LSTM’s outstanding research partnerships and public and third sector work recognised by Knowledge Exchange Framework

News article 27 Sep 2023

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has performed strongly in the third Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF3) results, with particularly outstanding scores for its research partnerships and work with the public and third sector.

LSTM has scored very highly – the highest possible grade – in these two categories, maintaining its excellent results achieved in the previous KEF.

LSTM’s commitment to local growth and regeneration has also been recognised, receiving a significantly improved high engagement score for this category from KEF2. LSTM makes a significant contribution to the place-based local economic growth agenda, supporting SMEs in the Liverpool City Region, and leading the development of large capital projects such as Pembroke House here in Liverpool as well as internationally such as investment in the CREATOR project in Malawi.

KEF, published by Research England, provides unique and important public information on the rich and diverse ways English universities continue to engage with society and our economy, locally, nationally, and internationally.

David Lalloo, Director of LSTM, said: “We are pleased that our innovative and impactful engagement with communities and businesses has been recognised in the third Knowledge Exchange Framework results. Our mission to tackle the greatest global health challenges can only be achieved by developing equitable partnerships that translate our world-class research into practice and policy, both here on Merseyside and across the world.

“These strong KEF results are another important accolade for LSTM in our 125th anniversary year, following an outstanding REF, designation by the Office for Students as one of 21 world-leading specialist providers and our recent shortlisting for the THE Awards’ University of The Year.”

Giancarlo Biagini, Dean of Research & Innovation at LSTM, said: “The Knowledge Excellence Framework is the sector benchmark for how the impact of knowledge exchange and its contributions to economic and societal development is measured. Our excellent results for the third year running demonstrate LSTM’s commitment to Knowledge Exchange and in particular those metrics that align with our strategy, mission and values.”


LSTM was part of the first KEF pilot, announced in 2019, and has continued to be involved in each annual assessment.

KEF demonstrates the range of valuable activities universities conduct with external partners across seven perspectives. These perspectives include working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, local growth, public and community engagement and how HE commercialises research. It also demonstrates the diversity of universities that deliver important activities for our economy and society.

The latest Knowledge Exchange Framework results allow year-by-year comparison for the first time, showcasing new capabilities to highlight improvement areas.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “Across the breadth of higher education, institutions make rich and diverse contributions to the economy and society through their knowledge exchange activities.

“Research England is delighted to announce today the publication of the latest version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF3). The KEF continues to be a powerful tool to describe the breadth of scope of knowledge exchange. It also provides important evidence of different university strengths through peer group comparisons. KEF is now in its third year and the method has been rigorously tested and begins to give us a picture of changes in performance over time. Research England’s knowledge exchange experts have presented some findings from KEF3 on comparative trends in the important government priority area of business engagement, as a taster of how it may be used as an analytical tool on sector performance dynamics. I look forward to discussion on how we can use the KEF further as we gather data over multiple years.”

Read more about KEF 3 on the Research England website.

To speak to LSTM’s knowledge exchange team about the KEF or to discuss knowledge exchange activities, please contact