The University has over 1,000 academic staff and research staff

About Research & Enterprise

Research and Enterprise is responsible for supporting and developing research, knowledge transfer and impact activities.


Remits and activity

Business Development Team

Business Development Team Services

The Business Development Team work with academic staff to develop and undertake knowledge exchange and impact activities and to derive social, including commercial, benefit from existing research. Services from this team are often provided over a prolonged period of close collaboration with the staff member and are dependent on their needs and the needs of the wider department and potential external partners. 

Idea generation and testing

  • Design and deliver a variety of meetings and events to enable academic staff to develop ideas for projects and new collaborations.
  • Carry out market assessments and establish business cases to assess the potential of new ideas for end-users.
  • Fund proof of concept activities to enable demonstration of a technology or idea.
  • Work closely with the IPL Team, to protect Intellectual Property (IP) for use in the public, private and third sectors.

Attracting funding, partners and investment

  • Provide training, personally or through external organisations, to equip staff with the skills required to pitch ideas to potential investors.
  • Identify internal and external translational research funds for knowledge exchange activities, and provide expert advice and critique applications to increase the chances of success.
  • Identify and engage partners to develop existing knowledge transfer ideas through collaboration. 

Turning ideas into practice

  • Identify the best mechanism or vehicle to enable knowledge exchange with external organisations e.g. spin-out, policy advice, commercial licensing, consultancy, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and provide expert advice and guidance to realise these opportunities. 
  • In collaboration with external partners, prepare applications for Innovate UK translational funding, provide reports on the progress of funded projects and financial forecasts of expenditure to ensure compliance with funding terms. 
  • Represent the University on spin-out Boards and advisory boards of commercially-focused University centres.

Who to contact in the Business Development Team

Continuing Professional Development Unit

  • provide loans or grants to enable the development of a new course, explore new markets, try new marketing approaches, improve websites and develop marketing materials. 
  • assist departments to calculate the costs involved in running a CPD course and agreeing an appropriate price.
  • support market assessments for CPD courses
  • support administration of departmental CPD, from registration to evaluation.
  • develop branded marketing material using external and departmental marketing expertise 
  • assist in the identification and communication with potential delegates through the use of contact lists, networking events and databases.
  • enables staff to attend external training programmes to develop relevant skills through the provision of small grants.
  • manages the CPD Forum - a regular meeting of CPD practitioners from across the University, providing advice and best practice on a range of CPD-related issues.
  • provides staff with easy access to tenders and business opportunities in education and training through The Training Gateway

Who to contact in the CPD Unit

Directorate Staff

  • includes the Director, Communications Officer and PA to the Director
  • provide departmental management and communications support
  • manage the HEIF budget and provision of central services
  • manage and develop the /business, /staff/research, /research and /hub websites

Further information on directorate staff

Economic Development Team

Economic Development Team services

Economic Development is concerned with growing the economy through the creation of more businesses, jobs and improved skills. Funding is provided to drive growth and productivity through investment in economic infrastructure, business innovation, employability and skills.

Funding applications are made on behalf of the institution rather than individual or groups of academic staff. The Team may disperse won funds to academic and external partnerships where a partnership can demonstrate the potential for economic growth and meets the requirements of the funding application.

Horizon scanning

Provide staff with insight and advice around emerging and existing economic development funding opportunities.

Project Scoping

Assess projects to identify their suitability for funding. This activity includes understanding how the proposed activity will benefit businesses and the University and ensuring the business case for the proposal is robust.

Development of funding applications

Write and develop funding applications, in conjunction with staff, in response to funding opportunities. These applications need to focus on the benefit to businesses and the regional economy. This is fundamentally different from research funding where the focus is the creation of knowledge.

Identifying and Engaging partners

Identify and engage suitable partner organisations to collaborate with the University on projects relating to regional growth activities. Economic development funding has a greater emphasis on partnership working with funders, other delivery organisations and the businesses themselves.

Contractual and audit compliance

Provide expert advice and guidance to ensure projects are developed and delivered in a way that minimises the risk of potential financial penalties due to non-compliance with legal and contractual requirements e.g. suitable completion of timesheets. Economic development funding is subject to a stricter audit regime than for research funding, especially around procurement and state aid.

