SDGs are at the heart of all research


Research is at the heart of De Montfort University’s work – and the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of all research. 

DMU announced in its five-year Strategic Plan, first unveiled in 2018, that the SDGs would “form the prism through which we will explore new and exciting possibilities in our research.” 

All new research work since that date has had to align to at least one of the SDGs and this includes everything from researchers turning plastic bottles into prosthetic limbs (SDGs 3 and 12) to research into the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (SDG 3) and sustainable aviation, carbon emissions and noise pollution (SDG 13). 

This drive for excellence is backed up the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which was first carried out in 2014, and will be reviewed in 2021. 

The REF is undertaken by the higher education funding bodies with the aim of securing the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum. 

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is a new Government initiative aimed at giving universities the platform to show how they benefit society and the country’s economy through the knowledge they create. 

It will be a new measure and sits alongside the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which together form an assessment of the work done by universities. 

The KEF will show how universities turn research into new ideas, create new intellectual property and new companies. In other words, it's a measure of how well the universities work with society and industry to benefit the world as a whole.