Strategic plan
World-leading research

World-leading research

The University’s drive to increase our research quality, intensity, impact and international competitiveness is integral to our reputation and status as a leading international technological university. We have made significant progress over recent years in what is an increasingly competitive and challenging funding environment and our concentration on partnership with industry and collaboration with international partners has played a significant part in our achievements to date.

As the place of useful learning, we also focus our research efforts on the systems, institutions, cultures and behaviours that shape people’s lives. This activity is of central importance in everything we do. We translate research outcomes for the benefit of business, industry and society as a whole.

Modern complex challenges need multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches. Whilst we have strengths in research across many domains, our seven Strategic Research Themes enable the right teams to collaborate to make the greatest impact for key areas of research activity. Together with our partners, we are at the forefront of international research and development in these seven themes, which bring together our research, teaching and innovation strengths from right across the University: 

  • Advanced manufacturing & materials
  • Energy
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Measurement science & enabling technologies
  • Ocean, air & space
  • Society & policy

Already firmly positioned amongst the leading research-intensive universities in the UK, we are increasing our research intensity and quality in all areas and using innovative approaches to translate high-quality fundamental research to deliver high-impact solutions for global and local challenges and inclusive economic impact for Scotland. Strathclyde’s renowned research strengths are complemented by the formation of six Clusters of research capability and innovation focus in the following areas:

  • Industrial informatics
  • Health technologies
  • Financial technologies
  • Space technologies
  • 5G communications
  • Quantum technologies

These Clusters are characterised by deep research capability, excellent facilities and outstanding research talent, complemented by translational research programmes that exchange knowledge to large Tier 1 companies and their innovation-led supply-chain partners and other SMEs. The Clusters enable agile collaborative research and innovation programmes which accelerate the creation and adoption of new knowledge, and its impact on our region.

Distinctive Strathclyde

Read more about our commitment to world-leading research.

Our strategic aims

Strategic aim 2.1: We have a high-quality broad-based research portfolio clustered around key themes and underpinned by high-quality infrastructure.

We will achieve this by:

  • recruiting and retaining outstanding academic staff, researchers and students
  • embedding our Strategic Research Themes and Clusters
  • maximising the impact and value of our research across all areas
  • building our research collaborations with leading academic partners, business, government and the third sector, enabling both local and global reach and impact
  • investing in state of the art buildings and equipment with the support of our research partners and funders

Strategic aim 2.2: Our research quality and intensity is strengthened and the new knowledge we generate has maximum impact.

We will achieve this by:

  • undertaking high-quality collaborative research activity with leading academic, business, government and third sector partners, underpinned by our commitment to useful learning
  • enhancing the quality of our research outputs and adopting an informed publication strategy
  • prioritising efforts and pursuing appropriate strategies to engage audiences with our research and to improve our performance in key citation metrics
  • ensuring our research and knowledge reaches the widest possible audience, delivers reputational benefits, fulfils our commitment to support research integrity, and clearly demonstrates the quality and value of our research to potential partners and funders
  • progressing towards fully open access publishing and fair open data policies

Strategic aim 2.3: Our research is delivered by a critical mass of highly skilled and well-trained researchers.

We will achieve this by:

  • maintaining and enhancing an excellent research culture and environment
  • growing our population of high-quality postgraduate researchers and early career researchers
  • providing seamless, relevant researcher development opportunities for research staff and students
  • building a student-centred interdisciplinary research environment

Times Higher Education University of the Year 2019 logo.

Key performance indicators

We will demonstrate our success by achieving, by 2025:

  • £125m
    Total competitively won research income of £125m per annum
  • 20%
    Over 20% of our published research outputs in the top 10% of their field worldwide for citations
  • 2,000
    A total Postgraduate Research (PGR) student population of at least 2,000 FTE