Research and knowledge exchange

Establishing a School governed Research Centre or Group

The University formally recognises two types of research grouping, each with a different level of governance.


A Research Centre is a group of staff, possibly involving PhD students, working on collaborative, world-leading research, and whose work together provides added value over and above their individual research projects.  Research Centres may be in new or emerging areas and are often interdisciplinary in nature, undertaking research that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour and that has considerable impacts. Research Centres will be expected to feature prominently in Research Excellence Framework Environment Statements.

A Research Group provides a focus for a collection of staff, possibly involving PhD students working on a particular research topic or theme.  They may be working in an emerging or established area of expertise.  

This category is governed entirely at School level.  Schools are responsible for approving the creation of new Research Centres and Groups and reviewing those already established.  If you are interested in establishing a Research Centre or Group please contact your School Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange.

More information is available in the Guidelines for Schools on the Purpose, Establishment and Governance of Research Centres and Groups.


Centres of Excellence will be the University’s flagship pillars of research strength.  They will be exemplars of best practice in creating and sustaining a positive and inclusive research culture and environment in which people can flourish.  They will provide a collaborative and supportive environment that nurtures high quality, impactful research and knowledge exchange with international visibility.  CoEs will transcend disciplinary boundaries and share a common vision and an overarching and clearly defined set of research objectives. CoEs will act as a hub for a critical mass of researchers and students, ensuring a dynamic, sustainable research base and an active knowledge sharing platform.

The process to apply for Centre of Excellence status is open.  Please refer to the documents below for information on eligibility. Applications should be submitted to Debbie Foy by 4pm 13 February 2023.

More information is available in the following documents: