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Our future - Research and Discovery

14 Jul 2022

What we've achieved in the Research and Discovery theme of our strategic plan and what's next

Women in lab with test tube

Our aim is to continue to produce world-class research with impact which yields economic, environmental, health, social and cultural benefits across the world.

To deliver our strategic vision we are committed to accelerating interdisciplinary research, developing research leadership and creativity, open and responsible research environment, inspiring student learning with our research-intensive environment. 

You can find out more about our theme plan.

Achievements to July 2022

Our REF2021 results signal that our strategy continues to head in the right direction with its focus on research quality, impact, and an environment which enables researchers to thrive at all career stages.

Accelerating interdisciplinary research  

There has been further expansion in our interdisciplinary research collaborations, including: 

  • Launching the Sustainable Futures platform, which brings together the unique depth and breadth of internationally leading research and builds on our University’s track record of successful interdisciplinary working, to produce integrated and truly sustainable solutions to urgent environmental challenges.
  • Launching the GM Policy Hub within our policy@Manchester platform - a dedicated resource for GM policymakers to access academic expertise to help inform evidence-based policymaking.
  • Our Creative Manchester, Digital Futures and Sustainable Futures platforms were awarded HEIF funding to develop their external engagement with business and other stakeholders

An open and responsible research environment   

In April we launched the Office for Open Research. This was the first step in a programme to fundamentally change the research environment at The University of Manchester; to support and encourage open practices. It is also a key part of the Library’s Imagine2030 vision.

Developing research leadership and creativity

We have commenced various initiatives to enhance our research culture and working environment. These include improving access to and participation in research from people in under-represented groups; furthering open research practices; creating routes for collaboration and exchange with businesses, third sector and government. We have established the new integrated researcher development team to drive further enhancement of our support for postgraduate researchers, postdoctoral researchers, research fellows and supervisors.  More details of the team’s activities and training programme can be found on the Researcher Development website.

Focus for 2022/23

Accelerating interdisciplinary research

  • We will launch a new university-wide focus on health equity and inequalities.
  • The latest round of UMRI-funded interdisciplinary seed corn projects will commence.
  • We will be supporting colleagues to build teams to prepare grants for anticipated funding announcements, including UKRI’s Delivery Plan launch for its research councils in the Autumn.

Developing research leadership and creativity

  • Our activities will include the design and launch of career development support for research leadership for mid-career academics.

An open and responsible research environment

  • The next stage development of the Office for Open Research and the other initiatives launched to enhance our research culture and environment.

Inspire student learning with our research-intensive environment

  • We will commence new work with the Teaching and Learning Strategy Group to uncover and profile the synergies between teaching and research.