Professor Andrew Jones, Deputy President (Interim), explains our strategic priorities – to develop world-leading research and achieve far-reaching impact.
Our research links to business and contributes to society
When City joined the University of London on 1st September 2016 it clearly signalled our strong standing among pre-1992 London higher education institutions. Now, as one of the research-intensive institutions in our peer group, we continue to work towards becoming a leading global university.
Our staff and students undertake world-leading and internationally excellent research. We have particular strengths in our links to business and the professions. Our vision for the future, set out in City's Vision & Strategy 2026, sees us significantly growing our research and enterprise reputation and the contribution we make to wider society.
We make our high quality research useful by engaging with business and policy makers
The quality and intensity of our research improved significantly over the period of our 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. By 2018, 50% of our academic colleagues were producing research assessed as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), as measured by Research Excellence Framework (REF) – up from 25% in 2008 and 20% in 2010.
We also significantly strengthened our enterprise and engagement activities, demonstrated by our strong impact performance in REF 2014 based on 49 submitted case studies.
We are proud of our success and will continue to strengthen the quality of our research as we work towards realising our Vision & Strategy 2026 and Research & Enterprise Strategy 2016-2021.
Our focus on quality, growth and partnership
City's Vision & Strategy 2026 has three priorities for City's research and enterprise activity: Quality ('Better'), Growth ('Bigger') and Partnership. We aim to:
Build on quality
We will continue to drive City's current improvements in research quality and intensity.
- By 2021, at least 60% of total academic staff will be producing 3* or 4* research outputs as measured by the REF. At least 18% of staff will be producing 4* research outputs
- Over the same time, we will see 100% of impact case studies rated as 3* or 4*, with at least 40% rated as 4*
- We will set up new interdisciplinary research centres, so we are more able to produce world-leading research that addresses the major challenges facing society
- We will strengthen our reputation for world-leading and internationally excellent research around our current areas of strength
- We will build on the links between our research and enterprise activity through knowledge exchange and intellectual property (IP) commercialisation.
We will look for growth where we can maintain or increase our quality.
- We will increase our external research grant funding to £15 million per annum, diversifying our funding sources and increasing the numbers of academic staff gaining funding
- By 2021, we will increase our intensity where our existing research has momentum
- We will grow our Units of Assessment horizontally by making use of City's existing strengths to take us into new areas. This will include new disciplines, increasing both our volume of research and our capacity to undertake interdisciplinary research.
Benefit from and build our research and enterprise partnerships
We will strengthen and build new relationships with research collaborators and impact partners.
- In academic, public, private and third sector institutions
- Within London and across the UK
- In particular, we will seek to build more international links and collaborations, as prioritised in City's Internationalisation Strategy.
Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
City is signed up to the Concordat to support researcher development, an agreement between funders and employers of research staff to improve the employment and support for researchers and research careers in UK higher education; the Concordat is aimed at contract researchers.
The Concordat is based on a set of principles with a clear statement of expectations for the support and management of researchers, as well as an emphasis of the responsibilities of researchers to take control of their career and further it through informed decisions.
Implementation of the Concordat at City
The terms and conditions of employment for research staff at City have been revised and are now identical to those for academic staff in many respects, but there are aspects where the nature of employment and roles requires some distinction. Researchers are employed on permanent contracts with a funding end date.
Research staff be are now automatically promoted to a higher salary Grade (5B to 6) upon successful completion of a PhD or equivalent doctoral award, and progress automatically to the following Grade (7) through incremental progression once the top of the salary scale is reached.
Research England (formerly HEFCE) provide funding for knowledge exchange via Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) to support and develop a broad range of knowledge-based interactions between universities and colleges and the wider world, which result in economic and social benefit to the UK.
In August 2016 higher education institutions in receipt of HEIF funding were asked to provide HEFCE with a strategy for knowledge exchange.
Reflected in our submitted HEIF strategy, City's Knowledge Exchange ambitions are to:
- Be a thought leader for business and the professions in London, in line with their institutional Vision and Strategy 2026
- Leverage partnership working within City and within London (including through the University of London) and internationally
- Seize the Knowledge Exchange opportunities of enhanced faculty and researcher quality with a particular focus on consultancy, CPD and the commercialisation of intellectual property
- Enable entrepreneurship among their students and alumni
- Actively participate in industry-led community groups and 'public spaces' that promote collaboration and provide shelter from market competition
- Ensure that their intellectual property is used for the greatest social and economic benefit
- Develop profitable enterprise activities to secure their economic viability
- Improve their processes, skills and systems to support our Knowledge Exchange ambitions
- To be a leading global University committed to academic excellence, focused on business and the professions and located in the heart of London
- London City Incubator's mission is to accelerate the launch of innovative products and services into the market and the raising of investment for high-growth start-ups by engaging multidisciplinary teams of postgraduate students and alumni with some of the necessary technical and commercial skills, providing mentors and specialised training, and matching them with commercialisation projects in need of support.