The new UWS Strategy 2025, published in 2020, has set the vision for the institution to be recognised as a world-leading university ranked inside the top 200 by 2050 based on supporting excellent, relevant and purposeful research aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. UWS’ strategic direction is to maintain research and innovation which addresses major global challenges and are delivered at a scale and intensity that ensures sustainable impact through our multi-disciplinary teams.  

We will continue to transform lives through imaginative thinking and use our expertise, facilities and partnerships to make a real difference to the world.  

At UWS, research and enterprise activities are not treated as marginal activitiesAll academic staff are expected to engage with the research agenda and to generate contributions through participation. These contributions shape and inform our teaching and learning excellence and help build an open research environment characterised by applied research and knowledge exchange.  

Focusing on upskilling and reskilling business partners, we provide industry-relevant courses for home and the international market. For a list of our current flexible short courses visit our dedicated Continuing Professional Development website 

We are proud of the support we offer to the industry via the UK’s fasting growing Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) portfolio to help businesses innovate and grow. UWS is #1 in Scotland and among the top-3 in the UK by KTP portfolio size. KTP helps businesses to grow by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project. You can find out more about how it may help your firm by visiting the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships page. 

At UWS we celebrate research success. Visitors to our website are invited to review our Research Impact and Research highlight pages. While we can only showcase a fraction of the benefits of UWS research to society, these pages are intended to present a flavour of UWS expertise and commitment to improving health, creating wealth and ensuring social justice. 

Explore our research institutes, centres and groups.  

You can discover our research in a number of other ways: browse our UWS Academic Portal to discover our people, take a closer look at our research groups here or read some of our featured research highlights below to discover how UWS is making an impact for the benefit of society. 

Search Research System

PURE is the University's research information management system and provides a single source of research information for UWS. It is used to record and manage research activity with details of research outputs, funding applications, conference contributions, external impact and staff profiles.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 

Research across UK Universities is subject to periodic peer review to evaluate the quality of research (Research Excellence Framework, REF).  The REF outcomes inform the selective distribution of block QR grants (Quality Related funding) by the funding councils. The improvement in our REF2014 performance compared to the previous exercise resulted in our Scottish Funding Council Research Excellence Grant increasing by 60% and we expect further improvement to produce enhanced performance in future assessments exercises. UWS almost doubled the number of academics who are research active for REF2014 and we have more than doubled this number again for the REF2021 submission. Visit our REF2021 web page to view our REF highlights.  

Researchers at UWS are able to access excellent research support services, within a research environment where interdisciplinarity is valued, encouraged and inherent in developing solutions to the nature of the challenges we are addressing. Beyond the requirements of the external funding bodies, formation of interdisciplinary teams is a condition for all institutionally supported projects.  

Last updated: 02/03/2021