The University is one of the UK’s most successful institutions in terms of attracting research funding. We have a portfolio of 2645 live projects with an award value to the University of £656 million.
Our research record speaks for itself. More than 80 per cent of all research carried out at Birmingham is rated as internationally excellent or world-leading, according to the latest UK-wide research quality survey (REF 2014).
The results also showed that 87 per cent of our research activity submitted to REF has a global impact, confirming our position among the world’s top universities for research in a broad range of areas, from History and Education to Chemical Engineering and Psychology.
We also have strong industrial partnerships with more than 900 joint publications with industry.
Long established as a pioneer in the field of medicine, Birmingham scientists were the brains behind the first heart pacemaker, the use of aspirin and the synthesis of Vitamin C.
‘Great minds, in the right location’ sums up our unique combination of cutting-edge laboratory work, clinical expertise and first-class surgical facilities all housed on one vast life sciences campus.
The Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM), builds on Birmingham’s excellent track record in clinical trials and is helping to progress the very latest scientific research findings from the University into enhanced treatments for patients across a range of major health issues including cancer and liver disease.
Bringing together the University, the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, it is increasing capacity and enabling more patients to be co-located alongside clinicians and researchers.
This vision is reflected in Birmingham’s ambitious project to create a 10 acre science park specifically for the life sciences adjacent to the University and Hospital to attract cutting edge health and pharmaceutical research firms into the city, driving economic growth alongside medical and scientific innovation.
These investments reinforce the University’s position today as a world leader in, for example, the development of new treatments for cancer, heart, and liver disease, as well as innovative transplant technologies and new drugs to combat antibiotic resistance.
This strength in life sciences is reflected throughout our College of Life and Environmental Sciences which is home to one of the best stand-alone Psychology schools in the country as well as one of the top three centres for research into Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Science.
Supported by a major gift from a philanthropist, the University is developing a unique institute for forest research which will investigate the effect of rapid climate change on tree canopy development and pathogens.
The University’s arts and humanities researchers are among the very best in the UK, highlighting our world-class research programme.
Philosophy, History, Classics, Theology and Religion, and West African Studies are amongst the top ranked departments in the country and recognised for bringing significant benefits to society.
The Arts and Humanities, and University life in general, are enhanced by a rich set of cultural assets that include the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, which has direct working links with the Royal Shakespeare Company; the Ironbridge Institute in Shropshire, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts - our own art gallery that houses works by many of the greatest artists in the western tradition.
The Edgbaston campus also includes Winterbourne House and Garden, a unique Edwardian heritage attraction that is home to more than 6,000 plant species from around the world.
Our cultural profile was significantly enhanced with the opening of the Bramall Music Building in 2013.
This houses the Elgar Concert Hall, named after our first Professor of Music, Sir Edward Elgar, and is a striking venue that complements our global reputation in music, attracting some of the most talented musicians from across the world to study here.
In the Physical Sciences we boast outstanding academic and research credentials, including in Chemical Engineering, in which we were recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in the Jubilee year, and in Physics, where we have just received investment of £80 million to develop Quantum Technologies.
Our substantive links with industry include receiving a £60 million investment from Rolls-Royce and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for the world-leading High Temperature Research Centre, and a further £60m investment for the Energy Research Accelerator, of which £20m will be allocated for energy research at Birmingham and will be matched by industrial sources.
In the Social Sciences we have developed a broad range of initiatives, focused on enhancing, supporting and developing public sector services across the city and nationally.
The Public Service Academy (PSA) brings together the University’s teaching, research, consultancy and knowledge transfer expertise in public services.
Working with a range of key public service partners, including Birmingham City Council, our work is focused on key themes including cohesion, health and wellbeing and localisation.
Our Health Services Management Centre provides a combination of research, teaching, professional development and consultancy to health and social care agencies and has established a unique reputation as a 'critical friend' of the healthcare community.
The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading UK centre for the study of local public service management, policy and governance.
With more than 40 years of experience working within local government and the public sector, it shapes the very latest thinking for public servants.
Our research helps to shape the national political agenda too.
The ground-breaking Birmingham Policy Commissions bring together key figures from the public, private and third sectors with our academics to generate new thinking on contemporary issues of global, national and civic concern.
Commissions to date have included reports on the shape and nature of local public services in a ‘big society’, the future of nuclear energy in the UK, the security impact of drones, Mental Health, and Cold Energy.