Global impact: Research Excellence Framework success for Classical and Archaeological Studies

The Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies has always been proud of the real-world impact of its research and is delighted that 100% of its impact case studies have been assessed as world-leading by expert panellists in the Research Excellence Framework 2021. The Times Higher Education has ranked Classical & Archaeological Studies at Kent 6th in the UK in its subject league table. 

The case studies document the positive impact that the Department’s research has had across the world, working with diverse bodies including national governments and international charities and organisations.

The expert panel also judged that 85% of the Department’s research, and over 80% of the Department’s research publications, were world leading or internationally excellent.

The research of the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies at Kent ranges across the areas of Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology, and Heritage. Through its Impact Case Studies, researchers have transformed the work of heritage professionals and engaged local communities worldwide in the goal of making heritage sustainable for the future. At an international level, the case studies have contributed to UNESCO policy, the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit. Expert academic staff have provided heritage training in more than 50 countries and their research has shaped professional practice and public policy in archaeology and heritage management globally.

More widely, the Department’s research has benefited public bodies and general audiences in diverse ways. Funded collaborative doctoral awards incorporating work placements have contributed to the goals of heritage organisations by researching their collections and training future professionals. The Department has worked with schools and museums to make the past more understandable and accessible for multiple audiences. Projects have led to exhibitions showcasing innovative museum practice and proposals for sustainable development. Staff have also contributed their expertise to educational resources, theatre productions, national festivals, and TV and radio.

The REF2021 results are the latest in a series of successes for the Department, whose achievements since 2014 include multiple national and international research collaborations, funded PhD scholarships for twenty-five students, and over £1M in grant income.

Head of Department, Dr Kelli Rudolph, said ‘This is a fantastic endorsement of our collective vision to undertake research that has significant impact on the lives of real people. We are immensely proud of our colleagues’ achievements in nurturing an open, collective, and collaborative research community to make our disciplines accessible to all. Classical & Archaeological Studies is extremely grateful to the partners and collaborators with whom we have worked, and we are proud of the achievements we have built together. We look forward to celebrating the incredible success of our whole research community: the technicians, postgraduate students, professional services colleagues, researchers, and librarians, who have made these achievements possible.”

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