June 27, 2024, by Rob Ounsworth

Strong research funding performance is a fantastic achievement

I am delighted to report that the University of Nottingham is expected to exceed our target of £186m of new research funding awards this year.

We are also seeing a strong performance in new research bid applications which are expected to reach a target of £726m for 2023/4, compared to £707m last year. Our research income is also up and expected to reach £137m compared to £128m last year.

As with last year, our awards have been bolstered by a number of large awards, such as the £8m grant from XTX Markets to establish the Observatory for Mathematical Education, and a £14m award from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund to support new world-leading research facilities and programmes that will decarbonise future transport.

The correlation between bids, awards and income is significant and we have not achieved this level in all three areas for around ten years. Bids and awards are leading indicators of future performance in research income – funding bids will convert to awards next year, which will then flow through to income.

The external funding landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, so this overall performance is a fantastic achievement. My congratulations to everybody involved from across our research community and all those who support the processes and systems that underpin our research activity.

Welcome to APVC for Researcher Academy and Research Culture Development

Professor Jeanette Woolard has been appointed as Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Researcher Academy and Research Culture Development. Jeanette will steer the academic direction for the Researcher Academy, provide institutional leadership in the PGR space and deliver a key pillar of our research strategy – helping our researchers develop and achieve excellence in a supportive environment. Welcome, Jeanette!

Jeanette, who is Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology in the School of Life Sciences, will be in post from 23 September 2024. She takes on the role from Professor Richard Graham, who has been acting as interim for this academic year. Richard will remain involved with this important area, as academic lead of the lead of the Next Generation Research Super-Vision Project (RSVP) and  the HURDLE: Help For Under-represented Researcher Groups To Develop, Lead And Excel programmes, continuing the great work started this year.

I wish to thank Richard for his leadership and support for the Researcher Academy over the last year.

Commitment to sustainability is globally recognised

Our university has been ranked among the world’s top higher education institutions for tackling global challenges.

We are in the Top 200 in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024, which are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The university has been ranked in the Top 100 for a number of individual SDG areas – Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life on Land.

This recognition is significant and we can be proud of the work the University of Nottingham conducts with partners that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our place in these global rankings reflects the dedication of many people working across the university, from interdisciplinary teams of researchers, to technicians, teaching and learning colleagues, and sustainability and estates staff, who are all working to help make all our activities more sustainable and to achieve net zero.

Discover more about our commitment to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Research in Action Week: enhancing the skills of staff and students

Research in Action Week 2024 proved to be a big success, with talks delivered on topics that will enhance the research skills of staff and students from across the university.

Research in Action Week also welcomed colleagues from Nottingham University Hospitals and Notts Healthcare, extending the flow of knowledge and expertise between our organisations.

Video recordings of sessions are available on the Research in Action Week SharePoint site, together with more resources.

Supporting our academic entrepreneurs – revised policy on spin-out equity

The university is ranked in the highest quadrant in the UK’s Knowledge Exchange Framework, with a significant contribution from our outstanding portfolio of 36 spin-out companies.

A government review of university spin-outs in the UK aims to increase their number and quality.

We will ensure alignment with the outcomes of the review, including amending our policy on academic equity, and maintaining our commitment to growing and supporting our spin-out portfolio. The revisions to equity division can be found in our Intellectual Property Policy.

Further information about work by Research and Innovation to support academic colleagues can be found here. The Knowledge Exchange Hub SharePoint has more information on KE support available, including funding and training, plus events and news.

Have you signed up for the Research Culture Conference?

Book your place

Thursday 11 July, 9.30am – 4.30pm
East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park Campus

The University of Nottingham’s Research Culture Conference brings together our research community, including postgraduate researchers, research-focused staff, academics, technical professionals, research-related and research support staff.

Professor Katherine Linehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for EDI, People and Culture, will launch the new Research and Knowledge Exchange Culture Strategy and guest speakers include Professor Richard Graham, Interim Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Researcher Academy and Researcher Career Development, and Dr Saran Stewart, Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, University of Connecticut.

Transforming doctoral supervision: we need your help

The Next Generation Research SuperVision Project (RSVP) is a £4.6m initiative dedicated to revolutionising doctoral supervision. It aims to accelerate a transformation in how supervision is conducted, managed, supported, rewarded, and recognised.

The Researcher Academy is leading this initiative on behalf of the university, demonstrating our commitment to championing best practices in research supervision and driving positive change.

For this project to succeed, we need your help. All colleagues involved in the supervision of doctoral students, whether formally or informally, are invited to share their experiences and expertise with us. You can contribute via a national survey and sign up to join one of five online Focus Groups taking place in July.

Your participation will help shape the future support for research supervision and I encourage you to take this opportunity to get involved and make a real difference.


Congratulations and thanks to Professor Robert Mokaya

I would like to add my congratulations and thanks to Professor Robert Mokaya, who has been elected as future president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The news comes shortly after Robert’s departure from the University of Nottingham to join the University of Sheffield as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

As Professor of Materials Chemistry and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Robert has been a tremendous role model and mentor. He is the only Black professor of chemistry in the country and his research into porous carbons as sustainable energy materials and on mesoporous materials has been pivotal in developing green chemistry in Africa and in the UK.

Over 24 years, Robert has been a tremendous ambassador for Nottingham and as world-leading research scientist has fostered many global collaborations and partnerships. We wish Robert every success in his exciting leadership roles at Sheffield and with the Royal Society of Chemistry, where he will continue to be a champion of greater equality, diversity and inclusion and forge new cross-border partnerships.


Professor Adam Gordon awarded MBE in King’s Birthday Honours

Professor Adam Gordon, from the School of Medicine and President of the British Geriatrics Society, has been awarded an MBE in King Charles III’s Birthday Honours List, for his services to older people’s healthcare.

As Professor of the Care of Older People, Adam has played a key role in developing undergraduate and postgraduate curricula in geriatric medicine. He is also a visiting professor at City University in London, a National Institute of Health Research Senior Investigator and a faculty member of the European Academy of Medicine of Ageing.

Royal Society of Chemistry honour for Professor Liam Ball 

Professor Liam Ball is winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Hickinbottom Prize in recognition of brilliance in research and innovation.

Professor Ball, of the School of Chemistry, and his group study molecular reactions that will help develop sustainable molecular processes to address complex challenges in every aspect of out lives.

Thank you for your support and dedication


Professor Tom Rodden
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange 


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