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Our academic excellence

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is a leading academic research centre in the UK and has achieved many awards that recognise the excellence of our teaching and research.

Students working in the library at Sutton (Jan Chlebik for the ICR, 2011)

REF success

We came second in the Times Higher Education league table of university research quality, impact and environment compiled from the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

The ICR was ranked as best in biological sciences, and the third-leading higher education institution in the UK for the impact of our research on society – thanks to our strategy of combining world-class basic cancer research with a determination to take discoveries to patients.

Teaching excellence

The excellence of our teaching has been recognised by the award of institution-specific funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Institution-specific funding is additional and discretionary funding currently provided by HEFCE to a small number of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions. It is intended to recognise the higher cost and distinctive nature of small and specialist higher education providers, and the public value that these institutions bring to the sector.

The award specifically recognised the world-leading environment of the ICR and its partner organisation and the contribution of the institution’s graduates to the public good.

Other academic achievements

The fourth annual U-Multirank ranking of 1,268 higher education institutions around the world listed the ICR fifth overall in the 'Research and Research Linkages' table.

The ICR was awarded the top A-grade in six of the seven major categories used in this ranking, and was also ranked extremely highly in the specific categories of ‘Citation rate’, ‘Top cited publications’, ‘Co-publications with industrial partners’ and ‘Publications cited in patents’.

Analysis by Thomson Reuters Evidence has showed that our research has had unrivalled influence on our academic peers.

Our research papers in both biological sciences and clinical medicine were more likely to be cited than those of any other higher education institution in the UK. Together with The Royal Marsden, we also rank as one of the top centres in the world for cancer research and treatment.