Research and impact

Research and impact

Our Research and impact strategy vision is to be world-leading in specific research areas and globally recognised in all our research and impact activities.

The Research and impact strategy is first and foremost about our people: creating the right environment and supporting our researchers at every career stage whilst we continue to build on our strong record of international collaborations and co-authorship.

We will partner with businesses, cultural organisations and a wide range of collaborators to carry out research with impact and public benefit. We will ensure student engagement in our research activities, to both inform and deliver our research-connected learning and teaching.

To achieve our strategic goals we will enhance opportunities through Prosper and Cradle to Chair and endorse the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, recognising that a positive and inclusive culture that fosters personal and professional development is key to success. We will prioritise support to areas with the greatest potential to become world-leading in research and impact outcomes.

We will further build the profile and recognition of research areas where we have established knowledge leadership, for example in Advanced materials, Digital and artificial intelligence, Infectious disease and Heritage, alongside other emerging, interdisciplinary research themes, which will enhance the reputation of research across the whole University.


What sets us apart now?

What can set us apart in the future?

A broad subject mix of adaptable scale with established international research excellence and a track record in disciplines across all three Faculties, with particular strengths in specific thematic areas.

Being the go-to place for established and aspiring research leaders through the quality of our environment and support for knowledge leaders and their teams.

A distinctive track record and capability to develop the Liverpool model of being the partner of choice (business, international, academic).

Being impact-intensive and embedding impact in the research lifespan.


Attractive to a diverse community of postdoctoral researchers who are supported, under the Prosper model or Cradle to Chair.


What are our core priorities and objectives?

  • Global knowledge leadership: increase the proportion of highly ranked research disciplines and research leaders
  • Growth in research power: more colleagues enabled to meet our expectations to contribute to world-leading research
  • Postdoctoral researcher development: transform the capacity of our postdoctoral researchers to succeed across multiple career pathways
  • Partnerships and impact: create meaningful partnerships for impact and markedly increase the proportion of research leading to public benefit
  • National and international profile: develop the reputation of our University and the city of Liverpool through our international presence, and the profile and performance of our leading research areas.


How will we achieve our objectives?

  • Enhancing the environment though a number of activities:
    1. Time for innovative research and impact and for developing researchers from postgraduates through to established staff
    2. Enhancing quality through the Peer Review College, mentoring and research support
    3. Pathways to partnerships
    4. Supporting and rewarding impact
    5. Developing international partnerships for research collaboration.
  • Prioritising support for established and emerging disciplinary and thematic areas with the best chance of success in terms of research excellence and impact: we will invest in research leadership, thematic research development, partnerships and Intellectual Property exploitation, whilst continuing to focus on distinctive strengths in all disciplines
  • Developing our profile with focused support for areas of global knowledge leadership, interdisciplinarity, increasing external representation and influence, demonstrating our civic role, addressing societal challenges and delivering public benefit.


How will we measure progress and know we have succeeded?

We will be recognised as a leading research-intensive University, with global knowledge leadership in established and emerging strengths, strategic partnerships delivering impact and public benefit across our research disciplines, and a national and international profile for our leading research areas.

The measures of success will be:

  • Research performance: to achieve top quartile positions in all our units in terms of proportion of world-leading outputs by the end of the next two REF cycles
  • Partnerships: to increase the number of next generation partnership projects in alignment with our overall Research and Impact objectives and priorities, with a view to establishing two further strategic partners, comparable with Unilever, by 2026, one in Digital/AI and one in Culture/Heritage
  • Intensity: all academic colleagues on teaching and research contracts will be working on world-leading and internationally excellent research as evidenced by outputs, income and impact.

Back to: Our Strategy 2026