NOC’s research evaluated as world class

Research carried out by scientists at the National Oceanography Centre is “world class”.

That is the verdict of an independent panel of experts in a detailed evaluation exercise, the results of which are published today. It further underlines NOC’s reputation as an internationally, front-ranked oceanographic research institute.

The evaluation was commissioned by the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) owner, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to measure the quality and impact of science carried out by its centres, as well as the standard of research environment they offer.

The results for NOC, covering the period 2007 to 2012, show that two-thirds of its research outputs assessed were judged to be “agenda-setting” or of “international standard”, with more than three-quarters of the case studies submitted demonstrating “outstanding” or “very considerable impact in terms of their reach and significance”.

The research environment at NOC also scored very highly, and well above the level deemed to be “conducive to producing research and impact of internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability”.

Professor Ed Hill, Executive Director of the National Oceanography Centre, welcomed the findings. He said “This rigorous, independent evaluation – conducted by a peer-assessment panel, on the basis of evidence submitted – confirms the international standing of the National Oceanography Centre. The findings will assist our continuing drive to strengthen even further the quality of our science. I am very proud of the achievements of our outstanding researchers.”

The centre evaluation was commissioned by NERC’s Chief Executive and followed a methodology based on the Research Excellence Framework (REF) which, from 2014, will assess the quality and impact of research at UK Universities. The evaluation will form the basis of action plans that NERC’s research centres will use to make improvements where necessary.

The NERC Research Centre Evaluation results follow hard on the heels of separate findings from the Nature Publishing Index. The leading science journal ranks NOC in the world’s top 100 institutions for earth and environmental science, contributing to the UK’s status as second only to the United States among countries producing high impact published scientific research.

Further details of the NERC Research Centre Evaluation can be found at