Research Data

Brexit Resource Centre

Free access to research, data and analysis

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Elsevier is providing free access to data, metrics and other resources to help monitor any effects of Brexit on the global research community. We hope researchers, institutions, funders and government in the UK and beyond will find these resources helpful. The site will be updated as new data becomes available.

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Updated on 17 January 2017


UK Research Factsheet 2011-2015

Resources, output, growth, impact, collaboration, mobility

UK Research Factsheet 2011-2015 Q4 2016The UK Research Factsheet collates data from public and commercial sources since 2011.  Data are presented as familiar indicators, used by institutions, funders, and governments. These pages will be updated quarterly as new data are published, to illustrate any effect which might be attributable to the UK’s intended withdrawal from the European Union (‘Brexit’) and thereby provide evidence to support strategies which might be developed appropriately.

Data are presented as familiar indicators used by institutions, funders and government. The graphs below illustrate a few of the more than 50 indicators on which we are reporting. You can also download the raw data.

Here are some highlights:

  • The UK’s research workforce has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%. In 2015 there were over 280,000 researcher FTEs in the UK, while nearly 23,000 PhD students graduated that same year with the number of PhD graduates growing at a slightly higher rate than the researcher workforce.
    The UK's research workforce has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%. In 2015 there were over 280,000 researcher FTEs in the UK, while nearly 23,000 PhD students graduated that same year with the number of PhD graduates growing at a slightly higher rate than the researcher workforce. (Source: OECD and HESA)
  • The UK’s total awards volume has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%, to just over £5.3 billion in 2015. Funding from the UK accounts for 76.4% of this total and has grown at 3.6% CAGR, while funding from the EU represents 15.5% and has grown at 13% CAGR. Awards volume calculates the value of awards from external funding bodies using aggregated values of awards over the award lifetime (i.e., it considers the total value awarded at the time of award and not the value spent in any particular time period).

The UK's total awards volume has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%, to just over £5.3 billion in 2015. Funding from the UK accounts for 76.4% of this total and has grown at 3.6% CAGR, while funding from the EU represents 15.5% and has grown at 13% CAGR. Awards volume calculates the value of awards from external funding bodies using aggregated values of awards over the award lifetime (i.e., it considers the total value awarded at the time of award and not the value spent in any particular time period). (Source: HESA)

  • The UK’s IP Volume has been growing between 2011 and 2015 at 6.0 % CAGR, approaching 250,000. Its share of world patent citations (to scholarly output) increased by more than 2 percentage points to 11.2% of the world total between 2011 and 2015. The UK’s IP Volume has been growing between 2011 and 2015 at 6.0 % CAGR, approaching 250,000.

View the full UK Research Factsheet

Archived quarterly UK Research Factsheets


Social media data

Elsevier has licensed TalkWalker for social media monitoring. The data in all the modules below are based on the search queries of Brexit (or EU Referendum) combined with research, funding and academia topics. The results are from public posts on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. You can hover over the TalkWalker modules, which are embedded below, to see more details. The modules refresh every 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated.

  • Query 1 (Research): lang:en (research OR researcher OR researchers) AND (science OR scientist OR scientists OR academia OR academic OR academics) AND (brexit OR euref OR "EU referendum"). The results aggregated from this query have at least one combination of these terms visible in the message or body of each post.
  • Query 2 (Funding): lang:en (funding OR grant OR grants) AND (brexit OR euref OR "EU referendum") AND (research). The results aggregated from this query have at least one combination of these terms visible in the message or body of each post.

These queries have been refined to pull results and data that are relevant to the research community.

Social media posts and share of sentiment

The charts below show the total social media posts within the search queries described above, split by sentiment, from 1 June to the current date. The indicator line marks the polling date of the EU Referendum.

The sentiment associated with an article or post is determined by TalkWalker's proprietary Natural Language Processing algorithms. As a default, a generic sentiment analysis is calculated for each result based on TalkWalker's own sentiment analysis. All articles and posts are then attributed a positive, neutral or negative sentiment.



This version of the graph shows the share of each sentiment for social media posts on a weekly basis.

This version shows the total percentage of sentiment for social media posts since June 1.

Posts by search topic

This chart shows the social media posts separated by the search queries above: Research and Funding. Selected peak activity within the topics has been identified and noted below.

  • 24 June: View the top content in the Research and Funding queries posted on social media this day.
  • 28 June: View the top content in the Funding query posted on social media this day.
  • 2 August: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.
  • 24 October: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.
  • 26 October: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.
  • 18 November: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.
  • 21 November: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.
  • 8 February: View the top content in the Research query posted on social media this day.

Top influencers on social media

This table represents the most influential social media accounts based on the engagement level of their posts within the search queries. TalkWalker determines the engagement of an article or post by calculating the sum of actions made by others on that article or post. The Facebook Engagement Rate is: ((Number of Likes + Number of Comments + Number of Shares by others) / Number of Fans) * 100. Twitter Engagement Rate is: ((Number of Retweets by others) / Number of Followers) * 100.

September 2016: Click here to view the posts from top influencers accounts listed by top engagement.

February 2017: Click here to view the posts from top influencers accounts listed by top engagement.


