As the term closes, it is a time to reflect on our research achievements over this period and consider where we need to continue to develop. Planning for the Research Excellence Framework is well underway, with this term focusing on assessment of the quality of outputs. This has meant much peer and external review and the level of engagement has been excellent. It means we are able to map our potential entry, and it is clear that future focus should be on increasing 4 star work.
We have achieved some substantial research funding successes, alongside the news this term of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy, we are aware of other successful consortia bids to be announced of which we are a part. This focus on large, multi-partner bids is increasingly important and we need to continue to ensure we establish key partnerships and are able to support the complexity of those administratively. To this end, the Research and Enterprise team has reorganised its structure to enable better support by organising around areas of core expertise; research funding, contracts and intellectual property management, sector-facing business and partnership development.
Last week, our Global Challenges Research Fund strategy submitted to Research England was highlighted as one of ten commended university strategies. Under the leadership of the Science Associate Dean (Research), Professor Tamar Pincus, it has seen the formation of cluster champions in Sustainable Development, Sustainable Societies, Human Rights, and Impact Chains.
We have also responded to the challenges of the government’s industrial strategy by supporting Enterprise and Innovation Institutes in Information Security, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data; Quantum Technology, Seed and Plant Technology and Digital Creativity. These are supported through our HEIF funding and through the local LEP, Enterprise M3 which is supporting plans for a new Enterprise Centre on campus.
Finally, our research students form an important part of our research culture. Last Friday, Planning and Resources Committee allocated £1.7 million for new research student scholarships. With continuing students, this means we will spend £5.2 million next year on research student support.
Professor Katie Normington
Deputy Principal (Academic)