Accessibility statement

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

About Research and Enterprise

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


Remits and activity

Commercialisation Team

Commercialisation Team Services

The Commercialisation 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 Research and Knowledge Exchange Contracts 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 eg, 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 Commercialisation 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 Support Team

  • includes the Director, Associate Directors, Directorate Operational Manager, PA to the Director and communications officer
  • provide directorate staff and financial management
  • provide strategic direction for the directorate to support institutional objectives
  • manage directorate communications via websites, events and digital media

Further information on the Directorate Support Team

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. Government 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 eg, suitable completion of timesheets. Economic development funding is subject to a stricter audit regime than for research funding, especially around procurement and state aid.

Project Management and Governance

Many of the staff are experienced project manager, so are able to support the management of activity once funding has been secured. This could include co-ordinating several internal departments on a collective bid.

Contract Performance Monitoring

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.

Initiating Project Policies and Procedures

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

Analysis and Graphical Reports

Staff are able to analyse data and produce suitable charts and infographics to present the resulting data. The team already undertakes activity for both the externally funded projects it delivers as well as the HEBCIS return.


Research and Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team

Research and Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team services

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team provides expert advice, guidance and support to all academic and support departments, subsidiaries, early-stage spin-out companies.

The Team liaises with the Research Grants Operations team (RGO) 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 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 Research and Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team

Internal Funding Team

The Internal Funding Team was created to support the growing recurrent internal funding programmes at the University.

The funds are under the management of the Research and Enterprise Directorate and support the development of research, knowledge exchange and impact, in line with the University Strategic Plan objectives.

The funds include HEIF (Research England), Impact Acceleration Accounts and other allocations (UKRI Research Councils) and internal University pump priming funds, as well as various smaller externally resourced funds held within the Directorate.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Team

  • Find academics for businesses to develop innovation projects to apply for Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding
  • Find business for academics to submit KTP proposals
  • Scope KTP projects
  • KTP bid writing support
  • Pre-award management to application submission
  • Post-award management to project completion and Final Report submission

Who to contact in the KTP Team

Research and Innovation Development Team

Research and Innovation Development Team Services

The Research and Innovation 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 RID 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 eg, 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 RDIT are responsible for the creation and implementation of processes to support application selection and related peer review.

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 Operations

Research Grants Operations Services

The RGO section provides administrative support, authorisation and financial control to academic staff for all research grants 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.

Who to contact in Research Grants Operations

Policy, Integrity and Performance Team

Policy, Integrity and Performance Team

The Policy, Integrity and Performance Team 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 team 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 the Policy, Integrity and Performance Team

Cross-Directorate Roles

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Champions

Philip Kerrigan (he/him),

Clare Usher (she/her),

As EDI Champions Clare and Philip are charged with promoting awareness of equality and diversity issues in the day-to-day operations of the Directorate, working in collaboration with the Equality and Diversity Office, as well as ensuring that the Department promotes, celebrates and raises awareness of equality, diversity and inclusivity. They chair the Directorate's Equality Group which meets quarterly and includes representatives from each of the different teams within the Directorate.

Safety Adviser

Emma Montgomery

Emma is the Directorate Safety Adviser and as such she is responsible for advising and assisting the Director and section heads in delivering their responsibilities under the University's Health, Safety and Welfare policy and for liaising with the central Health and Safety Services Department.

COVID Secure Leads

Samantha Keenan

As Covid Secure Lead Sam ensures that the Directorate has the correct procedures in place to be compliant with the current regulations, liaising with Estates as new developments arise. She is also planning for the return to campus and working with the Senior Management Team to discuss the options available.

Making the Difference Panel


The panel considers applications within the Directorate for HR's 'Making the Difference' bonus scheme to recognise exceptional one-off or short-term contributions from staff or staff teams.