Record research funding

Funding for pioneering research at The University of Nottingham is at an all-time high with academics securing over £170million worth of new grants in the last year.

Despite the tougher climate affecting grant awards, academics at the University have secured the record funding during the last financial year, which is a 25% increase on last year’s total. This exceptional increase is a significant endorsement of the University’s national and international reputation as a research centre of excellence.

A key area which has seen an especially large increase in funding isEngineering, which has more than doubled the value of grants received on this time last year, increasing by 118%. Medicine and Health Scienceshave also brought in 38% more funding than in the previous year.

Increases in awards were also seen across the other faculties, with significant increases secured in Science (15%), Arts (9%) and Social Sciences (17%).

The University secures its funding from Research Councils, charitable foundations, Government departments, the EU, private companies, professional organisations and other grant-giving bodies. The University has doubled its awards from Research Councils in the last year, with total grants up by 87%. EU funding has gone up by 25%, funding from the UK Government has increased by 112% and funding from industry by 21.1%.

Professor Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University said: “These latest figures are excellent news and are a true reflection of the outstanding and world-changing research that is taking place at the University. Nottingham’s strong performance is a result of our continuing sustained and integrated focus on quality and research excellence. We are particularly proud of our successes which address world-leading interdisciplinary challenges while recognising these are only achieved because we continue to invest in and secure funding to strengthen an already strong core discipline base.”

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor at the University said:”The outcome represents a huge vote of confidence in our researchers on the part of the key funders of research.  The new awards will support a range of exciting and potentially transformational projects and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this research in due course.”

Significant individual grants gained this year by University of Nottingham researchers include:

  • Engineering – A new £18m national research centre into power electronics. The EPSRC National Centre of Excellence for Power Electronics, has its coordinating hub at Nottingham, led by Professor Mark Johnson, and also involves researchers at the universities of Manchester, Newcastle, Cambridge, Greenwich, Bristol, Sheffield, Strathclyde, Warwick and Imperial College London. The Centre is also working closely with industrial partners to stimulate knowledge transfer and take new components and devices from the lab to the marketplace.
  • Medicine and Health Sciences – The new £3m MRC-Arthritis UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Aging Research is a partnership between The University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham. The Centre, which is one of two new centres to be funded by the Medical Research  Council (MRC) and Arthritis Research UK, will study what goes wrong with our bones, joints, ligaments and muscles as we age; the neural and psychological changes that occur; and how diet, exercise and other interventions could help prevent frailty as we age.
  • Science – The new Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food will be led by the University’s School of Biosciences with funding worth £4.5m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Centre will look at tackling the two biggest research priorities of the 21st Century – how we can meet the world’s growing appetite for sustainable food production and how to create novel medical devices to improve healthcare.
  • Arts – The University has been successful under the Cross-Council Connected Communities Programme and by building on grants from previous years, three projects have been awarded funding focused on the development of collaborative research with community groups and external organisations such as museums, libraries and archives. The projects enable historians and archaeologists to work with different community heritage groups to explore and research different aspects of the region’s heritage. Projects include research on patterns of transport and trade on the River Trent (1859-1970) and the development and use of urban green spaces in Nottingham.  These projects were included in a national showcase of Connected Communities projects run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in March 2013. (Combined award total: £300,000 within year)

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