RNCM consolidates position as a leading conservatoire for research activity

The results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) have been released this week, consolidating the Royal Northern College of Music’s position as one of the leading UK conservatoires for research activity.

Overseen by Research England, the REF is a peer-review exercise that evaluates the quality of research in UK higher education institutions through three categories: research outputs, impact, and research environment.

Data from the 2021 results show the RNCM to be the only UK music conservatoire to have all its research environment graded as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), confirming the College as an excellent location to undertake and benefit from music research.

Professor Barbara Kelly, Director of Research, commented: ‘The RNCM is recognised worldwide for its innovative approach to research, which remains a cornerstone of the musical creativity and experimentation that flourishes here.

‘Over the past 10 years we have paved the way in this area, securing significant funding for projects such as Ensemble+, PRiSM and StART Entrepreneurship, developing enviable partnerships through initiatives including the International Benchmarking Group and Interplay, and enhancing our facilities to ensure we can continue to deliver a world-class research experience. This has been borne out by a ten-fold increase in annual grant income from 2013/14 to 2019/20.’

Professor Linda Merrick added: ‘The strengths highlighted with this year’s REF results are an important achievement in a year in which we make our application for Research Degree Awarding Powers and testament to the incredible staff we have working across the College.’

The peer review of the RNCM’s research outputs saw 30.6% classified as world-leading (4*) with an additional 30.6% recognised as internationally excellent (3*).  Research has become more mainstream, with 19.61 FTE staff returned to REF, against 10.78 in 2014.

To learn more about research at the RNCM, click here.


12 May 2022