University of Nottingham Research Vision one year on

June 20, 2018, by Rob Ounsworth

Our Research Vision: one year on

Guest blog from Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research  and Knowledge Exchange.

We are celebrating the first anniversary of our Research Vision, one of the most concentrated and comprehensive programmes in our history, which refocuses our mission of delivering exceptional research that transforms lives in our community, the UK and across the world.

In the last year we have seen significant successes. We are on course to recruit the first 30 astonishing people towards our unprecedented target of 100 Research Fellows; we have received significant awards and accolades, and seen an increase in our research funding.

Watch: our Research Vision one year on

Our six Beacons of Excellence, unveiled alongside our Research Vision at the Royal Society in London on 22 June 2017, have made significant progress, making appointments, winning external grants and developing new partnerships, all helping to raise our reputation for delivering world-class research and attracting exceptional people.

The beacons are one of the Research Vision’s eight areas of focus, the others being:

  •  People: world-class researchers and Nottingham fellows
  •  World-class physical and digital environment
  •  Industrial collaboration and commercialisation
  •  Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  •  Transdisciplinary research capabilities in our Research Priority Areas (RPAs)
  •  The Institute for Policy and Engagement
  •  International collaboration

You can read about such successes in the brochure Our Research Vision: one year on, and also discover how we are better directing our resources and enhancing the support we offer to researchers.

We are also celebrating the best of our world-leading research in Vision, the University’s new research and knowledge exchange magazine.

The inaugural issue’s highlights include a £4.4m award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle hidden hunger in Malawi and Ethiopia. The international impact of this GeoNutrition project has been recognised by Professor Martin Broadley’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Innovator of the Year award.

A personal highlight of the last year has been the opportunity to meet many of you at research roadshows and faculty drop-in sessions. I’ve enjoyed listening to your input to ensure our vision remains agile, responsive and fully supportive of our world-class researchers.

Your helpful comments have informed the evolution of our Research Vision as we:

  • work hard with schools and units of assessment to provide guidance on REF, running workshops and making expert guidance available. We are addressing this strategically, while empowering units of assessment at local level, and stepping up and honing our communications around REF, Open Access and support on producing impact studies
  • roll out a £3.7m investment in digital research to help you deliver improved outputs and work in innovative ways, as showcased in the inaugural Digital Research Week in April
  • better align our research with UK and global strategic priorities, as exemplified by the Beacons of Excellence
  • improve support for managing funding bids, plus impact and knowledge exchange activities. Streamlining these processes will free up your time for core responsibilities, improve grant success rates and increase impact. The Nottingham Impact Accelerator, launched in March, and Research Accelerator (launching in September) form part of this concerted effort to support and amplify your research
  • continue to support all areas of research excellence across the University and promote opportunities for interdisciplinary working in a rich research ecosystem

I continue to be excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for research here at Nottingham, as we build upon the foundations of the past and look firmly to the future. A future made possible by your continued support and dedication to extraordinary research. Thank you.

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