Ulster University Business School records best ever research performance
The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results have been published showing that the Ulster University Business School (UUBS) has recorded its best ever research performance in this its 40th anniversary year. The School did particularly well in terms of research impact, coming seventh out of over 100 business schools in the UK. The impact of the case studies submitted by UUBS were all rated as world leading or internationally excellent.
Professor Paul Humphreys, Research Institute Director, explains, “The REF is the UK Government’s method of assessing the quality of research in publicly funded UK higher education institutions. This type of measurement was last carried out in 2008 and it is very important to us in being able to access ongoing funding and to position the School as a leading centre of research excellence against our peers. The results also demonstrate the wide range of social, economic and cultural impacts that our research makes.”
The Ulster University Business School submitted three diverse research projects to the REF panel outlining the impact of the research both in terms of reach and significance. The School’s projects included research into advancing HR practice through employee wellbeing strategies with the aim of delivering increased employee engagement and reduced absenteeism; research into identifying business solutions that could enhance SME market orientation and thus competitiveness within the retail supply chain; and investigating ways to encourage hi-tech small firms to participate in European R&D and innovation funding programmes.
As a result of the successful application of research outcomes and recommendations, the Ulster University Business School has received plaudits from across the private and public sectors including Invest NI, FSB, NIIRTA, DARD, Danske Bank, ELI Lilly, the NICS Occupational Health Service, PSNI and the European Connected Health Alliance.
Commenting on the results, Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of the Ulster University Business School remarked “Research is the life blood of any academic institution but quality research which has tangible benefits and measurable results can make a real difference especially in a business environment. At any one time we have a least 50 PhD students engaged in research projects working alongside 27 staff employed across the faculty, and supported where applicable by adjunct professors in Canada and Hong Kong. We are delighted that the work of the School’s Research Institute has been so highly recognised by the REF which is a testament to the combined professionalism and relevance of our work.”
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “I commend the Ulster University Business School for the quality and strength of the research they have undertaken. Indeed, the REF results for Northern Ireland confirm that our universities are undertaking internationally recognised research.
“Research capability is vital for economic growth, competitiveness and the well-being of our community. Through their research activities and transfer of knowledge, the universities continue to make a major contribution to the cultural, social and economic life of Northern Ireland and this is particularly important as we look to grow our local economy.”