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Sussex physics research is worldwide top-25 “rising star”

Professor Peter Coles

Physics research at the University of Sussex has been ranked as 13th in western Europe and seventh in the UK by leading academic publishers, Nature Research, and has been profiled as one of its top-25 “rising stars” worldwide.

The Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars supplement identifies the countries and institutions showing the most significant growth in high-quality research publications, using the power of the Nature Index, which tracks the research of more than 8,000 global institutions – described as “players to watch”.

The top 100 most improved institutions in the index between 2012 and 2015 are ranked by the increase in their contribution to 68 high-quality journals. From this top 100, the supplement profiles 25 rising stars – one of which is Sussex - that are already making their mark, and have the potential to shine in coming decades.

The institutions and countries examined have increased their contribution to a selection of top natural science journals — a metric known as weighted fractional count (WFC) — from 2012 to 2015.

Mainly thanks to a quadrupling of its physical sciences score, Sussex reached 351 in the Global 500 in 2015. That represents an 83.9% rise in its contribution to index papers since 2012 — the biggest jump of any UK research organisation in the top 100 most improved institutions.

Departing Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Professor Peter Coles, said: “I am very proud of Physics at Sussex reaching this milestone.

“There’s no great mystery behind the rapid rise of the University. In 2012, we didn’t place in the first Global 500 ranking. But that year we began strategic financial investment in key disciplines - including physics and astronomy.

“The number of research staff has increased by more than 60 per cent, from 23 in 2012-13 to 40 today, and is still growing.

“Recruits have also been brought in to reinforce existing strengths in astronomy and particle physics, and to establish programmes in quantum technologies and condensed matter physics.”

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Posted on behalf of: Physics and Astronomy
Last updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2016

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