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Research Excellence

Professor Cathy Gormley-HeenanProfessor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Impact)

Ulster University’s international reputation for research excellence has received worldwide recognition. International experts have judged Ulster University as being in the top 25% of UK universities for world-leading research based on research power, and 72% of our research activity is judged to be world-leading and internationally excellent.

Excellence in research at Ulster envisions an internationally-engaged, research-led university, where both disciplinary excellence and impactful interdisciplinary research are undertaken across our strategic themes of:

  • social renewal
  • sustainability
  • healthy communities
  • creativity and culture

The outcomes will have global relevance and contribute to the social, economic and cultural advancement of Northern Ireland and will also play a critical role in fulfilling our civic commitment and informing student learning.

Our Research & Impact Strategy 2017-2022 supports Ulster University’s vision to deliver globally significant research with local relevance and to make a positive contribution to society. The strategy defines our ambitions and provides direction and focus for our research and its impact, empowering our people to undertake interdisciplinary research in a supportive environment to produce internationally excellent and world-leading outputs with transformative impact.

Over the next five years we will achieve a number of key targets, which are detailed in the strategy document, a number of these include:

  • increase our number of PhD students by 30%
  • increase our level of overall research grants by 50%
  • increase our research partnerships with business by 25%
  • improve our positioning within the top 25% of UK Universities for research power

Top 10

For Built Environment, Biomedical Sciences, Art & Design and Nursing Research.
Research power:
REF 2014

Top 5

For world-leading research in Law, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing and Art & Design.
Research outputs:
REF 2014

Top 10

Of UK universities for its number of interactions with SMEs.
HEBCI 2014/15

Top 10

For an internationally excellent, world-leading research environment in Nursing & Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Architecture and the Built Environment, Law, Art & Design.
Research environment:
REF 2014

Top 23%

Of UK universities for the total income generated from its interactions with business and the community.
HEBCI 2014/15