The University of Leeds is one of the top UK universities for research and impact power, we work across disciplines with international partners to find solutions to global challenges.

In this section you should find some useful information on our research agenda, facilities, support mechanisms, as well as some insightful cases studies.


Research at Leeds

The University of Leeds is dedicated to the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, as such research and innovation is at the heart of our strategic plan.

We are building on our existing research strengths across our eight Faculties:

  1. Arts , Humanties and Cultures;
  2. Biological Sciences;
  3. Business;
  4. Education, Social Sciences and Law;
  5. Engineering;
  6. Environment;
  7. Mathematics and Physical Sciences;
  8. Medicine and Health.

Our memberships to the Russell GroupWhite Rose University Consortium and Worldwide Universities Network means that in addition to our achievements in fundamental research we are well-positioned to make a significant contribution to the global agenda and shape the future of our world.

We are committed to interdisciplinary working to help tackle global challenges in areas including:

Our multidisciplinary research teams across these sector hubs aim to provide academic leadership in these areas and develop strategic regional, national and international collaborations and partnerships with industry and other partners.

We are also one of the main centres for postgraduate teaching in the country, with a vibrant post-graduate community over 8,000 students.


Research impact

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 saw Leeds ranked in 10th place for research power and 9th place for research impact power.  Over 80% of our research was rated as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

We have made breakthrough discoveries, designed innovative products, services, and technology, developed research-informed public policies and projects for the cultural enrichment of society, and revolutionised established ideas, theories and practices.

The scale of the University’s economic, social and cultural impact is further highlighted in Viewforth Consulting’s independent report (2015).  Key findings show that the University of Leeds:

  • Contributes 1.3bn to the UK economy per year;
  • Is the 8th largest University in the UK by income (£588 million);
  • Created more than 100 spin-out companies, with a market capitalisation in excess of £500m. Seven are market listed on AIM (sub-market of the London Stock Exchange), which is more than any other university in the UK;
  • Is the 3rd largest employer in Leeds, creating nearly 6,600 full-time jobs, and taking into account supply chain and expenditure, supports more than 14,000 jobs;
  • Generates an additional 117 jobs in other industries, for every 100 direct full-time equivalent jobs created.



Our research power, and the funding this attracts, enables us to invest in a world-class research infrastructure.  We have recently invested more than £20 million pounds in our research environment and facilities.  Our research facilities are developed under the control of dedicated facility managers so we not only provide state of the art equipment, but the expertise to make the most of it.

Facilities range from preparation and characterisation equipment required to undertake cutting-edge scientific research through to unique capabilities, such as our driving simulator, electron beam lithography system and national robotics capability.

You will find more information on the facilities belonging to individual faculties by looking on their research web pages.



As a researcher at Leeds, you can expect a supportive environment where you can develop your career.

The Faculty research and innovation offices will provide you with research and innovation application support, including information on local processes, identifying funding opportunities, support for writing applications and the costing and approving of grant applications.

Our research and innovation service will help you to develop and manage a range of innovation pathways.  You will receive advice, guidance, and input to progress knowledge exchange opportunities, along with targeted information about funding sources, including fellowships, large grants, and EU funding as well as application support.

Our Organisational Development and Professional Learning Unit (OD&PL) will support your development in terms of research skills and research careers with dedicated training programmes


Case studies

If you would like to see examples of our research then please read our latest new stories.

Additionally, you can find a selection of cases studies taken from Leeds’ impact submission to the REF 2014.  You will be able to explore our research by theme; cities, culture, food, health, energy, high-value engineering and water.