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Updated Research Entities Policy and Annual Research Reviews (ARRs) process

Posted on 3 October 2023

At University Research Committee (URC) this week, two key papers were presented and approved.

Research Centres and Institutes (Entities)

Our research entities play a key role in delivering the University’s excellent research. We’re seeing consistent growth in research income, and anticipate new research entities will be established in coming years and existing entities may evolve. With this in mind, a review of our current approach to managing research entities was undertaken and an updated Research Entities Policy has been approved by URC.

The aim is to provide clarity on the issues around the establishment, administration and oversight of research entities. This will enable entities to meet their and the University’s research objectives and better align University resources with their needs and aspirations.

Since our Centres and Institutes vary widely, the updated policy does not describe a detailed classification system and instead groups research entities into three broad categories.

The next step is for the PIP team to work with faculties and departments to map existing entities to the policy categories and to develop efficient and effective processes in support of the research ambitions of entities and the University. As agreed by URC, the policy will be reviewed after one year to allow for modifications as necessary.

Annual Research Reviews (ARRs) (previously ADRRs)

URC also reviewed and revised the Annual Research Review process, which has been amended to take account of the role of faculties and the inclusion of some of our larger research entities in the review.

The updated process will enable URC to have a holistic view of research activities across the institution, help identify areas for improvement, and enable resources to be effectively targeted.

An initial ARR process is anticipated for 2023/24. The ARR will be reviewed and further refined in future years, in line with any evolution of the Planning process as well as external opportunities for and constraints on research activities. The ARR process in 2023/24 will also usefully contribute to priority setting by departmental leadership teams at the beginning of the 2024/25 Planning cycle and serve in preparation for the next REF submission.

The meetings in the ARR process 2023/24 will be aligned with the Planning process where possible, and a brief set of additional research questions will be sent to departments for completion alongside the Planning documentation.