Discovery-led research

“Our world-leading discoveries drive innovations that transform the world around us.”

antique bookWe deliver world-class research, changing the way we think about the past, present and future. Discovery is about imaginative new thinking, underpinning fundamental advances in our understanding of the world around us, helping us apply our expertise to business and community needs, and delivering solutions to global challenges.

Collaboration is fundamental. Partnerships with colleagues in our linked organisations at home and overseas — and with potential research users in the public, private and third sectors — will empower us to deliver better research and enterprise across the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

Our priorities include:

Transforming our national and international position

We will nurture talent at all levels and tailor support to the different stages of the research career. We will provide the environment and encouragement to boost the number and quality of our external grant applications and to raise our standing in national and international research rankings year on year. With high expectations, we will put in place the supportive infrastructure to facilitate improved performance for staff across all grades, including a new impact fund that will support the ambitions of our researchers in all disciplines.

Interdisciplinary institutes and networks

We will launch a suite of interdisciplinary Research Institutes to build on our existing strengths. Grappling with fundamental questions that arise at the interface of different disciplines, our Institutes will be the focal points for global conversations. We are also launching a number of Research Networks to facilitate new interdisciplinary conversations.

A new city campus

In collaboration with funding, business and local stakeholders, we will launch a National Space Park. Focusing our world-class strengths in space and Earth observation science, this national centre for undergraduate, postgraduate and apprenticeship training will provide a new anchor for a vital British industry. It will play a key part in realising the ambition that our cutting-edge translational research and enterprise enriches the local and regional economy and fuels the Midlands as an engine of future growth.

An enterprise culture

To advance the enterprise culture across our university — and building upon such recent achievements as doubling our annual income from commercial enterprise activity — we will expand our commercialisation activities, including our highly successful contributions to Continuing Professional Development in business and the community. We will develop new strategic partnerships that take our academic expertise into a range of priority sectors — including the development and regeneration of Leicester and its region — and provide a new level of support and training for our student and staff entrepreneurs.

Incentives for impact

In order to increase the impact of our research for the business, public and third sectors, we will develop an even stronger focus on short, medium and long-term impact in the planning of our research activities and collaborations, our evaluation of our research performance and our recognition of research excellence. We will also launch a new impact fund that will support the ambitions of our researchers in all disciplines and help pump-prime impact-rich research projects and partnerships.