Amid a host of Birmingham success stories in REF 2014, the Department of History’s results stood out as being particularly exceptional. Ranked first overall in the country by Times Higher Education, Birmingham’s history research scored highly for output, impact and environment – a rare example of across-the-board excellence.
This success, according to Professor Matthew Hilton, Director of Research for the College of Arts and Law at the time of the REF submission, can be put down to two main factors. ‘First, and most importantly, the quality of staff is exceptional,’ says Professor Hilton. ‘In recent years we have made a number of strategic appointments, taking advantage of our extensive network of contacts and knowledge of the global marketplace to appoint some very talented young researchers from institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale.