Our new research strategy


December 9th, 2015

The University’s Research Strategy 2015-2020 signals our ambition to be recognised for our world-class research based on both research excellence and quality. This new Research Strategy focuses on our researchers and teams across all of our campuses to enable you to advance your research in critical and emerging areas. It aims to support you to deliver your research, develop your careers, and to support the next generation of research leaders.

By establishing five Global Research Themes (GRTs) with associated Research Priority Areas (RPAs), excellent interdisciplinary research will flourish, and emerging research priorities will be supported so that we remain at the forefront of world-class research.

Key to the success of the strategy is the focus on collaboration within the University and with leading groups world-wide, enabling you to strive for novel solutions to global research challenges.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Faculty of Science), said: “The new Research Strategy aims to support our researchers to work together in collaborative teams to tackle major societal and industrial problems. We greatly respect the core research embedded across our schools and centres and hope that our Global Research Themes will open opportunities to form new teams that make the most of our comprehensive and collaborative University.”

Global Research Themes

The five Global Research Themes represent the breadth of world-class research across the whole of the University and are the basis for how we both focus and promote our research offering. The themes are:

  • Cultures and Communication, led by Prof Svenja Adolphs, focuses on the role of communication and culture in society, exploring key issues that are central to any kind of human endeavour in a connected globalised world, including identity, creativity, heritage, diversity and health.
  • Digital Futures, led by Prof Sarah Sharples, aiming to revolutionise the use of data and technology for safer and healthier lives.
  • Health and Wellbeing, led by Prof Victoria Chapman, which aims to increase health and wellbeing along the lifespan by advancing our understanding of development, healthy ageing and disease.
  • Sustainable Societies, led by Prof Georgina Endfield, which aims to find sustainable solutions to the world’s most urgent political, social, environmental and economic problems through informing research agendas and shaping policies.
  • Transformative Technologies, led by Prof Neil Champness, which aims to deliver technologies to transform this generation and the next.

These interdisciplinary themes will enable you to work together, across traditional academic boundaries, to find innovative solutions to these global research challenges.

Research Priority Areas

Each Research Priority Area is associated with at least one Global Research Theme, and represents a specific area of research within the University. The RPAs are interdisciplinary and cross-faculty areas of excellence and will be the driving force behind the delivery of the Research Strategy. We have identified 31 Research Priority Areas, and these span the broad range of research excellence in the University. Full details of all the RPAs can be found under associated GRTs on our website.

How to get involved

The RPAs are inclusive groups, open to all interested researchers. Further details about the scope and focus of each RPA can be found through the RPA leads, who are listed on the Research website.

Each month between now and March, we will post academic profiles of our five GRT leads, for you to find out who they are, their own research and what it means to lead one of the University’s five Global Research Themes. Visit our Research Exchange blog for a profile of Professor Georgina Endfield, GRT Lead for Sustainable Societies.

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