Our research

Our research

Our research activities play a central role in our success. Our research income grew by 87 per cent between 2008/9 and 2014/15, enabling us to recruit the best academic researchers and to offer hundreds of funded PhD studentships annually. We are at the forefront of global and national research collaboration, actively supporting staff and students to build working relationships with counterparts overseas.

We are particularly committed to encouraging new ideas and nurturing talent, and as such we boast an extremely high number of early career researchers at Exeter. This makes the University of Exeter one of the very best places to pursue postgraduate study and research.

Find out more about our institutional research.

REF 2014

  • Following the REF HEFCE has awarded us an additional £3.8 million for research, the third highest gain amongst English universities.
  • We are ranked 16th nationally taking account of the proportion of staff submitted.*
  • 98 per cent of the University of Exeter's research is of international quality.
    This is a significant increase since RAE 2008 when 82 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Our world-leading (4*) research has increased from 17 per cent to 29 per cent compared to the RAE in 2008.
  • Our market share of world-leading or internationally excellent research has increased by 22 per cent.
  • We have nine Units of Assessment in the top 10 nationally for world-leading or internationally excellent research with three in the top five.
    Theology (2nd), Area Studies, Archaeology (3rd), Politics (5th), Sociology, Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Public Health, Biological Sciences.
  • We rank 16th nationally for world-leading (4*) publications and 11th in the Russell Group.

Find out more about our REF 2014 results.

Doctoral Training Partnerships

As part of our sustained commitment to developing new talent and building research capacity, we continue to invest millions of pounds in our research infrastructure, and we are one of only a handful of universities to have successfully secured Doctoral Training Partnerships with each of the UK Research Councils. 

Find out more about our Doctoral Training Partnerships on the Doctoral College website.

*Not including specialist institutions, or those with anomalous data.

Research at Exeter

As a Russell Group University our research makes a difference across the world.