Initiating project policies and procedures

Provide advice and expert guidance on suitable policies, processes and procedures for management of funded activity e.g. the creation of an eligibility form for SMEs that is compliant with data protection legislation.

Financial claims

Prepare and manage the submission of reporting and claims to funders that correctly evidence expenditure and outputs. Unlike research funding economic development funding is almost always paid in arrears. This means the University is covering costs in advance and spending at risk pending successful claims. 


View the EDT Privacy Notice (PDF , 466kb) to understand how the Economic Development Team gathers, uses, stores and shares your data

Who to contact in the Economic Development Team

Intellectual Property & Legal

Intellectual Property & Legal Team services

The Intellectual Property and Legal Team provides expert advice, guidance and support to all academic and support departments, subsidiaries, early-stage spin-out companies.

The IPL Team liaises with RGC as part of the process of submitting and accepting research grants.

Drafting and reviewing contracts

Reviews contracts to protect both the University’s interests and academic freedom. The team drafts contracts for new research and commercial projects and negotiates changes with counterparties.

Interpreting existing agreements

Provides access to signed agreements, interprets contractual obligations and liabilities and provides a legal opinion and recommended course of action to ensure the University and partners are meeting their obligations.

Protecting your idea

  • Provides intellectual property advice and identifies mechanisms for protection such as patents, copyright, and confidential know-how to protect the University’s IP position.
  • Provides confidentiality agreements (CDAs, NDAs) and material transfer agreements (MTAs) to enable protected disclosure of information and materials.

Expert legal advice

  • Provides bespoke advice and research to manage complex legal issues, for example EU State Aid, export control, and commercial disputes. 
  • Sponsoring clinical trials and studies
  • Arranges sponsorship of clinical trials and studies under the Research Governance Framework.
  • Provides expert advice on the legal and regulatory requirements needed to undertake clinical trials and studies.

Exploiting Intellectual Property Rights

  • Legal support such as negotiating licence terms, company formation and consultancy agreements, for the commercialisation of Intellectual property rights through licensing and spin-out companies.
  • Receives and disburses royalty payments from IP licences.

Who to contact in the IP & Legal team

Research Development Team

Research Development Team Services

The Research Development Team works to identify and build-on opportunities of strategic importance, primarily by bringing academic, support departments and external partners together to make applications to fund research. This activity may on occasion incorporate working with individual academics but more often with and across research groups or thematic areas.

Scanning for opportunities to utilise University research

  • Engage with research funders, partners, users and beneficiaries to understand their requirements and future trends.
  • Identify and map internal research capabilities to understand our ability to respond to opportunities.
  • Analyse competitor activity to understand where York has competitive advantage.

Idea generation

  • Design and deliver a variety of meetings and events to enable academic staff to develop ideas for projects and new collaborations.
  • Identify internal research activity around a theme or subject, to build academic and support teams around new research foci.
  • Provide advice on funders’ preferences, schemes and funding sources and share knowledge of internal capability to meet these needs to enable funding applications. 
  • Engage with external partners to assess interest in collaborative research project.
  • Work with senior staff to identify strategic priorities for further development and communicate to the wider university. 
  • Provide advice and signposting to other relevant internal services to realise research impact. 

Priming research ideas

  • Identify, secure and distribute external priming funds to develop internal capability, generate proof-of-concept data and build relationships with research collaborators. 
  • Identify potential sources of funding to match existing research ideas. 

Development of research applications

The RD Team provide expert advice and assistance on research applications. Services and level of co-ordination vary dependent on size of opportunity and complexity of application, and include: development of application focus and cohesive narratives; writing non-research content eg project management sections; generation of contextual data and information; review of proposal; specialist advice on pathways to impact and liaison with partners e.g. production and signatures for letters of support to ensure commitment to the application.

Where this is a quota or other restrictions placed by the funder, the RDT are responsible for the creation and implementation of processes to support application selection and related peer review.

Who to contact in the Research Development Team

Research Excellence Training Team

Research Excellence Training Team Services

The Research Excellence Training Team provide continuous development opportunities for all those engaged in research or who support research at the University of York.

