Guidance on Research Centres, Groups and Units
Formal responsibility for approval of City's Research Centres, Units and Groups rests with Boards of Studies.
The list of approved Research Centres, Units and Groups is confirmed and validated annually through City's Research and Enterprise Committee. The Committee has also agreed the following guidance to Schools as a basis for consideration of the establishment of Research Centres, although Schools are free to agree their own criteria for differentiating between the various forms of research grouping. The normal expectation is that a Research Centre will have greater critical mass than a Unit or a Group.
Criteria to be considered in relation to designation as a Research Centre
For a research grouping to use the designation of "Centre" it is proposed that it should meet at least some of the following criteria:
- Have full time dedicated research staff.
- Have obtained research funding or be actively seeking funding.
- Have a definable champion / leader, who should be a full time member of academic staff.
- Have a number of members of academic staff associated with it.
- Have, or be actively seeking, PhD students associated with it.
- Be active in promoting and disseminating the results of its research through events such as conferences and seminars and via its own webpages.
- Show evidence of a clear strategy for the development and management of the Centre.
All Centres (or other recognised groupings) - both newly proposed and existing groups - should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are operating effectively, and those which are no longer active for whatever reason should be closed.
Format of proposals for new Research Centres
Schools may find it useful to adopt the following checklist for proposals to Boards of Studies or School Research Committees for the establishment of new Research Centres or other groupings:
- Mission/aims with justification for the centre (why important) and how it fits with the School's focus and mission.
- Research themes (to be viable long-term, most centres need two or three themes).
- Research programme and track record - completed and current research projects (project title, amount of grant, funding body or sponsor, named researchers, duration, publications arising, short text saying what the project is/was about), other publications/outputs, number of research student registrations and research degrees awarded.
- Research plans and funding strategy (what sources are being targeted and have been approached to fund proposed new research) - this ties in with 3 (evidence of real activity).
- Plans (and existing activities) for promoting the centre and disseminating research results, including any external sponsors already engaged or being targeted.
- Name of director and staff associated with the centre (including any PhD students).
- Management/governance (e.g. plans for an advisory board).