Our research areas

As a research-intensive university, Birmingham is committed to research that is pioneering in terms of its originality and distinctiveness, significance and rigour. Our vision is to inspire today’s brightest researchers to make a major impact on global society, and to become the leaders of tomorrow in whatever field they pursue.

Birmingham Heroes

Our vision is one where the transfer of knowledge and technology - generated from our research into the economy, policy and society - is an embedded and natural component of our activity, as important and relevant as the knowledge generation itself.

We support knowledge transfer as a broad spectrum of activity - including dissemination to our peers, engagement of the public, support to government and industry, and commercialisation of our intellectual property. 

We aim to build on individual excellence and to capitalise on our distinctive multi- and inter-disciplinary research strengths to address key national and global challenges; recognising that the complexity of these requires the productive bringing together of different perspectives and skills.

Follow the links below to view our research:

Engineering and Physical Sciences

This Matters - Engineering and Physical Sciences research

From Healthcare Technologies and Gravity Sensors to Critical Materials and Quantum Clocks, our research has a real impact on our lives. Find out more.

Research Themes

Advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing: Engines for the Future

Engines of today are both powerful and efficient, but the engines of tomorrow need not only to be powerful and efficient but significantly greener

Resilience, energy and sustainability

Resilience energy and sustainability: Energy at Birmingham

The way we supply and use energy is simply not sustainable. Unless we harness new methods to satisfy our increasing reliance on power sources, the impact on the environment will escalate.

Science frontiers

Science frontiers: Particle Physics and Nuclear Physics

The discovery of the Higgs boson was one of the biggest discoveries in physics in half a century. Our pioneering research helped to track it down.

Spotlight on our research


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Latest researcher profile

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Research by subject

Cross discipline research

Life and Environmental Sciences

Across the breadth of life and environmental sciences we discover, apply and translate science, forging advances in human and environmental health.

Research by subject

Cross discipline research

Our world-leading collaborative research areas include:

These areas are underpinned by Enabling Technologies

Medical and Dental Sciences

Research overview

Research Institutes

Our Institutes are focused academic units in identified areas of high-performing research and teaching excellence, each with an ambitious strategy and empowered leadership. We draw together outstanding academic, clinical and Professional Services staff around coherent and highly collaborative themes.  

The Institutes are responsible for driving the further development and delivery of priority themes identified in the institutional Life Sciences Strategy and the College Strategic Framework. They are championing interdisciplinary collaboration across the University’s Colleges and in partnership with our regional NHS Trusts. Each Institute contributes to our translational pipeline, supporting fundamental research excellence through to clinical and applied health programmes.

This strategy ensures that our research delivers real impact in health and wealth generation and that our educational programmes are informed by our research strengths. Co-location and core focal points for each of the Institutes ensure cohesion while at the same time promoting cross-Institute working and collaboration. 

This is further enabled through access to key College and/or cross-campus-managed facilities and resources and the provision of high quality professional services support including core academic, technical and specialist administration in support of teaching and research delivery. 

Our internationally leading experts help to tackle global societal challenges, from occupational health risks in the UK and Europe to childhood obesity in China. 


We make a unique and powerful contribution to understanding how genetic abnormalities within cancer cells lead to disease. We use this information to design and rigorously assess new and proven cancer treatments.


We are world leaders in several areas of cardiovascular work, including research into the behaviour of platelets, white blood cells, atrial fibrillation and angiogenesis.


We undertake innovative, multidisciplinary research in health care to make a measurable difference to the quality and quantity of human life. We also develop and support the next generation of healthcare and medical science professionals by equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attributes to make them agile and effective in a challenging 21st century.


Birmingham has a very strong history of immunology research going back 50 years, and our large faculty of scientists and doctors are well positioned to make a world-leading contribution to understanding and treating immune- mediated disease.


From basic science to community exercise classes, we cover every aspect of research into and treatment of inflammation-driven illnesses and the role of inflammation in ageing.


For many years we have led the global field in metabolism research, particularly in endocrinology. We are also at the forefront of systems-level studies of the human metabolome – how our bodies function at a more complex level.


A joint initiative with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, we have one of the largest groupings of microbiologists in the world and are at the vanguard of innovative research into combatting antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance.


Research Centres