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Marjon’s research makes an international impact

Released: 12.05.22

Marjon REF

Plymouth Marjon University’s research status took a great step forward today as the results from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 were announced.

In the results published this morning, 89% of Plymouth Marjon University’s research is recognised as internationally significant.

The REF is a national process for assessing the quality of research in UK universities, which takes place every six to seven years. The results determine how national research funding is distributed, and so can dramatically transform a university’s research capability.

89% of Marjon’s research is internationally recognised in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 55% is rated in the highest scoring 3*or 4* categories, as internationally excellent. 100% of Marjon’s research was rated as nationally recognised.

The results are particularly impressive given this is the first time Marjon has entered the REF, which previously took place in 2014. The recognition will mean that Marjon’s burgeoning research capability will be given a huge boost with additional national funding.

For REF 2021, research by Marjon academics published over the last seven years was assessed for quality, originality and impact. Impact case studies are submitted, detailing the real world benefits the research has delivered, and universities are also scored on how they nurture and encourage a dynamic research culture.

In the case studies submitted, 100% of them were rated as internationally significant, demonstrating how Marjon research is focused on having a positive impact on individual lives.

One case study was based on a 12-year review of coastal and rural schools, which is transforming understanding of how “educational isolation” affects children’s lives. The research identified that the combination of a schools’ geographical remoteness, socio-economic disadvantage and cultural isolation can have a significant impact on life opportunities and “levelling up”.  The findings have been used at a regional, national and international level, including in the UK Parliament and by the Australian government to enable more targeted support for teacher development opportunities and teacher retention, making a positive difference to children and schools in rural areas.

Another case study recognised as internationally significant explores how Marjon researchers are supporting people to manage their long term conditions such as cancer, fibromyalgia and type 1 diabetes. The new approach uses group-based clinics which enable people to manage their physical health through also considering nutritional, social and mental health. The group clinic approach, which is demonstrated to lead to improved health outcomes for people living with long term conditions, is now being used by health providers and in workplaces across the region.

This is the cumulative effect of years of work to build a strong research capability at Marjon. Professor Michelle Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University and leader of the submission to REF 2021 said:

“We are proud of our excellent applied research that makes a difference to society at Marjon, and we are delighted the outcomes of our first submission to the REF have confirmed a majority of our research is internationally excellent.

“The REF outcomes will act as a springboard to enhancing our research culture, supporting our application for Research Degree Awarding Powers, and enabling us to invest in further life-changing research, working closely with students and partners.”

Professor Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University, said:

“The good news for Marjon keeps on coming and I warmly congratulate every contributor to our excellent first REF result. Success in the REF is a success for every student and every member of staff as the reputation of Marjon continues to ascend.

“When I taught undergraduates, I knew that my latest research consistently informed my teaching and could inspire my students; I have great expectations that our students will enjoy the inspiration of teaching informed by our academics' world-leading research.”

Find out more about Marjon’s international quality research in the research section of the Marjon website.

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