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Creating and applying knowledge

We intend to:

  • Make a step change that places DMU in the Top 400 of the World University Rankings
  • Continue to cultivate a dynamic, pervasive culture of excellence in research and scholarship, with 60 per cent of staff research-active and a top 25 per cent Research Excellence Framework (REF) outcome
  • Use our interdisciplinary research strengths to deliver on each of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Establish the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre as a beacon for ground-breaking research into social justice, and as a catalyst for inclusion
  • Increase our research and commercial income so we are in the top 25 per cent in our comparator group


The creation and application of knowledge is at the heart of DMU’s mission to deliver research-informed teaching that impacts on society. A challenging external environment demands we make a step change in our research capacity, leadership and capability.

We take a broad view of research and seek to challenge conventional disciplinary boundaries by bringing together diverse teams that can have greater impact than individuals. Much of our research is focused on distinctive niches, a characteristic that we wish to maintain.

We have acknowledged expertise in ground-breaking research into the global challenges enshrined in the UN’s SDGs, including globalisation and migration, human wellbeing and climate change. We will further seek to establish interdisciplinary themes addressing key societal challenges, including urban living, lifelong wellbeing, creativity in the digital age and social value.

To strongly position our research on the international stage and impact on society more widely, our research has to be executed at the highest level. We have invested significantly in our staff: our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 (VC2020) lectureship programme has recruited more than 100 research-active early career academics already making a significant contribution to our research outputs and culture

Career Academic Fellows scheme with a view to future VC2020 lectureships. We will ensure that our excellent research and impact maximise our position in the next REF and World University Rankings, while nurturing a deep culture of research excellence. We intend to generate increased research funding in order to further extend our research capacity.

A vibrant and engaged community of research students is central to our focus on excellence and we will ensure that our Doctoral Training Programmes (DTPs) are proactive and that they add value to our research, while delivering a consistently high-quality student experience. Our PhD students will engage with #DMUworks, #DMUglobal and the UN #JoinTogether campaign. We intend to expand our #DMUglobal programme for PhD students to ensure at least 50 per cent benefit.

For our research to be internationally leading, and to have impact internationally, we must engage internationally. We will develop and deliver an international communications strategy and encourage staff to take international research leave, host international research leaders and international conferences. 

We will build on the strengths of our signature #DMUglobal programme with research-focused international exchanges and #DMUglobal opportunities for staff and students.

Key performance targets

  • Research Income (top 25 per cent of comparator group)
  • Commercial Income from research and enterprise (top 25 per cent of comparator group)
  • REF2021 Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • Doubling of our annual rate of PhD completions
  • Percentage of staff with a research workload allocation at 60 per cent
  • WUR League Table position for Research and for Citations in Top 400
  • PhD student satisfaction
  • Percentage of internationally co-authored papers
  • Number and amount of new awards

Key performance indicators

  • PhD student satisfaction
  • Percentage of internationally co-authored papers
  • Number and amount of new awards