The University of Southampton

Making research count

We were delighted to feature in the latest edition of the University of Southampton’s  Re:action publication, which this week celebrated the submission of the REF, in which our work was also highlighted.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the research taking place across UK universities. Every six or seven years, institutions are asked to submit examples of their best research to be assessed by panels of academics and industry experts. Each of 34 subject areas is awarded up to four stars. The process is designed to ensure that public money is spent effectively.

LifeLab's Dr Kath Woods-Townsend facilitates an online session
LifeLab’s Dr Kath Woods-Townsend facilitates an online session

We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to include LifeLab’s work and talk about how we have reinvented our offer to young people whilst continuing to empower them to make good decisions about their own health.


In the Re:action magazine, our programme lead Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend gives an overview of how the programme has had to pivot from its usual hands-on interactive approach, to a operating in a virtual world.

“We had to pause our hands-on practical activities in March 2020, but we weren’t going to let that stop us helping young people,” said Dr Woods-Townsend. “We are committed to giving them a voice and a chance to explain what they are feeling about the pandemic, its impact on their lives and how they felt they could be better supported during lockdown.”

The article was also a chance for the team to reflect on what they had achieved over the past year, and look forward to how we will use the lessons learned to shape our future.