Over 50% of Oxford’s development studies research submission rated world-leading in REF2021

12 May, 2022

We are delighted to announce that 52% of Oxford’s development studies research submission was rated 4*, the highest available score, in the UK’s most recent assessment of research quality in higher education, the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

That marks a significant improvement on our score in the last REF, in 2014. Research that is rated 4* has been judged to be “world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour”.

"I want to thank everyone who worked to prepare our REF submission and, even more, everyone who has contributed to our world-class research, including our collaborators across the world”, said Professor Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, ODID Head of Department. “We remain committed to producing impactful work of global quality and to creating the best environment for all our colleagues to work on development issues.”

We were the largest submission in our Unit of Assessment, UoA22B Development Studies, and the second largest in the wider UoA22, which included both Anthropology and Development Studies departments. For the first time, a majority of the staff we submitted were women.

Our submission drew on research focussed on more than 50 countries across the world and benefitted from our extensive network of overseas research collaborations and impact partnerships. It encompassed all our research themes, exploring the economics of development; migration and refugees in a global context; human development, poverty and youth; and the political and international dimensions of development.

Our impact beyond academia was also assessed, through a number of case studies showing the real-world benefits of our research. These showcased work in the department that has helped change the way governments measure and tackle poverty; transform the economic inclusion of refugees; alter understandings of how innovation works in low-income countries; and ban corporal punishment in Peru.

ODID’s research was submitted to UoA22B Development Studies, alongside some research contributions from colleagues in the Blavatnik School of Government and colleges.

The REF is jointly run by Research England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.  Research is assessed through peer review by panels of academics, research users and experts in interdisciplinary research.

  • Find out more about our research here.
  • Find out more about work on measuring poverty here
  • Find out more about our work on the economic lives of refugees here
  • Find out more about our work tackling violence against children here
  • Find out more about our work on innovation in low-income countries here