Since the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where 87% of our research in this exercise was found to be world-leading or internationally excellent, there has been even wider and deeper engagement in research activities at the University. Our respected research community has been fortified by appointments at every level, recruiting nationally and globally, and including numerous new and outstanding early career researchers.
The University of Bath has a strong track record in interdisciplinary research, the campus having been designed to foster collaboration across our Faculties and School. This has been further strengthened by the significant impact generated by our Institutes and Centres, including the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems, Institute for Policy Research, Institute for Mathematical Innovation, Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies and Milner Centre for Evolution, amongst others.
Our new strategy affirms the importance of curiosity-driven research and will grow research strength to drive research quality, achievement and impact. Many of our researchers are already leading in their disciplines; others are ready to further develop their profiles and their international reputations. We will work with our Faculties and School to grow capacity and academic leadership for further success. This will include developing clearer strategies for research at University, faculty and departmental level, more precise benchmarking and goals, strategic appointments, key development of underpinning research facilities, attracting and supporting talented doctoral students and enhanced enabling of interdisciplinary work.
To strengthen further our research impact, sharpen our focus and increase our influence, we have identified three primary institutional research themes for collaborative working across disciplines: Sustainability; Health & Wellbeing; and Digital. These existing strengths not only respond to international imperatives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but also enable us to align tangibly with regional priorities, the UK’s national priorities and the UK Government’s Research & Development Roadmap.
Key to achieving our ambition is the generation of increased research income to enable us to innovate, explore new areas and invest in new research infrastructure. We will encourage the development of larger research initiatives to provide better structure to our research profile so that we can use our interdisciplinary research base to tackle the most profound and challenging problems.
Our Royal Charter sets out that the University should have a ‘close association with industry and commerce’ and our new strategy is an opportunity to renew emphasis on that part of our mission. We will focus on increasing our research impact and target engagement intelligently with business, Government and civil society.
Overall, we will actively engage locally, regionally, nationally and internationally including through partnerships and through public engagement, to ensure that our operating policies, our infrastructure and our support for research help to build towards our strategic objectives, serving to strengthen our culture of research integrity, and enabling our researchers to deliver to their full potential.
To grow research power to drive research quality, achievement and impact by:
- encouraging the development of larger research initiatives, to provide better structure to our research profile
- developing clearer strategies for research at University, faculty and departmental level
- encouraging greater research alliances to enhance research quality
- actively engaging locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to help to build towards our strategic objectives, serving to strengthen our culture of research integrity, and enabling our researchers to deliver their full potential