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Re(searching) Ahead

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Annabel Grosman

Newcastle University’s aim, as specified in its mission statement, is ‘to deliver teaching and facilitate learning of the highest quality’, and to ‘be a world-class research-intensive University’. Towards these ends the University has enjoyed remarkable success. Professor Nick Wright, pro-vice chancellor for Research and Innovation, says, ‘As part of the University’s commitment to excellence with impact, we have identified institutional challenge themes that address key societal issues. These themes address the demand-side of research by responding to the needs of both local society and global issues.’

Russell Group
Newcastle University is a member of the Russell Group, representing the 20 leading universities for research in the United Kingdom.  This group of universities not only demonstrates outstanding levels of academic achievement in both teaching and research, but they also make a great contribution to the local communities in which they are situated, and to the general economic, social and cultural well being of the United Kingdom.


Research Facilities

The University offers research facilities and equipment across a range of disciplines and locations.

  • At present it is engaged in an improvement programme that provides the continual investment of over £10 million a year on teaching, learning and research services
  • It houses an £11 million cancer research centre and an £18 million environment and e-science institute
  • Students and academic staff have access to first-rate laboratories, libraries, and IT services, as well as other scientific, technical, and advisory facilities. The science and engineering laboratories have been recently refurbished and nine new research institutes have been founded, housed in buildings costing over £30 million.

Partnerships and Collaborators

Part of Newcastle University’s strength in research comes from its extensive links and relationships with a number of partners. Newcastle works with a number of companies to produce research that has an impact on the wider community by generating a return on public funded investment. The University’s wide range of specialised units contributes to a variety of areas from engineering to farming to software reliability. Wider collaboration with the public and private sector can be seen in Newcastle University’s relationship with the regional development agency, One North East, and a number of other key partners. Further collaborative initiatives include joint investments in research services, strong European and international links, and the creation of spin-out companies. 


Current Research Areas

The university is committed to a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary ethos and has strengths in a great range of subject areas. While Newcastle University operates at a global level, the University also demonstrates a commitment to the regional and local community, and plays a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. At present the university is focusing on two main ‘societal challenge themes’. 2010 saw the launch of the first of these themes. Healthy Ageing, led by the internationally recognised Institute for Ageing and Health, is developing cutting-edge research in a range of areas related to changing age. The second, launched in 2011, is Sustainability, and draws on research in engineering, social sciences and environmental science. Through the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, the University aims to find solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the world in terms of sustainability, based in the areas of the natural environment, technology sectors, and human systems. Professor Oliver Hinton, pro-vice chancellor for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, says, ‘By tackling challenges such as clean energy, sustainable farming, and green transport, our academics are not only inspiring the scientists and engineers of the future, but are also influencing current national and international government policies.’ 2012 will see the launch of a third theme, Social Renewal. Through these themes Newcastle University plans to address some of the most pressing needs in society, and help fulfill its vision to be a globally ambitious but regionally rooted research-intensive university.








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