Making science work for development

The Global Impact of UK Research

This collection of our top 20 favourite impact stories shows how UK research is improving the lives of people around the world

These stories were selected from the 6,975 impact case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system that’s used to assess the research quality of all UK universities. Our judges reviewed this massive database and picked the top 20 most impressive examples of UK research contributing to global development. A team of science writers worked with the relevant researchers and universities to re-write the case studies into engaging stories.

Amongst the 20 impact stories are research projects on using bees to stop hungry elephants, halting bird flu, painful tropical diseases and bringing peace to Nepal. These stories demonstrate just how important research is to inclusive, sustainable development.

Impact stories



These top 20 summaries were chosen by the UKCDS Secretariat and are based on narratives of impact written by the universities themselves. If you see any information which you think needs amending, please infoatukcds [dot] org [dot] uk (let us know).

We also analysed the REF case studies to understand the impact of UK research. Read our analysis report to learn more.