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Research Environment

University Overview

Building and enhancing a research culture is at the heart of our University’s Strategic Plan 2010-2015, Theme Three. Our Research and Enterprise Offices support the delivery of the strategic plan.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor is directly supported by Head of University Research Office (URO) and four faculty directors of research. This group is at the forefront of research developments, abreast of the demands internally and externally. They also provide the framework and scope for change and implementation of the research strategy.
Research Environment

University Structure

Our University is structured into four faculties and 18 schools, each undertaking research activity specific to their subject groups. The research environment is further enhanced and focused through the internal establishment of three Research Institutes, each with a director and a collection of research centres which cover a broad subject base.

The research institutes and centres demonstrate our expertise and strengths in an array of subject areas focusing on developing research activity to provide sustainability and a platform for growth. This major investment has seen a return in the form of a 57% increase in successful applications for external research income and, a higher number of academic staff being put forward for inclusion in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Strategic Focus

The strategic research decision making process takes place through our committee structures at University and faculty level.

The University Research and Enterprise Committee and its sub-committees, The Research Degrees and the Research Ethics, deal directly with research and enterprise issues.

The Research Degree Sub Committee has the sole authority for decision making on any matters relating to postgraduate research students.

Research Student Access

Our current research student portfolio is over 550 students, studying full and part-time on a variety of research degrees. This academic year (12/13) saw 53 postgraduate research students successfully complete their programme of study.

Staff Development

Our University is committed to the development of its staff, and operates in compliance with the Concordat and Researcher Development Framework. Through Human Resources (HR) and the URO/UEO we enable our staff to deliver high levels of performance by promoting and providing development opportunities which are reviewed through our Performance and Development Review (PDR) process. 

There are also biennial promotion calls for suitably qualified staff to the roles of Reader and Professor as part of our on-going commitment to the research vibrancy of our university. Both early career researchers and those further into their careers are offered a wide range of development and participate in a lively research culture at Faculty and School level as well as in university-level events.

Continual Professional Development

Continual professional development through the Enterprise Academy and the Research Hub will equip our staff and research students with the necessary skills and attributes to be able to succeed in their chosen career paths. The URO implement several competitive schemes to build research careers such as; Early Career Research Development, Research Leadership and Research Cluster Development Awards. 

These schemes also promote collaboration across our University and in the wider research environment. Internal investment in addition to our external research income is an important contributor to increasing our internal structures, facilities and equipment, research profile, reputation and in the development of academic staff.

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