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Research Strategy


We are proud of our world-leading reputation as a research and knowledge transfer institution. our vision is to enhance our internationally recognized reputation for research excellence and how our achievements impact on society. our aim is to become the technology university of the north.


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 advanced health care, innovative engineering, and sustainable societies. we seek to sustain this impact and to make further significant improvements in these areas for the benefit of mankind.

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 opporutnities 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 Advanced Healthcare, Innovative Engineering, and Sustainable Societies.

Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs).

The University of Bradford is currently ranked 49th in the UK for the quality of its research with three quarters being classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The results, published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) see the University significantly improve in overall ranking from 62 to 49 in the UK in 2014.

The REF replaces the previous Research Assessment Exercise, last conducted in 2008. It places greater emphasis on the impact of research, considered by the REF to be making a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

The REF particularly measures the output (the number and quality of publication) of a university’s research, and the real impact of research based on case studies submitted.

Nearly 40% of Bradford’s impact case studies submitted to REF have been ranked world leading.  Almost 90% of our impact case studies achieved world ranking and internationally excellent status combined.  

We are 43rd in the country for both impact of our research and the quality of our research output.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of our research overall was rated as world leading or internationally excellent. Overall 96% of our research was ranked as both internationally recognised and world leading.

The results for Allied Health, Management and Archaeological Science were particularly good.  In Allied Health the overall assessment of research placed 92% of it in the 4* and 3* categories, and 100% of the impact and environment in 4* and 3*.  Impact was strong in Archaeological Science where 100% was classed as 4* and 3*, 60% in the 4* category.  Politics and International Studies also scored 100% for impact across 4* and 3*. Management did particularly well in impact with 87% in the 4* and 3* categories.

For detailed information see the UK's REF website.

Impact case studies

You can view our REF impact case studies within our three research themes of:

Archaeology student examining archaeological finds

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.

Further information on our principles is available here