Our research

Our research institutes lead clearly focused research to meet ambitious targets, to double our research income and significantly enhance our impact. We’ve seen research income rise by 40% over the last four years. 

We 'hit the button' on our REF 2021 submission on 29 March 2021. In all we submitted 500 staff, 1106 outputs, 45 impact case studies and environment statements for our 14 Units of Assessment . This represents 32% of all academic staff and a doubling of the number we submitted to REF 2014. 47% of our submitted staff were female, up from 41% in 2014. Read about our outstanding REF 2021 results below:


We lead and manage research through four cross disciplinary research institutes which incorporate the following research centres.

Culture & Creativity

Art, Design and Media Research Centre
Centre for Culture, Media and Society
Humanities Research Centre

Industry & Innovation

A collage, Materials & Engineering Research Institute, A person working on a machine and  Advanced Wellbeing Research CentreMaterials and Engineering Research Institute
Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre
National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering


Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre
Applied Health and Social Care Research Centre
Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre

Social & Economic

Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology
Sheffield Institute of Education
Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice

Our commitment is that our research and teaching will address real-world challenges, which demand innovative thinking and the development of solutions that impact on people’s lives. We are committed to applying research to enrich students’ learning, enabling them to understand, use and conduct research relevant to their discipline. Identifying and seizing opportunities to grow in new areas. We are committed to research that generates social, economic and cultural benefits and to working with others to ensure that those benefits are wide-reaching.

Our research in areas of strength is nationally leading and world class, for example:

Across the University, our research and industry partnerships provide innovative, practical solutions to tough challenges. The quality of much of our work is exceptional: