Archaeology REF showcase

Compilation of books

The REF2021 results have now been released and the performance by archaeology was outstanding. 96.8% of our research outputs and 100% of our impact case-studies were judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. This is the direct result of an ambitious research strategy that we have enacted since the last REF with fantastic support from the School of Humanities and the College of Arts.  This success has been built on teamwork across all of our community, not just research academics but also learning and teaching staff, technicians, our admin team, post-doctoral researchers, postgraduate research students and affiliate and Honorary staff. All of our research staff contributed at least one publication to the outstanding output rating we received but this would not have been possible without the support network around them. It should be noted that all of this was achieved while continuing our reputation for teaching excellence with some 400 students studying with us each year. 

A fundamental aspect of our ethos is our commitment to collaborative, collegiate research and this is reflected in research projects that formed an important element of our REF submission. The Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot (SERF) Project was a major research project across the REF review period and monographs, papers and an impact case-study were derived from this work. Crucially, work towards all of these was done in collaboration with our drawing and lab technicians, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, and learning and teaching colleagues; at least six staff members were main authors on SERF publications. This thriving collegiate culture is also highlighted by research in the Near East, with multiple publications, major grant capture, and impactful activities focused in Kurdistan and Mesopotamia, again with multiple staff leading internationally renowned work in these areas working together as a close team, notably with a cluster of early career researchers.  Other major research and impact outputs have been generated from field and thematic projects in Italy, Cyprus, Ireland, Scotland and England, with a particular emphasis on the prehistoric and historic archaeologies of landscape and environments, material culture, digital and computational archaeology. These are underpinned by a commitment to ‘engaged archaeology’ that strives to extend archaeological practice beyond its traditional disciplinary and social boundaries reflected in our extremely strong REF2021 ratings for research impact.

This showcase will be added to in the coming weeks and months after REF results day so please revisit from time to time to find out more!