The University of Northampton is committed to delivering outstanding life-changing research, underpinned by a culture of entrepreneurship and social enterprise recognised around the world for its originality and impact.In the last Research Assessment Exercise (2008), The University of Northampton entered nine Units of Assessment (subject areas). Of those nine, four were recognised as including 'World-leading Research':
The remainder all contained research of 'International Excellence':
Nine Units of Assessment have recently been submitted to the current assessment exercise, now called the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The results will be known in late 2014.
The university undertakes research in all the main areas of academic activity. Our staff are active researchers and consultants, bringing real-world experiences and insight into the university to share with their students. We are also proud of our many partnership arrangements, which link businesses and organisations with staff and students.
The School of the Arts incorporates a wide range of research interests, including fashion, design and drawing, as well as The Centre of Contemporary Fiction & Narrative and The Centre for Practice-Led Research in the Arts. Paul Middleton has recently co-curated an innovative exhibition, Love British Books, as part of UNESCO's designation of Yerevan as the 'City of Books 2012'. Another exhibition called Rhythm/Presence, curated by Dr Craig Staff and Dr Paul Cureton, explores the multiple uses of drawing as a tool of communication. Within English, Dr Sonia Andermahr has investigated the representation of traumatic experience in contemporary women's fiction in a project called Trauma and Herstory. Additionally, Dr Lorna Jowett is leading a network of researchers across the country who are exploring the emergence of 'Cult TV' on mainstream channels.
Northampton Business School (NBS) has research expertise in a wide range of areas, actively engaging with both businesses and the public sector. A key focus of its work at present is on the area of Social Enterprise – an area led by Professor Simon Denny. In addition to changing practices within the institution, this area of activity seeks to engage with organisations across the country. Other areas of research include the business-facing Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance, led by Professor Olinga Ta'eed which works in partnership with other higher education institutions and offers bespoke business solutions for development needs, from the individual to the international scale.
The Centre for Education and Research (CeSNER) in the School of Education works in partnership with professional colleagues and schools on a national and international level. As part of the work of the centre, Dr Jane Murray is leading a study on young children as researchers which seeks to challenge the marginalisation of children from academic research. In partnership with colleagues across Europe, Dr Cristina Devecchi is working on a project, Success at School through Volunteering, which explores alternative pedagogic strategies to tackle the problem of children leaving school early. The School also includes the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education – a body which supports and develops innovative learning and teaching across the university and beyond.
Researchers in the School of Health collaborate with a wide variety of individuals and organisations including local and national health and social care providers, businesses and other academics from the UK and internationally. Research is coordinated through the newly established Institute of Health and Wellbeing which encourages inter-disciplinary approaches to healthcare issues. The School also hosts Healthwatch Northamptonshire – a new initiative to provide the public with a voice on how health and social care is commissioned in the county.
Research and knowledge transfer in the School of Science and Technology covers a wide range of disciplines. Within the Centre for Sustainable Waste Management, Professor Margaret Bates is conducting research on E-waste in Nigeria and Kenya which seeks to monitor and restrict the dumping of toxic waste. Professor Jeff Ollerton is leading the Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area project – a three year initiative to balance economic development and the natural environment in Northamptonshire. The school has recently established a long-term strategic partnership with ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG to co-operate in research and innovation.
Research in the School of Social Sciences seeks to engage with key themes in today's society and links to the needs and interests of a range of public and private bodies. For example, one current project, led by Dr Elizabeth Roxburgh, centres on clinical parapsychology and anomalous experiences particularly in terms of wellbeing and the role of therapists. Dr Bob Colnut and Dr Martin Field are examining the impact of the Sustainable Communities Plan in Milton Keynes. Within history, Dr Matthew McCormack is working with colleagues at Leeds University to study the experience and character of soldiers and soldiering in Georgian Britain. In an interdisciplinary and international project, Dr Jane Callaghan and Dr Sarah Armstrong-Hallam are leading research on children's experiences of living with domestic violence.
The university has recently launched a new Associate Professor scheme to encourage and reward excellent research and enterprise activity. The first round of appointments, made in 2012, included: