Lincoln Law School and REF 2014: Real Success!

There has been a lot in the news about the recent publication of the outcomes from the national Research Excellence Framework (the “REF”), which measures the quality of universities’ research.

Research is often the less appreciated element of what academics do – to enquire, to research and to write, often on contemporary and socially-important issues, which in our case is within the broad field of legal analysis.

Research in Lincoln Law covers many areas including international and European law, human rights and civil liberties, environmental law, corporate governance, as well as contract law and civil procedure. We also have particular strength in criminal justice and victims’ rights.

REF 2014 marked a significant step change in research for Lincoln Law School – with a dramatic 45% improvement since the last time we were reviewed following a similar exercise in 2008. With 89% of what we now do (our publications, our research environment and our social impact) being of international quality, the School is well-positioned to strengthen its research focus and reach even further in future years.

Why does this matter? As Professor Duncan French, Head of Lincoln Law School explains: “the quality of our research is intrinsically important, but beyond that our research feeds into our engagement with society and reaffirms the value of universities in public life. In particular, what we research feeds into what – and how – we teach. I’m tremendously proud of my colleagues for achieving this really substantial increase in our research quality. As a law school which places student enhancement at the very heart of everything we do – achieving a great REF score is equally a tremendous achievement”.