Research Committee

Research Committee reports to Senate.

Terms of reference

Objectives and outcomes

University Research Committee (URC) oversees research activity. 

It advises Senate and the University Executive Board on research strategy, approves internal policy and monitors our research performance.

URC is responsible for:

  1. Considering and approving proposed University policy with relation to research.
  2. Advising on the University strategy and, as appropriate, approving strategies with relation to research.
  3. Assessing research performance and monitoring progress against key internal and external indicators.
  4. Identifying priority areas for research support and advising on a framework to effectively provide it. 
  5. Supporting engagement with key internal and external stakeholders.

Contact us

Chair: Professor Matthias Ruth
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
+44 (0)1904 323492

For agendas and minutes: Zoe Deacy-Clarke
+44 (0)1904 324308

The remit of the Committee under the following core, agenda-aligned headings, is: 

2a) Strategic development, planning, performance monitoring and resourcing

Items for consideration and/or decision:

  1. To advise Senate and the University Executive Board on all matters relating to the research strategy of the University; to support the development of the University's Research Strategy and to support the Vice-Chancellor, the University Executive Board and Pro-Vice-Chancellor(s) in driving the strategy forward. 
  2. To identify priority areas for research support and to advise the University Executive Board on organisational structures for research, on the selective distribution of resources within the University in order to ensure appropriate  alignment of resource allocation with research strategy, and where other initiatives within the University have implications for research activity. 
  3. To monitor the research performance of the institution and its academic departments, entities and faculties in terms of research quality, sustainability of research income, and impact, drawing on national and international benchmarking data.
  4. To advise the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research on areas where  improvements could be made, where there are significant risks and/or where new opportunities may be pursued.
  5. To support the University in its engagement with key external stakeholders relating  to research, including business, industry, the government, cultural institutions and  funding agencies. 
  6. To influence the development of research policy and strategy of key national and  international agencies in the interests of the University (eg UKRI, Research Councils, Research England, European Union).

2b) Policy and regulatory matters 

  1. To set internal policy in response to external requirements (eg peer review  processes, external research assessment), and to make recommendations and report in these areas to the University Senate and University Executive Board. 
  2. To monitor policy concerning research in relation to external requirements, ensuring that regulatory needs are met.  
  3. To champion and promote research excellence and integrity, and to oversee the  development and maintenance of the supporting policy framework, reporting annually to Senate and Council. 
  4. To receive annual updates from departments on research activities and performance including research impact, in order to advise the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research on areas where improvements could be made, where there are significant risks and/or where new opportunities may be pursued.


On behalf of Senate, URC is empowered to make decisions relating to research and to seek assurance relating to the quality of these activities as set out above. It can also make recommendations and/or refer items to Senate, UEB, University Teaching Committee, UPEC and other University committees as appropriate.

URC has no direct budgetary control but is able to endorse and support proposed activities in relation to research support. URC is able to review and/or set strategic priorities for research funding.

Constitution and membership

The membership of URC is a combination of ex officio appointments, including academic leaders, representatives of Professional Services, and representatives of academic staff appointed by Senate.

Members represent the offices against which they are listed in the Committee's constituency. In the case of academic members, these members represent the broad academic community at the University, rather than the interests of their individual departments. The Faculty Deans and Associate Deans (Research) provide the link between the Faculties and the Committee.

Academic staff representatives should be drawn from each of the three Faculties, with no two members from the same department, and should between them have sufficient experience to be able to speak to Committee activities.

Proxy or alternate members are not permitted. Individual colleagues may be invited to attend for select items as and when the need arises.

In order to ensure that the committee's business is conducted robustly and transparently, members are required to identify and report any pertinent potential or actual conflicts of interest, both via an annual exercise, and on an ongoing ad hoc basis should such conflicts become apparent in the interim.

This enables the conduct of the committee's work to be adapted accordingly and the conflicts mitigated. Details of procedures for handling conflicts of interest are set out in a separate document, available from the Policy, Integrity and Performance Office.

Members may be required from time to time to undertake additional activities, for example (i) membership of review panels, (ii) membership of the Research Priming Fund committee and (iii) representation on working groups.

Quorum: 50% of members, or 50%+ one member where the number of members is not even.

Membership review: membership will be periodically reviewed by the Committee itself for Senate approval. Membership is otherwise coterminous with the individual's appointment term. Gender balance and wider EDI considerations should be factored into the Committee's reflection on its own size and composition.


Ex officio members

Academic members from each Faculty

In attendance

Representative of CITY College, Thessaloniki

Invited to two meetings per year for discussion of CITY. High priority items can be brought as relevant outside these allocated meetings.

Meeting frequency

A minimum of six times per year, with the facility to transact and record decisions by written resolution or, where necessary, Chair's Action.

Meeting dates 2024

Date Time Agenda deadline Paper deadline
Wednesday 13 March 9.30am Friday 16 February Friday 23 February, 12 noon
Wednesday 1 May 9.30am Thursday 28 March Friday 12 April, 12 noon
Wednesday 19 June 2pm Friday 24 May Friday 31 May, 12 noon

The following groups report to University Research Committee: 

See the full Senate sub-committee structure (Sept 2023) (PDF , 36kb)

Parent committee and associated subcommittees

Contact us

Chair: Professor Matthias Ruth
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
+44 (0)1904 323492

For agendas and minutes: Zoe Deacy-Clarke
+44 (0)1904 324308