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Our mission as a Faculty is to be distinguished by our academic strengths and recognised globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit we deliver through our research.

The Faculty Research Strategy sets out, in detail, how we will achieve this. Provided below is an overview of what the Strategy means for you, as academic and research staff.

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The Strategy was developed following extensive consultation with academic and research staff and research students across the Faculty. It was approved by the Faculty Executive Board in June 2016. The Strategy identifies 18 key objectives and associated activities that will achieve the Faculty’s mission for research. You are encouraged to download and read the full Faculty Research Strategy 2016- 2020 (PDF 536KB).


In line with the University’s Research Strategy, there is a three-part framework for the organisation of research within the Faculty:

  • Core Disciplinary Research Groups (CDRGs)
  • Global Research Institutes (GRIs)
  • Pioneer Research Programmes (PRPs)

All academic staff will automatically be a member of one CDRG. Research staff should discuss with their line manager which CDRG would be the most appropriate one for them to join. There are 11 CDRGs in the Faculty listed here and they provide the basis for Schools to support and profile their core research areas. They provide the main mechanism for staff to:

  • Connect with other key researchers and centres/institutes internally and externally within their own and related cognate areas
  • Discuss and share research and learn about new developments in their field(s)
  • Build research capacity
  • Gain individual guidance, mentoring and support in relation to research

In addition, academic and research staff also have the opportunity to align their research to one of the University’s GRIs or PRPs. GRIs and PRPs provide the basis for the University to strategically support and showcase its core areas of interdisciplinary strength, where there is a critical mass of researchers focusing on key global challenges. The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences currently hosts the following GRI and PRPs:

There is now an open process for academic staff to submit applications to be Fellows or Associate Fellows of a GRI or PRP. Research staff working on projects aligned to a GRI/PRP will automatically be a member of that GRI/PRP.

For more information see the FAQs regarding CDRGs, GRI and PRPs.


The Faculty Research Strategy contains a number of provisions and initiatives to support academic and research staff. The key ones are summarised below.

1. Full participation in a strong and vibrant research environment within Schools.

You should be an active member of one Core Disciplinary Research Group (CDRG) that connects academics and researchers and organises regular events for your discipline and related cognate areas. See the FAQs on CDRGs, GRIs and PRPs for more information on CDRGs.

2. Opportunities to engage fully in broader inter-disciplinary programmes addressing global challenges.

Where your research interests and expertise align to a GRI or PRP, you also have the opportunity to be able to join and fully participate in that GRI/PRP. See the open call for applications to join the GRI/PRPs. For further information on GRI/PRPs and how they relate to CDRGs see the FAQs on CDRGs, GRIs and PRPs.

3. Strong and ongoing individual mentoring and support.

All academic staff will be assigned a senior colleague to meet at least once per year to develop and review your individual publication and grant application plans. This will be organised through your CDRG or through the relevant GRI/PRP for Fellows of these. Research staff will be provided with this level of guidance, as appropriate, through the appraisal process.

4. Comprehensive support in preparing grant applications.

The development of initial ideas and early drafts of grant proposals are supported through your CDRG or GRI/PRP if you are a Fellow of one of these. As ideas and plans become clearer, there are also a number of dedicated Faculty-aligned research support staff  available to provide direct advice and support and also an internal peer review system to gain detailed feedback on final drafts of proposals prior to submission.

5. Comprehensive support in achieving impact through your research.

There is a School Impact and Public Engagement Champion who is working to provide capacity building and guidance and support and to ensure that research impact is an embedded feature of your School. In addition, there is also a Faculty-aligned Research Impact Officer to provide direct support as well as internal funding opportunities that can be accessed for to support such work.

6. Opportunities to be innovative and develop and consolidate new programmes of research.

Your CDRG and, where applicable, your GRI/PRP provide ongoing opportunities to innovate and develop new ideas. In practical terms, this is supported by the new Faculty Research Initiatives Fund that provides small research grants precisely with the aim of supporting innovative and cutting-edge ideas at an early stage.

7. Fully aligned with the University's five core values as outlined in the Staff Charter. You should expect that all of the above research activities are fully underpinned by the University's Staff Charter. Colleagues should treat you with respect and operate to the highest standards of integrity. You should also be working in environments that strive for excellence, are driven by high levels of ambition and promote collaboration and ensure that colleagues are connected.


Should you have any queries regarding the above or would like further information on the Faculty Research Strategy and its implications for you, please do not hesitate to discuss with the relevant contact person.