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Research strategy and quality

Find below the key elements of our research strategy and examples of our commitment to excellence and integrity in our output. This also includes collaborations with businesses and community organisations and assessment from external bodies.


We are proud of our world-leading reputation as a research and knowledge transfer institution. Our vision is to empower and encourage our researchers to deliver internationally leading, interdisciplinary research and innovation that will shape and benefit future societies.


Our mission is to conduct fundamental and translational research having positive impact on the communities with which we engage. We currently make a huge contribution to some of the most important and challenging issues facing the world today with our work having particular impact on the areas of health and care, the engineered environment and sustainable societies. We seek to sustain this impact and to make further significant improvements in these areas for the benefit of humankind.

Guiding principles

  • Excellence - we strive for excellence in all that we do
  • Equality and diversity - we champion inclusivity and are proud of the diversity of our staff and student community
  • Internationalisation - we embrace, and actively seek challenge, and engage in the international arena to provide opportunities for our staff and students
  • Sustainability - we believe in, and work to achieve, a sustainable society


To concentrate on our strengths, building critical mass and capacity within  our three themes of Health and Care, the Engineered Environment and Sustainable Societies.

University of Bradford Strategy

The Research and Innovation strategy is part of the overarching University of Bradford Strategy 2020-2025.

Strategic collaborations

A key factor in the University of Bradford's research strategy is forming beneficial alliances with other institutions and organisations to share knowledge, expertise and information to improve project outcomes:

"Research excellence often requires collaborative, interdisciplinary working across the University, extending to other HE institutions and businesses, nationally and internationally. Via high-level, strategic initiatives, the University will become a trusted partner of fellow anchor institutions in Yorkshire and beyond because of our impact and reputation in selected themes."

See examples of our partnerships on the strategic collaborations page.

Bradford at night

The Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The University of Bradford participates in the REF, a system for assessing the quality of research in higher education institutions (HEIs). The REF 2021 results have been published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and the latest retrospective assessment was based on our research between 2014 and 2020. REF 2021 placed greater emphasis on the impact of research, with assessors considering its contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

The three elements assessed were: 

  • The quality of research outputs. 
  • The quality of the impact of research. 
  • The quality of the environment to support research and impact. 

For detailed information see the UK's REF website.

Our REF 2021 results

You can see our results, along with a selection of case studies from the University of Bradford's 2021 REF submission, detailing real world benefits our research has delivered.

Impact case studies

You can view our REF impact case studies, along with other research stories within our three research themes of:

Research integrity and responsible use of metrics

Research integrity

The University of Bradford expects its staff to undertake research that all those involved in its undertaking can have trust and confidence in.  Our research is expected to be conducted honestly and professionally, and should adhere to regulations and expected standards.

Read more about our integrity standards, including our named point of contact and details of the Universities UK (UUK) concordat.

Responsible use of research metrics

The University of Bradford, as a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), is committed to the responsible use of research metrics. DORA reflects the University’s values, and by signing up to DORA, we demonstrate to our researchers that we value the quality and content of their research regardless of how and where it is published. As a signatory of DORA, the University of Bradford commits to:

  • avoiding journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles
  • being explicit about the criteria used to reach hiring and promotion decisions and foregrounding the scientific content of a paper
  • considering the value and impact of all research outputs and a broad range of impact measures.

See the full details on our research metrics page.

Our Code of Practice for Research: Promoting good practice and preventing misconduct

The University of Bradford Code of Good Practice in Research (the Code) is based upon the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research.

Everyone at the University has a responsibility to ensure that research is undertaken in conformity with the law, in line with funders’ contractual terms and conditions, in accordance with best current practice and with equality, diversity and inclusion embedded.  

To these ends, the University provides an environment where good research practice is encouraged and supported throughout its research activities.

This Code sets out the standards of performance and conduct expected of all those engaged in research at the University of Bradford and is applicable both to individual researchers and to the University as a whole.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Our research ethics policy

Download the University of Bradford Ethics Policy

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.