University of Leicester launches five new Research Institutes

Today (27 October), the University of Leicester launches five ambitious new Research Institutes to tackle the most pressing challenges facing the world, from the climate crisis, future-proofing the cultural sector, harnessing the potential of space, and researching new and current threats to our health.

Launched at an event attended by senior leaders of the University, prominent members of the research community and external stakeholders connected to each of the five new Research Institutes. President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah welcomed guests and invited those in attendance to enjoy a showcase of the research of the new Research Institutes, enjoy a panel discussion, and hear from each of the Directors of the five new Research Institutes on their mission and ambition.

These new Research Institutes are the University’s interdisciplinary flagships that bring together researchers from many different disciplines to study a common theme or area of endeavour. The Research Institutes will focus on future challenges and build on the University’s success in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which placed the University 30th in the UK for its research, a rise of 23 places, according to analysis by the Times Higher Education.

The five new Research Institutes and their missions are:

  • The Institute for Precision Health will enable earlier and more accurate diagnoses, more effective and kinder treatments, and will harness the creativity and collective expertise of world-leading clinical research teams.
  • The Institute for Digital Culture will build the digital capability of the culture sector, through strategic partnership and inter-disciplinary research.
  • The Institute for Environmental Futures aims to establish pathways to resilient, sustainable, and just environmental futures in the context of the global challenges of a climate emergency.
  • The Institute for Space, a collaboration with Space Park Leicester, will build a coalition of space research groups and centres across the University of Leicester, with the goal to serve as an important vehicle in realising the UK’s ambition to “grow as a science and technology superpower”.

Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester said: “We want our Research Institutes to grow, develop and build critical mass in our world-changing research, here at Leicester. We will build on our global impact for research, as recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) earlier this year. This is due in no small part to the collaborations we have already established with leading partners, such as the NHS and the National Centre for  Earth  Observation.”

The new Research Institutes follow news that the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has been awarded £26 million over the next five years. One of only 20 Biomedical Research Centres across the country, Leicester’s brings together clinicians and academics from the University of Leicester, Leicester’s hospitals, Loughborough University and University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.