Queen’s No1 research ranking hailed as vet school decision looms

Queen’s No1 research ranking hailed as vet school decision looms

Queen’s has been ranked first in the UK for its research in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science, with Biomedical Sciences taking fourth spot in the prestigious Research Excellence Framework (REF) ratings.

University researchers based at the Institute for Global Food Security and School of Biomedical Sciences in Chlorine Gardens were hailed as “world-leading” and “internationally excellent”.

The results are based on research carried out across all UK universities every six to seven years, with Queen’s coming out top despite not having a dedicated veterinary school.

Hailing the announcement, Professor Nigel Scollan, above, Director of IGFS said: “This is evidence of the world-leading quality of the research conducted in our Institute and the richness and depth of partnerships with industry, governments and others to deliver impact which makes real difference to our society.”

Professor Geoff McMullan, Head of School for SBS said: “This is an endorsement of our research culture and our research environment, and I would like to thank the University for its continued investment. I would also like to congratulate all my colleagues, from post-graduate research students through to the Principal Investigators, all our support staff and technicians, on this amazing achievement.”

The news is particularly significant given that DAERA is examining an ‘analysis of options’ for what would be the first dedicated veterinary school in Northern Ireland, with Queen’s and Ulster University both options.

Speaking last year about the fact that the region is to at last get its own dedicated facility, Nigel Scollan said: “This is very welcome news. The need for a veterinary school for Northern Ireland is evident and pressing and the strategic timing is very appropriate.

“There is considerable relevant expertise already based within Queen’s, AFBI [Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute], Ulster University, CAFRE [College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise], DAERA, and within the commercial animal-health sector to deliver a veterinary curriculum and contribute to wider health and life sciences.

“As well as providing skilled professionals, a veterinary school would deliver research and innovation activities that would drive economic growth and attract inward investment.”

Queen’s University also scored very highly in other disciplines in REF 2021 including Health, Biomedical Sciences and Law, which all came in the UK Top 10.

Read more in the latest edition of Northern Ireland Veterinary Today.