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New structures for interdisciplinary research

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Interdisciplinary research is an important element of our research strategy. It enables us to address challenges that societies face today through collaborative efforts that bring together different approaches, methods perspectives and skills in an innovative manner.

Following a review of our structure for interdisciplinary research, we are introducing changes aimed at maximising opportunities to address specific challenges of a size, scale and complexity that require cross-disciplinary working by researchers across our research divisions and themes.

From August 2020, all University recognised Interdisciplinary Research Centres will be hosted and resourced within Schools. Internal ring-fenced funding will be available on a competitive basis to help Interdisciplinary Centres facilitate collaboration and pump-prime activities which will ultimately lead to bids for large-scale funding opportunities, enabling their long-term growth and sustainability.

As part of the implementation of these changes, all IDRIs and existing Interdisciplinary Centres are being invited to apply for Interdisciplinary Research Centre status in the new structure. Applications will be assessed by the University Committee for Research & Innovation against the following outline criteria:

  • Work across Research Divisions to generate research excellence and funding at scale
  • Form a key component of the University’s research identity and to enhance our reputation and profile
  • Have clear alignment with strategic priorities in one or more research theme plans
  • Have already developed a high degree of staff engagement and activity
  • Have a clear focus on internal and external engagement, with a pathway to impact in development
  • Provide evidence of research leadership and a credible five-year research and engagement plan
  • Have support from their host School(s) and Department(s).

Centres meeting the criteria will be recognised for Interdisciplinary Centre status for the 5-year period starting 1 August 2020, with a report on activities required on an annual basis.

Existing research clusters wishing to apply for Interdisciplinary Centre status (or new proposals for Interdisciplinary Centres) will be able to do so from August 2020. Applications will require the support of a Research Dean and will be evaluated against the criteria above on a case-by-case basis.

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