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LSE confirmed its position as a world-leading research university, with an outstanding performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). An analysis of the results show LSE  at the top, or close to the top, of a number of rankings of research quality. It is:

  •  the top university in the UK based on the proportion of ‘world leading’ (4*) research produced.
  • second in the UK overall when universities are ranked using a ‘grade point average’ (GPA) 
  • the top university in its social science disciplines, whether using a GPA or the percentage of research receiving the top 4* grade as a measure
  • joint second when universities are ranked according to the percentage of research receiving either a 4* or 3* (internationally excellent) grade.

This is the first year where the UK’s national research assessment has taken account of the impact of universities’ research on public life, as well as its quality. Using these specific measures, LSE is:

  • ranked as the top university in the UK for research quality both when using an average score or using the percentage of output receiving the top 4* grade
  • the top university for impact in its social science disciplines, whether judged on GPA or the proportion of research impact awarded 4*. 

There are currently 19 research centres| and numerous smaller units at the School, ranging from large multidisciplinary centres with substantial financial support to small units with more modest resources. Most of LSE's research centres and units are financed by research councils, charitable foundations, industry or commerce. There are three centres funded mainly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Others are funded through public or private partnerships.

LSE's Research Lab| is the base for more than 260 staff - one of the largest concentrations of applied economic, financial and social researchers anywhere in the world. The Lab includes the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, the Centre for Economic Performance, the Financial Markets Group and the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines.

See Academic Departments| and Research Centres| indexes.

See also Research and expertise| for quick access to the full range of social science research and expertise available online at LSE.