The University of Bristol (abbreviated as Bris. in post-nominal letters, sometimes referred to as Bristol University) is a red brick research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1909, and its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876. Bristol is organised into six academic faculties composed of multiple schools and departments running over 200 undergraduate courses situated in the Clifton area along with three of its nine halls of residence. The other six halls are located in Stoke Bishop, an outer city suburb located 1.8 miles away. The university had a total income of £530.9 million in 2014/15, of which £148.4 million was from research grants and contracts. It is the largest independent employer in Bristol. The University of Bristol is ranked 11th in the UK for its research, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 by GPA. The University of Bristol is ranked 37th by the QS World University Rankings 2015-16, and is ranked amongst the top ten of UK universities by QS, THE, and ARWU. A highly selective institution, it has an average of 6.4 (Sciences faculty) to 13.1 (Medicine & Dentistry Faculty) applicants for each undergraduate place. The University of Bristol is the youngest British university to be ranked among the top 40 institutions in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. Current academics include 21 fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, 13 fellows of the British Academy, 13 fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 44 fellows of the Royal Society.[ The university has been associated with 12 Nobel laureates throughout its history, including Paul Dirac, Sir William Ramsay, Cecil Frank Powell, Sir Winston Churchill, Dorothy Hodgkin, Hans Albrecht Bethe, Max Delbrück, Gerhard Herzberg, Sir Nevill Francis Mott, Harold Pinter, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio and Angus Deaton. Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities, the European-wide Coimbra Group and the Worldwide Universities Network, of which the university's previous vice-chancellor, Eric Thomas, was chairman from 2005 to 2007. In addition, the university holds an Erasmus Charter, sending more than 500 students per year to partner institutions in Europe.