Our REF 2021 submission included 33 staff (13% early career researchers), more than double REF 2014, reflecting the vitality and continuing growth of Computer Science and Informatics at the University.

Our research income more than tripled between 2014 and 2021 and PhD completions more than doubled in the same period.

Currently, 40% of our outputs are considered interdisciplinary and by the end of the REF period, at least 77% of submitted staff were undertaking interdisciplinary research.

Results in REF 2021

  • 75% of our research outputs were judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading.
  • 83% of our impact was rated as having very considerable or outstanding reach and significance.


Impact case studies

We submitted three impact case studies demonstrating the reach and significance of our research in the following areas:

Display of heart rate monitor

Clinical outcome modelling saves thousands of lives 

The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is now mandated for use by all NHS acute hospitals and ambulance services in England, Wales and Scotland for the assessment of patients. It is based on our ongoing data science research, with only a couple of very small changes made by the Royal College of Physicians. Its introduction is estimated to save over 1,800 lives per year in England alone. NEWS has also been recommended by the World Health Organization for the clinical management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

a white and orange nao robot

Robotics research improves support for autism spectrum disorder and stroke patients

Our research has led to the introduction of new guidelines both for autism intervention and post-stroke rehabilitation. Working with international partners, our robot platform has been used by over 300 children with autistic spectrum disorder. It collects data on the child that helps their therapist with diagnosis and intervention. A similar number of stroke patients have benefited from research that enables their therapist to measure hand motion more reliably and thus improve their upper-limb motor function rehabilitation.

Young girl in wheelchair

Mobility and higher quality of life for children with disabilities

Over 2,000 children and young people with disabilities in the UK have gained improved mobility and higher quality of life due to our work. They are using mobility devices underpinned by our research into assistive technology for powered wheelchairs. Our innovative AI technology learns about the user’s capabilities and adapts to changing trends and needs, allowing some to use wheelchairs for the first time.


Infrastructure and facilities

We have four specialist labs that facilitate our research:

  • Our Networking and Cloud Computing Lab houses over 200 Cisco networking devices and a private cloud with circa 300 cores, 700 TiB of RAM and 60TiB of attached storage. In 2018, our School of Computing secured an official partnership with Cisco Systems to further support research facilities in networks and cyber-security. In 2019, the University invested £200,000 to upgrade the laboratory’s networking equipment, match-funded by Cisco.
  • The Robotics Lab contains a robot-assisted Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Intervention platform, with a diagnosis and intervention system; a computer vision-based sensing platform with eye tracker system by Elonxi; an Industrial Robotics Platform with a Sawyer robot by Rethink Robotics; and a Motor Function Rehabilitation Platform with i-limb by Touch Bionics.
  • Within the Centre for Healthcare Modelling and Informatics, the Clinical Outcomes Group (COG) operates a virtual server for the secure storage of healthcare data. COG staff have high-spec laptops to facilitate health-related data science research where specific enhanced data security policies exist.
  • The Data Science Lab was established in 2018 and includes an IBM AC922 server (with four Tesla V100s) with IBM Power AI Vision.

Collaborations and partnerships

Our collaborations and partnerships include a wide variety of national and international partners, such as:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust
  • Office of National Statistics
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Visa
  • Korean Industrial Technology Security Hub
  • Softbank Robotics Europe