Primed with an ambitious innovation strategy and a transformational campus masterplan, we're creating a hub of research excellence at the heart of Greater Manchester.
Building on our rich heritage of industry engagement, we’re ready to accelerate impactful research and enterprise in thematic areas of productivity, sustainable environment, healthy living and creative and resilient communities.
Are you ready to take your research idea to the next level? Join us and see what we can achieve together.
Recognising Research Excellence
Salford rises 22 places in the Times Higher Education league table based on the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results.
In the REF 2021 exercise, Salford’s research was rated overall as 78% world-leading and internationally excellent (24% 4* and 54% 3*). This performance placed us at 65th in the UK iby Grade Point Average - an impressive jump of 22 places, up from 87th in REF 2014 (Times Higher Education).
Professor Karl Dayson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, has congratulated colleagues on this achievement, saying “The results are testament to the hard work and diligence of those involved in our research and we are pleased to see areas of our expertise being recognised as world-leading in all of our submissions”.
Our Innovation Strategy - a holistic approach to research, enterprise and engagement
From its inception as a royal institute in 1896, through the period as College of Advanced Technology during the post-war period, to its university charter status in 1967, the University of Salford has pioneered original research that is ready for industry application.
Today, this founding ethos is embodied in our strategic commitment to industry collaboration. By applying our holistic, interdisciplinary approach, informed by societal challenges and changes, we strive to solve many of the complex global challenges we face today.
The REF 21 results are a testament to the breadth of high-quality research across our university. Featured projects showcase the success our academic community has when working in productive partnerships with industry, public organisations and the third sector to apply expertise and make a difference.
Read more: Our Innovation Strategy
Strategy Overview Our goals, themes and priorities
We are committed to enhancing our research excellence today, whilst we develop our future-leading areas of tomorrow.
We will be recognised as a global leader of challenge-led research and solutions-focused enterprise, delivering responsible innovation for economic, environmental, and social impact.
Capitalising on our key areas of strength in research, enterprise, and education, we will work in partnership to address the needs of local, regional, national, and global stakeholders.
Read on to learn more about the goals, themes and priorities that shape our research strategy and agenda.
- Expanding our reputation for excellence and innovation in research and enterprise
- Creating added value through strengthening and deepening our partnerships
- Generating measurable economic, societal and environmental impact at a local, national and international level
We've chosen four themes to represent our main areas of research activity and illustrate the way in which our institution collectively influences and benefits society:
- Creative and Resilient Communities
- Sustainable Environment
- Healthy Living
Underpinning these themes, we focus on three enabling technologies:
- Smart Living
These enabling technologies will both develop new types of businesses and disciplines, whilst also transforming existing organisations and areas of research and methodologies.
- Accelerating areas of research and enterprise excellence
- Developing creative research and enterprise leaders
- Transforming our culture
- Building a stronger economy
- Delivering a successful public and civic engagement
Research centres and units
Across the university, there is research and enterprise of the highest quality held in high global esteem.
Our interdisciplinary research centres bring together experts to address global challenges relating to technology, health and wellbeing, urban and natural environments, and resilience and creativity in society.
Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics (ASAR)
ASAR is at the forefront of strategic research initiatives funded by the UK Government, EU and industry. Our research provides applications for many sectors including automotive and aerospace manufacturing, space exploration, food production, and healthcare.
In 2020, ASAR begins work on a new, £13m Robotics Innovation Centre, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. This will be a UK hub for businesses seeking innovative solutions for infrastructure, supply chains and health technology in a post-COVID world.
Prosthetics and Orthotics
Salford’s Health Sciences Research Centre is currently home to an £11m EPSRC-funded centre in prosthetics and orthotics. This brings together 27 industry, healthcare and academic partners to address challenges in healthcare technology and improve the experiences of those who rely on prosthetic and orthotic services.
Working with our collaborators we are providing training to doctoral level for a cohort of UK and international students to address a global shortage of expertise.
Our unique Energy House Laboratory helps businesses understand how effective their products and services are in lowering consumers’ carbon footprint and reducing energy bills. A £16m investment, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Office for Students, will see this transformed into Energy House 2.0. This research and testing facility will enable us to continue to investigate energy efficiency and design innovations for smart and sustainable living in the future.
