Expertise and application

Our University Research Strategy has impact and an interdisciplinary and international approach at its core, stating that: “Research excellence defines York and further strengthening and improving our research, to be dynamic, inspirational and life-changing in its impact, is an absolute priority.” Importantly, our Strategy acknowledges that “...researchers may need to cross disciplinary boundaries in order to tackle major global challenges, provide innovative solutions or promote an international perspective.

Our research is focused around seven research themes aligning our academic strengths to meet the global challenges of our time, and thus address both the UN sustainability goals and the four strategic objectives of the UK Aid Strategy (

Innovation, enterprise and impact are core to the University’s ethos as outlined in our Research Impact Statement (PDF , 283kb). This is evident in our excellent REF2014 results for Impact in many disciplines.

Our strategy and plans for the GCRF closely mirror the RCUK approach to future investment. As such, we aim to build on core activity in our research portfolio, ie those areas where we have existing strength closely engaged with developing world challenges and already making a significant global contribution.

For the Sciences, it will be critically important to build on groupings such as:

These Global Challenges cannot be met by the sciences alone. As Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, recently noted, “the perspectives of historians, psychologists, geographers and others ... are essential to sound policy development and delivery".

Both the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences in York are well positioned to contribute to this endeavour. They possess strong international links and a capacity for multi-disciplinary working. The faculties' global outlook and their strong commitment to research in these areas has been underlined by recent staff recruitment.

  • Centre for Applied Human Rights
    Building effective institutions in conflict-affected and fragile states; migration, mobility and development. 
  • Centre for Global Health Histories
    Uses historical research to evaluate and improve global health care programmes.
  • Centre for Health Economics
    Shocks, security, risks and resilience and dynamics of inequalities. 
  • Department of Education
    Dynamics of inequalities and building effective institutions in conflict-affected and fragile states.
  • Department of Politics
    Building effective institutions in conflict-affected and fragile states.
  • Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre 
    Applying interdisciplinary expertise to research, teaching and partnerships, the IGDC addresses global development challenges in innovative ways.
  • York Centre for the Americas
    Transnational, comparative and connective analysis of relations between regions within the continent, and between the Americas and the rest of the world.
  • York Law School
    Conflicts & transition, counter terrorism, human rights law, criminal law (financial crime).