REF results: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Below, we have listed each unit area for the Faculty, along with the scores and rankings.

Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science

6th in UK for 4* research with 100% of the research environment judged to be world-leading.

In the last six years our research funding in this area has almost doubled to £60 million, with 21 projects receiving more than £500,000 in funding. We have made significant investments in research infrastructure and have secured external funding for additional facilities such as 3D electron microscopy, mass-imaging, single molecule sequencing and light sheet microscopy.

We have made exciting advances in tackling infectious diseases of livestock and food-borne infections. We are exploiting the latest DNA and protein technologies to help in the development of new vaccines, and are helping to understand how diseases spread through human and animal communities, so that they can be better predicted and controlled. Other work with important implications for food security includes research in animal welfare and productivity and in plant genomics and molecular biology.

We regularly publish work in high-profile journals such as Nature, Science, The Lancet, Cell and PNAS and citations for staff are now more than double the sector average.

Research has also has had a direct impact in areas such as safeguarding the supply of poultry meat and eggs through the development of technologies surrounding the deployment of Avian Metapneumovirus vaccines in poultry. Work on nutrient sensors has provided the rational basis for the supplementation of animal feed with artificial sweeteners, which has led to their worldwide deployment in the diet of early-weaned piglets.

Biological Sciences

83% of research outputs at 4* and 3* (world-leading and internationally excellent) and 8th in the Russell Group, 11th nationally for Research Intensity as calculated by THES.

Our research focuses on evolutionary ecology, mammalian behaviour and evolution, and the ecology, evolution and genomics of infectious disease.

Working on infection, significant areas of investigation include wildlife disease dynamics, coinfection, coevolution, and parasite genomics. Scientists in the area of evolutionary ecology have made considerable contributions to the understanding of adaptation and biodiversity conservation in changing environments.

Researchers are also making significant advances in chemical communication and reproductive strategies in animal behaviour, particularly in species that cause damage to the environment, such as rodents.

Aside from a succession of important studies in fundamental areas, including 17 published in Nature, Science and PNAS and substantial support from large grant schemes in BBSRC and NERC, our research has had important societal and environmental impact, notably in the areas of animal welfare, habitat conservation and pest control.

World-class facilities underpin our research, including the Centre for Genomic Research, which has received approximately £14.2 million income since 2008, a new insect model organism laboratory, a wild rodent behaviour laboratory and dedicated facilities at Ness Botanic Gardens..

Clinical Medicine

7th in the UK for research power (critical mass of 4*and 3* research).

Research in the University’s Institutes of Ageing and Chronic Disease, Infection and Global Health, Integrative Biology and Translational Medicine has been externally recognised by the award of Centre status by funders such as the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, the Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

Research ranges from basic studies in cell culture models through to research directly involving patients to determine outcomes of interventions to reduce the incidence and severity of a diverse range of diseases and disorders.

We are carrying out ground-breaking research into HIV infections, leukaemia, meningitis, river blindness, sepsis and diabetic retinopathy as well as other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

The University and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have a long-standing partnership and have obtained more than £320 million of external funding for joint research over the past six years.

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

80% research at 4* and 3* (world-leading and internationally excellent) with 100% of impact at outstanding or very considerable.

We carry out research that aims to make a real impact by developing effective interventions for healthcare, security, business, industry, and the third sector, whilst informing policy locally and globally.

Research includes identifying how advertising affects dietary choices, developing novel psychological interventions for those seen as difficult to treat, such as patients with anorexia and psychosis, and creating psychological tools to aid criminal investigations.

The University’s laboratories for experimental and biological research include the Hydra Suite, a purpose-built immersive training environment for incident commanders developed with the Metropolitan Police, and the Kissileff Laboratory for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour, which enables integrated research into a broad spectrum of psychological, biological and social factors that influence eating and body weight.

Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care

3rd in the UK for impact judged outstanding.

Research in this area focuses on six key areas: social determinants and health inequalities, systematic reviews of healthcare effectiveness, mental and behavioural health sciences, women’s and children’s health, epilepsy and trials methodology.

Our research has generated £47 million in research income in the last five years. Highlights include:

  • £9 million for the North West Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC)
  • £6.2 million for the NIHR Medicines for Children Network and Clinical Trials Unit
  • £5.1 million for Health Technology Assessment Reviews
  • £3.2 million for the North West Hub for Trial Methodology Research.

The University hosts three influential Cochrane Collaboration groups including the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, the world’s first and consistently most productive Cochrane review group. The Cochrane Collaboration aims to produce evidence-informed health decision-making. The significance and influence of our work to research and enhance the impact of policies and improve evidence-based practice is widely recognised. Two research groups have been awarded prestigious collaborating centre status: the WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on Social Determinants of Health and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Research Synthesis in Reproductive Health.

Back to: Research