Research Strategy and Investment

Investing in Research Capacity

The research services team oversees external returns, additional and special Quality Related (QR) funding allocations and the internal Research Investment Fund programme (RIF).

We also support the management of the That's Me! project as a strategic programme to improve access for global majority applicants to postgraduate research study in the West Midlands.

For more information, please contact us.

That's Me!

In November 2021, the University of Wolverhampton and Birmingham City University were successful in securing funding from Research England and the Office for Students (OfS) to undertake a project to to tackle persistent inequalities that create barriers for postgraduate research students from global majority groups across the region.

The project ‘That’s me!: Eliminating barriers to postgraduate research study in the West Midlands’ will focus on three large key professional and practice-based subjects – Health, Education and Business and Law. According to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) data, these subjects accounted for 20 per cent of all postgraduate research students in 2019/20 with less than 25 per cent from global majority backgrounds.

The project aims to eliminate barriers and improve access to postgraduate research study by tackling university cultures and processes, creating an enabling regional employment environment, and facilitating outstanding supervisory and peer support, geared towards championing successful research and researcher careers.

Research Investment Funding

The University’s Research Investment Fund (RIF) is an annual allocation of £2 million committed to a series of strategic projects and initiatives over a 3-year period, designed to enhance our research excellence and support the periodic Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessments. RIF1 (pre-2014) was designed to strengthen the REF2014 submission through strategic staff appointments. RIF2 (2014-2017) focused on ‘growing our own’ through investments in staff buy-outs and PhD studentships. RIF3 (2017-2020) focused on strategic investments in new areas of research and/or scaling-up existing excellent research.

RIF4 invited bids from faculties, research institutes and directorates for strategic research investment under two themes:

  • Developing new areas of research excellence
  • Research Infrastructure

Funded research within the latest round includes: An Innovative Diagnostic Test for Bile Acid Malabsorption in Crohn’s Disease Patients (ID-BAM); Reducing inequalities, improving wellbeing, and building inclusion in a digital age; and Exercise in Disease management and rEhabilitation (EDGE). 

QR Allocation and Programme Management

Quality of Research (QR) Allocation

The grades that we receive for each of the elements assessed under the Research Excellence Framework (REF) contributes to an overall grade point average (GPA) for each Unit of Assessment and for the University as a whole. These GPAs are then used for calculating the amount of QR funding the University receives and by a number of league tables.

Programme Management

The University is part of a consortium of twelve Universities forming the Midlands Hub of the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network, in a pilot scheme to support researchers in humanities and social sciences in the early stages of their careers. The Network aims be responsive to the needs and interests of researchers and enable the British Academy to support a greater number of researchers in their career ambitions, through skills development, networking opportunities, workshops, and events.