Research reimagined

Our researchers have worked with artists to co-create abstract visions of their world-changing research.

Our research is changing how the world works. We are unveiling the hidden with quantum technology, understanding how future atmospheres affect biodiversity, removing barriers to create more inclusive education, promoting cultural understanding, and preventing maternal deaths.

To bring our research to a global audience, we have mirrored the unbound approach of our researchers and created a campaign featuring artistic interpretations of their research.

To create the research scenes, our researchers worked with digital artists to share ideas and inspire a creative response to their research. Each theme had its own challenge but perhaps the most interesting brief was set for Quantum Sensing by Professor Michael Holynski: “Having a shape where you ask yourself, ‘is it there, is it not there?’ The edges are moving, you can’t see them. It’s coming in and out of existence.”

Each of the scenes the digital artists created are inspired by the wider focus of a research challenge theme or a specific piece of research within, read more about the chosen research below.

Fairer World

Inspired by Professor Karen Guldberg’s work in Inclusive Education we have represented how our research creates equality and inclusivity for all with multiple kinetic glassy shapes, interacting and moving together as one to form a more inclusive, diverse, and beautiful object.


Life-Changing Technologies

The challenging brief set for the artists by Professor Michael Holynski’s work in Quantum Sensing and Technology and Professor Nicole Metje's work at the National Buried Infrastructure Facility is answered with an undefined shape or material that is constantly moving, changing and glitching.


Connecting Cultures

To represent how our research brings people and societies closer together, Professor Dagmar Divjak inspired the artists to create an intertwining patchwork of colourful strands.


Thriving Planet

The carbon enrichment research happening at the BIFoR FACE facility by Professor Rob MacKenzie and team was brought to life as a diorama of forest biodiversity reacting to changing environmental factors.


Global Health

Our work to reduce the global maternal mortality rate, specifically Professor Arri Coomarasamy’s research in Post-Partum Haemorrhage led the artists to create a representation of mother and child.

We are extremely proud of the world-changing work being conducted across our five research challenge themes. Our researchers forever re-imagine and re-think the established within their areas of expertise and it’s important that we continue to inspire more discoveries.

By connecting our researchers with digital artists to visualise their research we have created a new way for varied audiences to become more aware and inspired by our important work.

Adam Tickell

Adam Tickell

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Explore our Research Challenge Themes

  • Fairer World

    Across the world, millions of people fight for justice – from inclusive education and healthcare access, to gender equality and political conflict. We are on an unrestricted mission to address these global challenges.

  • Life-Changing Technologies

    With the growth of our global population the demand for products, infrastructure, and services also increases, creating a growing burden on our planet’s resources and geopolitical relations. To answer this challenge we must alter the world’s approach to manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare.

  • Connecting Cultures

    Culture enriches our individual and collective lives. Cultural practices open new ways of understanding and responding to contemporary challenges, intercultural understanding helps us to live well together, and creativity unlocks potential, empathy, joy, and well-being.

  • Thriving Planet

    We are working to understand the impact of climate change on the planet and its people. Our research is improving air quality and access to clean water, and advancing the clean technologies needed to ensure a sustainable future for all of us.

  • Global Health

    We are improving the health of people across the world through new discoveries, treatments and patient pathways and working with key partners to conduct impactful research which matters to local populations.

Our researchers

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas, this guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.