Research for a better world. 

With world-leading researchers working across a range of challenges, we generate outcomes that make our world better. From more sustainable food production, to a healthier climate. From improved health and wellbeing, to cleaner energy sources. From our own backyard to the farthest shores.

We identify solutions to critical global challenges by extending the frontiers of knowledge both within and beyond existing research paradigms. Our highly qualified academics are drawn from all over the world, bringing a wealth of research and professional experience to our programmes. Our world-class labs and state-of-the-art teaching facilities, as well as our state key laboratories, a national engineering centre and a suite of institutional-level research centres, enable our researchers to maintain a positive trajectory. We also pioneer new forms of expression by bringing science and the arts together.


Academic researchers carry out original, high-level research that generates new knowledge and progresses current understanding

As an academic researcher you'll apply your expertise and skills developed through study and research. You'll aim to publish papers on your work in peer-reviewed, well-respected journals and will write reports, books or chapters of books on your specialist area of knowledge.

You're also likely to be involved in the teaching and supervision of university students and speaking at conferences.

A significant amount of your time will be spent on planning research, attending meetings with colleagues and contributing to the strategic direction of your department or group.

Types of academic researcher

Academic researchers may be employed in the following roles:

  • PhD student/researcher
  • postdoctoral research associate/assistant
  • research associate/fellow
  • higher education lecturer/senior lecturer/professor/reader.

As academic researchers are mainly based in universities, a lot are employed as higher education teaching staff who also carry out research. Some highly sought after roles are purely research based, but even posts such as postdoctoral researcher often have some teaching element.

Staff employed by research institutes may deliver teaching in the associated universities and supervise PhD, Masters and undergraduate projects as part of their role. This is often a strong factor in helping universities to attract the best students to their academic programmes.


As an academic researcher, you'll need to:

  • carry out original, high-level individual and collaborative research with other team members
  • organise your own time and budget effectively, including for off-site and overseas visits
  • analyse large sets of data and information, drawing relevant conclusions
  • work to deadlines as required by fund or grant holder
  • prepare and deliver presentations at national and international conferences to large audiences
  • prepare and write high quality papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings
  • participate in group meetings with other researchers and support staff
  • apply for sources of external funding in addition to that provided by your employer
  • undertake thorough and comprehensive literature reviews
  • teach undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • develop knowledge and skills relating to the latest techniques and applications relevant to your area of interest and deliver training in research techniques and methods to colleagues and students
  • develop positive working relationships with internal and external contacts fostering effective work and future collaboration
  • comply with all health and safety and ethics requirements for research activities
  • plan and develop future research objectives and proposals
  • respond positively to unexpected difficulties and events that could adversely affect research outcomes
  • supervise students undertaking masters and PhD level projects.