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Sussex Research. 8 November 2013 . Outline. Background University Research Strategy 2013-18 Background data on funding Measures to enhance research performance Mechanisms Lessons from the Research Themes Sussex Research Characteristics Sussex Research Initiatives

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Sussex Research

8 November 2013


  • Background

    • University Research Strategy 2013-18

    • Background data on funding

    • Measures to enhance research performance

  • Mechanisms

    • Lessons from the Research Themes

    • Sussex Research Characteristics

    • Sussex Research Initiatives

    • Research Centres Review

University Research StrategySussex Strategic Ambitions

Research and knowledge exchange

Delivering internationally high quality research of lasting academic value and with impact that benefits and enriches society.

Our research will be internationally recognised for its quality, significance and impact, it will deliver significant growth in activity, and our Sussex distinctiveness will be recognised in our interdisciplinary approach.

University Research StrategySussex Strategic Ambitions

We will do this by:

Increasing the number of research-leading staff, developing a competitive, sustainable critical mass in research in targeted areas.

By 2018, at least 50% of our units of assessment placed in the top 15, and an overall place in the top 20 in the UK’s national assessment of research quality.

Increasing research income to £54 million.

Increasing the number of research students.

Creating three new large interdisciplinary research centres.

Research Income vs Academic Staff FTE (Russell & 94 Groups, 11-12)

Research Income vs Academic Staff FTE (Russell & 94 Groups, 11-12)




Relationship between total academic FTEs and income per FTE


Research Income Sources (11/12)

Sussex versus York (11/12)

Sussex versus York (11/12)

Measures to enhance research performance

  • Diversification of sources for research income

    • Increase research funding from Charities, Government and Industry, both in the UK and overseas

    • Serious underperformance in attracting research funding from Government (which invests three times more in the sector than industry) needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency

    • Cultural changes in the approach to non RCUK funding sources and support for academic staff in identifying opportunities are both required

Measures to enhance research performance

  • Investment in infrastructure

    • Buildings, equipment, and facilities

    • Research facilitators to support academic staff identify and bid for research funding

  • Investment in activities and capacity

    • Strategic senior appointments to provide research leadership

    • Strategic selection of programmatic areas, and co-ordination of centres

    • Pump-priming of pilot studies

    • Support of internal networking activities

Sussex Research

Lessons from the Research Themes

  • Top-down / bottom up

  • Scales of funding

  • External presentation / internal research support

Sussex Research Characteristics

  • Thematically neutral and campus wide

  • Significant funding: initial exploratory workshops, through specific research project support to capacity building for world-leading programmes

  • Basis for selecting research stories for specific external audiences based on supported research

  • Added function of more effective presentation and management of research centres

Sussex Research Initiatives

  • To facilitate external funding – not a substitute for it

  • Core schemes (launched 11th October 2013)

  • Research Networks: up to £2k for Sussex-based interdisciplinary symposia, workshops and sandpits. No deadline, monthly review.

  • Research Development :£5-50K to develop activities enabling substantive external proposals. Bi-annual, deadlines 14 Dec 2013 & 7 April 2014

Sussex Research Initiatives

  • Specialist schemes (administered alongside the RDF)

  • RM Phillips: promotion of research and teaching concerned with the education of blind and partially sighted children (launched 25th October 2013)

  • Intention to add more philanthropically funded research schemes to portfolio

Sussex Research Initiatives

  • Strategic large scale programme investment

  • To be launched soon with a deadline for outline proposals in January 2014

  • Outline proposals  shortlist  full application  internal and external review

  • Possibility in longer term of ‘conveyor belt’ of research support from Network through RDF to programme investment

Research Centres Review

  • Immediate task: to clarify external presentation of research.

  • From 86 centres to three initial categories:

  • Research Group / Network (light touch, school regulated)

  • Research Centre (R&KE Committee regulated)

  • University Research Centre (larger scale in terms of personnel, interdisciplinarity and funding; R&KE Committee regulated)

  • To establish more transparent and robust processes for the approval and review of research centres

  • To provide more effective support for interdisciplinary activities through Sussex Research funding mechanisms, e.g. visiting fellowships / postdocs

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