Published: 12 May 2022 | Last Updated: 20 May 2022 12:06:25

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated its breadth and depth of research excellence, celebrating 88% of research being rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), according to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results.

The results highlight the increasing relevance of the RVC’s research to society, with 83% of RVC’s impact being scored 4*, and 7.5 of the 9 impact case studies submitted found to have “outstanding reach and significance”.

Additional highlights from the results include:

  • A 54% increase in the number of full time equivalent academic staff submitted since the last assessment – establishing the RVC as the largest veterinary research institution in the country
  • An increase in the proportion of our research scored as world-leading and internationally excellent in all categories of REF 2021, compared with 2014 results, including 17% improvement on the impact of its research, an 11% rise in its research output and an 11% increase in overall performance.

The impact case studies submitted by the RVC covered a broad range of research areas, including those which advance clinical practice; protect public health by enhancing food safety; inform World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation policy on the control of disease afflicting some of poorest people in the world; and tackle antimicrobial resistance through innovations in drug delivery. Many of these are underpinned by the RVC’s One Health approach to research, the importance of which has been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results also highlight the RVC’s holistic and transdisciplinary approach to research, with researchers, teachers, clinicians and pathologists working collaboratively to ensure ‘real world’ impact and advances in clinical practice.

Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President and Principal of the RVC, said:

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the REF2021 exercise – as a specialist institution with a clinical focus, the challenge of addressing the scientific spectrum, from fundamental research to clinical application, is at the very core of our mission. Knowing that we are assessed as delivering to that agenda by our peers is important and encourages us to continue our efforts of making meaningful impact on animal and human health globally.”

Professor Oliver Pybus FRS, Vice Principal for Research and Innovation and Professor of Infectious Diseases at the RVC, said:

“I am delighted that the REF2021 results reflect the strength, scale, and diversity of research undertaken at RVC. I warmly congratulate the RVC’s researchers and celebrate their achievements, which are enriched by our commitments to world-leading teaching and clinical service, and supported by fantastic teams of non-academic staff.”

Professor Jonathan Elliott, Professor of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology at the RVC, said:

“REF 2021 has recognised the outstanding reach and significance of the impact of our research which is so pleasing to see. I know all my academic colleagues are motivated to innovate in order to make a difference to lives of people and those of the animals they keep. Our submission truly reflects the breadth of scholarship at the RVC which generates the new knowledge we teach our students, the high quality of which has been endorsed by this external review.”

Notes to Editors

The RVC’s REF case studies can be viewed at: 

For more information, please contact:

About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in line with the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2022.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • A research led institution with 83% its research being scored 4*, and 7.5 of the 9 impact case studies submitted found to have “outstanding reach and significance in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

You may also be interested in:

Top of page