Institute for Transport Studies research recognised by REF 2021

Research carried out in the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) has been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

REF is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions, along with the environment that supports this research, broken down by disciplines called Units of Assessment (UoA).

The Institute contributed to both Engineering (UoA12) and Geography (UoA14). 

In Engineering, 97% of the research outputs submitted were assessed as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. The School’s work on transport economics, modelling and simulation, automation and rail engineering produced many of the outstanding research outputs that have contributed to our success in this UoA.  In Geography 93% of the research outputs were assessed as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. Our work on decarbonisation, active travel and governance contributed to these outstanding outputs. 

This result is a great endorsement of our strategy to promote intensive research careers within the Institute which addresses the key transport challenges facing society in the 21st century. Everyone in ITS and their collaborators work at the cutting edge of their discipline and this has been recognised by the REF panel of experts. A great result during our 50th anniversary year!

Professor Simon Shepherd, Director of ITS

Our research has been recognised as truly impactful with 95% of our research contributions to society, and industry from Engineering (UoA12) ranked as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ and 90% ranked as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ from Geography (UoA14).  These results reflect how our colleagues are working with collaborators in the UK and overseas to expand the frontiers of knowledge and apply this to make a difference in the real world. 

This includes three research impact case studies led by the Institute for Transport Studies that have positively impacted people in the UK and across the globe.  

These were : 

Further information about our research is presented on our website and in the ITS Annual Research Reports.  

This result reflects the fantastic multidisciplinary research culture and capability of the Institute, and our broad ranging research programmes addressing the wider engineering, operations, social and economic aspects of transport.

Professor Ronghui Liu, Director of Research and Innovation

Further information

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View the University of Leeds REF 2021 results for all units of assessment.