Media data and coverage

Using LexisNexis Newsdesk, we are monitoring traditional print and online media output on the topic of Brexit (or EU Referendum) in combination with common research, funding and academia themes.

The search queries, specified below, are run across all English-language print and online sources available through LexisNexis Newsdesk; sentiment analyses are determined using Lexalytics, a third-party analytics provider.

You can hover over the charts and data points to view the full articles included for a specific analysis output. Please note that pay-walled news content will only be available to LexisNexis Newsdesk subscribers and will prompt login, and that the English-language search criterion will influence the output reflected. Charts are updated every 15 minutes.

  • LexisNexis Newsdesk search query around research: (MULTIPLE/2:(science OR scientists OR scientist OR scientific OR scientifically OR academic OR "higher education" OR scholar OR "UK research" OR "horizon 2020" OR horizon2020 OR "EU research" OR "brain drain" OR "brain drains") AND ((science OR scientists OR scientist OR scientific OR scientifically OR academic* OR "higher education" OR scholar* OR "UK research*" OR "horizon 2020" OR horizon2020 OR "EU research*" OR "brain drain" OR "brain drains") NEAR/20 (post-brexit OR bremain OR brexit* OR euref* OR "EU referendum" OR "june referendum" OR "UK referendum" OR "european referendum")) AND MULTIPLE/2:(post-brexit OR bremain OR brexit OR eureferendum OR "EU referendum" OR "june referendum" OR "UK referendum" OR "european referendum"))
  • LexisNexis Newsdesk search query around funding: ((funding OR grant OR grants) AND (MULTIPLE/2:(science OR scientists OR scientist OR scientific OR scientifically OR academic OR "higher education" OR scholar OR "UK research" OR "horizon 2020" OR horizon2020 OR "EU research" OR "brain drain" OR "brain drains") AND ((science OR scientists OR scientist OR scientific OR scientifically OR academic* OR "higher education" OR scholar* OR "UK research*" OR "horizon 2020" OR horizon2020 OR "EU research*" OR "brain drain" OR "brain drains") NEAR/20 (post-brexit OR bremain OR brexit* OR euref* OR "EU referendum" OR "june referendum" OR "UK referendum" OR "european referendum")) AND MULTIPLE/2:(post-brexit OR bremain OR brexit OR eureferendum OR "EU referendum" OR "june referendum" OR "UK referendum" OR "european referendum")))

NOTE: NEAR/20 means that the science terms should appear within 20 words from the Brexit terms. The terms should appear at least twice (MULTIPLE/2) to generate a hit.


Top downloaded articles

Of the articles published by Elsevier that reference Brexit, these are the most downloaded from ScienceDirect with an online publication date through November 2016. We have made them freely available:

Articles on the impact of Brexit on the research sector

  1. Nayanah Siva: UK researchers digest the fallout from Brexit, The Lancet (July 2016)

Research articles featuring Brexit / impact of Brexit on fields of research

  1. Georg Winkel and Jakob Derks: The nature of Brexit. How the UK exiting the European Union could affect European forest and (forest related) environmental policy, Forest Policy and Economics (September 2016)
  2. Barbara Casassus: Guidelines cause UK health charities to be silent on Brexit, The Lancet (June 2016)  
  3. Monique Ebell, Ian Hurst and James Warren: Modelling the long-run economic impact of leaving the European Union, Economic Modelling (December 2016)
  4. Banu Gökarıksel and Sara Smith: Information exchanges: regulatory changes to the cyber-security industry after Brexit: Making security awareness training work, Computer Fraud & Security (July 2016)
  5. Veit Bachmann, James D. Sidaway: Brexit geopolitics, Geoforum (December 2016) – Review article
  6. Artur Tielmann, Dirk Schiereck : Arising borders and the value of logistic companies: Evidence from the Brexit referendum in Great Britain, Finance Research Letters (August 2016) – Research article

Editorials and other non-peer reviewed articles about Brexit

  1. Brexit and junior doctors' contracts: the real threats to the NHS, Editorial, The Lancet (July 2016)
  2. Josep Tabernero and Fortunato Ciardiello: Brexit: A European Perspective, Comment, The Lancet Oncology (May 2016)
  3. Richard Horton: Offline: The meanings of Brexit, Discussion, The Lancet (July 2016)
  4. Impact of Brexit on cancer care and research, Editorial, The Lancet Oncology (April 2016)
  5. Europe: Taking Back Control, Editorial, The Lancet (June 2016)
  6. Peter Selby et al: The EU: what's best for UK cancer research and patients? Comment, The Lancet Oncology (May 2016)
  7. Dmitri Nepogodiev: UK surgical trainees will continue to support European research collaboration, Correspondence, The Lancet (August 2016)
  8. Suzanne J. Boyes, Michael Elliott: Brexit: The marine governance horrendogram just got more horrendous, Viewpoint, Marine Pollution Bulletin (October 2016)  
  9. Neurology in the aftermath of Brexit, Editorial, The Lancet Neurology (September 2016)
  10. Brexit and Translational Research, Editorial, EBioMedicine (August 2016)  
  11. Looking beyond Brexit: union without Union, Editorial, The Lancet Infectious Diseases (November 2016)
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