  • Design, deliver and coordinate training and continuous development opportunities (face to face and online) under the broad areas of: research conduct; funding; stakeholder engagement and research impact and professional development and leadership
  • Identify and respond to individual training needs 
  • Consult with academic and professional support departments to provide bespoke training
  • Coordinate high-profile events for researchers to communicate research to non-specialist audiences
  • Create opportunities for networking and sharing practice across the research community
  • Disseminate information and signpost resources that will be of use to researchers
  • Provide careers consultations for research staff (PhD students access the Careers Service) 
  • Deliver PGR supervisors masterclasses and PI Leadership Training

Who to contact in the Research Excellence Training Team

Visit the Research Excellence Training Team's webpages

Research Grants and Contracts

Research Grants and Contracts Services

The RGC section provides administrative support, authorisation and financial control to academic staff for all research grants and contracts from initial application through to closure of live awards. The team is a vital source of expertise to ensure your research grant has the best possible chance of success.

Assessing and authorising research funding applications (Pre-Award)

  • Provide experienced insights into funder expectations, through processing on average 1000 applications a year and attending significant funder events, to help improve chances of application success.
  • Assess every research application against funder guidelines to reduce the likelihood of automatic disqualification.
  • Assess every research application against guidelines to ensure costs and risks to the University and the Principal Investigator (PI) have been considered.
  • Confirm compliance with University grant submission policy and submit research funding applications.

Award management (Post-Award)

  • Activate research projects to enable access to the awarded funds. This requires liaison with Investigators, funders, partner organisations and other support services regarding negotiation of contracts, approval of job adverts, and activation of award with the funder and the University’s accounting system.
  • Manage grant finances on behalf of the University, PI and funder to ensure compliance with contract terms and conditions. This includes: submitting financial claims, processing claims from collaborators, organising audits and generating financial reports and project closure.
  • Guidance and clarification for the PI concerning policy around critical project issues including: staffing, equipment procurement and collaborator relationships to ensure continued compliance with funder conditions.

Research Grants and Contracts Service Definition (MS Word , 24kb)

Who to contact in Research Grants & Contracts

Research Strategy and Policy

Research Strategy and Policy services

The Research Strategy and Policy office works with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and the University Research Committee to develop and implement the University’s Research Strategy and associated policies. It also provides expert advice to academic staff on research integrity, governance and research impact. The office monitors the external environment to identify policy developments and assess their impact on the University’s research activities.

The team draft and consult on University research policies as appropriate, present these policies to University Research Committee for approval and monitor activity around all research policies to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Managing and analysing research information

  • Provide guidance and training for staff on the use PURE, the university’s research information system. The system is used to record, organise and make research activity public and as a means of meeting open access requirements.
  • Analyse internal and external data and provide information to enable University managers to make evidence-based research policy decisions.

Research Performance and Benchmarking

  • Provide expert knowledge and guidance on external assessment of research including the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and develop and provide benchmarking tools for academic staff.
  • Oversee and submit the University’s REF submission.
  • Support University Research Committee in the development and operation of internal research performance management.
  • Collate information and create reports for Annual Departmental Research Reviews, for consideration by University Research Committee.

Research Integrity and misconduct

  • Provide professional advice and staff training on research integrity issues and facilitate the University’s academic-led Research Integrity Forum. Ensure University structures and processes comply with funder requirements and the UUK Concordat to Support Research Integrity.
  • Provide advice on concerns relating to poor research practice and/or potential research misconduct.

Research Impact

  • Interpret existing sector guidance to provide professional advice and training to academic and professional staff on impact definitions; potential pathways to impact; evidencing, measuring and recording of impact and external developments.
  • Identify and anticipate future trends to enable strategic planning, and benchmarking of competitor activity relating to impact.

Briefing and consulting Chairs of Department Research Committees

  • Through Research Forum, provide regular updates on research matters, policies and external factors, facilitate the sharing of best practice around research management, and consult on new policies and procedures.
  • Deliver inductions for new Chairs of Departmental Research Committee to brief them on their roles and responsibilities.

Who to contact in Research Strategy & Policy