As a research-intensive university, Birmingham is committed to conducting research that is world-leading in terms of its originality and distinctiveness, impact and rigour. We are internationally recognised for research that is agenda-setting and for transferring research outcomes to ensure positive impacts on culture and society, human health, the economy and environment.
We encourage individual excellence and capitalise on our distinctive multi- and inter-disciplinary research strengths in order to address key national and global challenges, with research that tackles global health risks, strives to identify new energy sources, encourages adaptation to climate change and even tackles the effects of ageing. We recognise that the complexity of these challenges are best met when the best minds from different disciplines are able to work together, combining their different perspectives and skills.
The Research Fortnight’s University Power Ranking, based on quality and quantity of research activity, confirms that Birmingham is the region's top university , leading the way for the UK as a whole across a broad range of disciplines including Primary Care, Cancer Studies, Psychology, Music and Sport and Exercise Sciences.
The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study
The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study is a collaborative research project between the Universities of Birmingham and Hong Kong and the Guangzhou Occupational Diseases Prevention and Treatment Centre in China. The major study, which involved more than 20,000 people in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, has shown that exposure to passive smoke is putting many non-smokers at risk of developing chronic lung disease (including chronic bronchitis and emphysema).
The results, published in The Lancet, suggest that exposure to passive smoke could cause up to 1.9 million deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among non-smokers across China.
Kar-Keung Cheng, Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Health and Population Sciences, is a co-Principal Investigator of the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study and has longstanding interests in the impacts of smoking and obesity prevention. Professor Cheng is the lead researcher on health in the UK Government’s China Task Force chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The success of the initial Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study has now led to the development of a subcohort on cardiovascular disease.
Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary (and now Leader of the Opposition) Ed Miliband has repeatedly spoken about the need for cleaner fuel with nuclear energy as one of a 'trinity' of future fuel options alongside renewables and clean coal. Today the University of Birmingham is at the forefront of clean energy development and a sustainable and green transport system.