Our research

Male lab technician looking at a blue lightEvery year, MDS secures more than £80 million of research awards from a range of major funders such as the Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Our overall research objective is to develop and promote excellence in basic and clinical science with the goal of delivering improvements in human health. We take pride in a truly translational pipeline, delivering cutting edge clinical trials and patient studies, underpinned by cell and molecular biology research on both model organisms and humans.

With an average field weighted citation impact of 2.30 for medical and dental sciences, our research is truly world-leading; over 25% of our publications appear in the top 10% cited papers worldwide. Our collaborative ethos and the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of our research are highlighted by the fact that over 75% of our publications are developed in collaboration with national and international partners.

Find out more about our research

Outstanding results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

We are incredibly pleased that the 2021 Research Excellence Framework results have confirmed our position among the UK’s top research universities.  Results showed that: 

  • Our Clinical Medicine (UoA 1) research has seen significant growth, as demonstrated by our rise from 25th in REF 2014 to joint 11th (GPA) with a research power ranking of 6th
  • Our Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care (UoA 2) research is now in the UK’s top 5 (GPA) with a research power ranking of 12th
  • 100% of our impact case studies in UoA 2 were deemed to be 4* – outstanding in terms of reach and significance
  • We are ranked in the UK’s top 20 (GPA) institutions for Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (UoA 3) 

Find out how our research has made an impact

Our research on COVID-19 

The College has made vital contributions to the ongoing global effort to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our colleagues have contributed to frontline clinical care, continue to lead research projects to understand clinical aspects of the disease as well as its pathological basis, and have coordinated testing efforts at national level as well as locally, serving not only our campus community but the local population as well.

Our research on COVID-19

Our Birmingham Heroes

Several of our colleagues have been included in the University’s flagship campaign, ‘Birmingham Heroes’. Significant research projects that have been featured include maternal health researchers who are investigating ways to stop mothers dying from bleeding and sepsis, two of the most common causes of mothers dying, and cardiologists who are transforming how we understand atrial fibrillation and care for patients with the condition.

Discover the University's Birmingham Heroes