics to publish relevant research in leading peer reviewed academic journals, which formed the vast majority of the School’s submission (136 journal articles), and it also celebrates the academics who submitted eight research monographs.

The School remains a strong performer on Impact with a 3.6 GPA compared to 3.3 in REF2014. The REF defines impact as an ‘effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’. Of the School’s five submissions, the non-academic impacts of three were rated as ‘outstanding’ and two ‘very considerable’. The case studies were:

Increasing Gender and Ethnic Diversity on UK Corporate Boards and in Senior Leadership

Improving International Fisheries Trade Relations for Development

Shaping Policy on the Regulation of Occupations in the Labour Market in the EU and UK

Improving Collective Bargaining Regulations and Employment Outcomes

Labour Rights and Provisions in European Union Trade Policy

The School’s impacts beyond academia are far wider than the cases submitted to REF, as reflected in its performance in the REF2021 Environment category – where it jumped to a 3.5 GPA from 3.3 in REF2014.

Professor Liam Campling, Associate Dean for Research, said:

"The School is very proud of our success in REF2021. Now, with a large number of exciting new research active academics joining us, the School is moving forward to engage head-on with the most important business and management challenges of our time, from sustainability to monetary policy, and from supply chain resilience to inequalities and discrimination in all of their forms."

Reacting to the result, Professor Mike Noon, the Dean of SBM, noted that:

"This is a wonderful achievement and I sincerely want to thank everyone who has made a contribution to this result. The outcome is shared by us all, no matter what our role in SBM. It demonstrates further our upward trajectory as a school committed to making a difference through research aligned with our core purpose of the promotion of social justice, sustainability and good governance."



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