Health, Welfare and Policy
Our Centre for Social and Health Research (CSHR) is currently leading an ESRC-funded project to investigate access to welfare support during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 is placing an unprecedented amount of pressure on the UK benefits system and our researchers are conducting a large-scale investigation into the individuals applying for credit for the first time and the experiences of claimants navigating a new system and associated support virtually.
Decolonising English Curriculums
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), researchers in our Arts, Media & Communication (AMC) research centre are challenging conventional narratives around the involvement of African writers and artists in modernism. This research aims to provide a comprehensive account of how South African writers helped shape the evolution of literary modernism, traditionally considered a Euro-American artistic movement.
Findings from the research will provide materials to aid educators in reframing how modernism is taught in secondary, FE and HE levels, enhancing cultural understanding of African contributions to a major literary movement.
Making an impact
We believe that our research should directly benefit the world around us. This demonstrable contribution and improvement to society, the economy, the environment, technology, and community wellbeing is our ‘impact’.
Our commitment to real-world impact is recognised in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise, where 88% of our research impact submission was rated as outstanding (4*) or very considerable (3*) in terms of its reach and significance.
In five of our unit submissions, our impact case studies achieved 100% outstanding or very considerable impact, namely:
- Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (50% 4*; 50% 3*)
- Engineering (33% 4*; 67% 3*)
- Social Work and Social Policy (75% 4*; 25% 3*)
- Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies (50% 4*; 50% 3*)
- Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management (50% 4*; 50% 3*)
Read more: Research with Impact blog
Public and Community Engagement
Overview and contacts
The University has a long history of public and community engagement, working with local, regional and national partners to engage, involve, and work with organisations to create extraordinary experiences. In 2022, we have exhibited at New Scientist Live, the Royal Society Summer of Science, Manchester Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival.
- Visit The SciComm Space to explore our engagements.
- Explore our staff directory to find academic expertise.
- Email email@example.com or visit Research with Impact blog and guidance for general enquiries on public engagement and research impact.
- Contact our Press Office for media enquiries.
Festival of Research
Our annual Festival of Research showcases our latest research to the local community, providing a variety of engaging events on campus, in Peel Park and across venues in Manchester and Salford.
Working closely with Salford City Council, we have co-created previous festivals with more than 70 industry and community partners. Our festival opens up our research to everyone, including a dedicated activity programme designed specifically for local schools.
Follow our updates on Twitter @Festivalofrese1 and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manchester Science Festival
For over a decade, we have been the lead educational partner for Manchester Science Festival, an event organised by the Science and Industry Museum to create innovative, inspiring and educational experiences around Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
In 2018, we launched GameLab, a unique immersive programme of science inspired gaming experiences, bringing together colleagues from across our university to introduce visitors to new ideas and discoveries through digital technologies.
From stepping inside a virtual reality Chernobyl to going underwater with our AquAIRium and getting inside the human body with Gut Feelings, the experience is always unique! Visit The SciComm Space to re-visit some of these experiences.
ESRC Festival of Social Science
ESRC Festival of Social Science is a national festival that brings together social scientists from around the UK. Salford partners with the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to produce a local event programme to showcase recent developments in social science research. Past events have explored contemporary themes, including ageing and health, education, virtual reality and AI, and climate change.
The festival aims to engage the wider community through interactive workshops, exhibitions, participatory research, and debates. We use this platform both for showcasing our research and for seeking feedback from our local community to contribute to our current research projects and help us shape future research agendas.
Salford Institute for Dementia
Salford Institute for Dementia (SID) brings together an interdisciplinary team of academics drawn from the sciences, technology, arts and humanities and social science to undertake research into dementia in the areas of creativity, technology and the environment. The institute seeks to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their supporters, ensuring they can live as well as possible.
Academics work in close partnership with a panel of Dementia Associates, who have direct experience of living with, or supporting someone who is living with, dementia. Through co-creation, Dementia Associates contribute to setting the Institute’s research agenda, from the bidding stages to the management of funded projects and contribute to the organisation of conferences and engagement events.
The University of Salford’s Research Code of Practice outlines our commitment to conducting all research and impact activities to the highest levels of integrity. Our research governance policies and procedures ensure we act responsibly, ethically and in accordance with professional standards.
Our Research Community
Our people are at the heart of what we do. We endeavour to create a culture which attracts and retains the best people and promotes open and responsible research and innovation.
We encourage and reward ambition, inclusivity, leadership and collaboration helping researchers from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential.
Read more: Supporting our researchers