Tagged / societal themes

Search for a Champion? Or BU Research Themes

Thank you to all those people who responded to the online questionnaire about the BU Research Themes.  There were 273 responses!  On this basis we can reduce the short list of twelve societal themes down to ten as set out in the briefing paper (available from  – I:\CRKT\Public\RDU\Research themes\Paper.docx).  The ten are:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Recreation and leisure
  • Culture and society or Society & Social Change
  • Environmental change and biodiversity
  • Green economy and sustainability
  • Creative and digital economies
  • Aging
  • Learning and public engagement
  • Entrepreneurship and economic growth
  • Technology and design

We urgently need some champions to ‘flesh-out’ these themes to help scope them and allow us to ‘road test’ them further.  I am looking for as many views as possible for each theme; just fill out the template (available from  – I:\CRKT\Public\Research themes\Form.doc) and e-mail it back to me.  The idea is to then distill these views and produce a scope for each; if there are no champions forthcoming then we may be able to reduce the list further.  I need the templates back by the 27 May if possible; thank you!

Matthew Bennett

PVC (Research, Enterprise & Internationalisation)

(The documents are saved to the I-drive. If you are on-campus then you need to copy and paste the file pathway into an internet browser. If you are unable to access them please contact Julie Northam who will email you the documents).

RCUK delivery plan published

RCUK logoLast week Research Councils UK (RCUK) published its new delivery plan. The plan sets out the programme of collective activities for the period 2011-2015, building on the strategic objectives set out in the RCUK Strategic Vision.

The collective work that the Research Councils do as RCUK will cover two broad areas: delivering excellence with impact and enhancing efficiency.

The RCUK programme, detailed in the Delivery Plan, contributes to:

  • Co-ordinating multidisciplinary research to address societal challenges
  • Maximising the impact of the research funded by Research Councils
  • Supporting research in the international context
  • Ensuring a continued pipeline of highly skilled researchers for the sustained health of the research base, and for wider economic and societal benefit
  • Engaging the public with the research.

Collaboration and multidisciplinary research will continue to be supported through the six cross-Council themes:

Research Councils will also work collectively to both improve the efficiency of their own operations and drive enhanced efficiency in the wider research base.

For further information read the full RCUK Delivery Plan

Future BU research themes – have your say!

Following the current refresh of Vision & Values led by the Vice Chancellor Professor John Vinney the intention is to look again at the research and enterprise strategy for BU.

There are likely to be two big elements of change: one is a shift to talking about research as an all embracing term for not only the creation of knowledge but also its dissemination through enterprise and professional practice, and the other is a move towards a more outward facing approach led by the large societal themes both of the day and of the future.  This will position BU to respond more effectively to the big research questions; those associated with the funding and societal impact.  As the first step towards this we are trying to identify a series of broad themes or communities of interest around which we can focus and foster a more collegial and collaborative research mission. 

Identifying these themes or communities is something we wish to engage all staff in.  In the short term these themes and communities will be used to promote our research via the web through a shift to a more narrative based approach rather than one based on our internal structures as at present. 

To start this process off we looked first at the key funding themes for the research councils and other large funders and then ‘road-tested’ them via the BU Professoriate to come up with a long list of possible research themes or communities of interest.  I am now seeking your input via a survey; what themes speak to you? What themes would your research fit under? What are we are missing?  The survey takes less than two minutes to complete. Your participation is very much appreciated and will help directly shape not only the way in which we promote our research via the BU website but also our future research strategy.

To complete the survey click here!

 The survey is open until Monday 2 May.


Matthew Bennett

PVC (Research, Enterprise & Internationalisation)