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Research at Lancaster

The quality, reach and significance of research produced in Lancaster University's vibrant research environment is world leading.

Lancaster's research power

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed Lancaster as a world-leading research university. It is the only one of the eight most research intensive universities in the North of England to have had funding increased because of the quality and volume of its research.


In the last UK research assessment exercise, 83% of our research was rated internationally excellent or world leading.

Lancaster University's research is truly international in focus, with research partnerships in over 60 countries around the world.


Research income for 2015-16. Our ambition to grow our research income resulted in a 52% increase in research grant awards in the last year.

Find Lancaster University research

Lancaster's Research Directory allows you to search for specific people or publications, or find a list of our research groups.

Research Directory
In the plant science greenhouse

Interdisciplinary research

A major strength of Lancaster University is its thriving ecosystem of interdisciplinary research.

This collaborative approach is fostered by our mixture of formal and informal structures - including Institutes, University Research Centres and Centres - bringing together experts from different disciplines to address regional, national and global challenges.

Security Lancaster

Security Lancaster

Working with government and industry to find new ways for individuals, organisations and societies to secure and protect themselves.

Data Science Institute

Data Science Institute

Taking a joined-up approach to data-driven research challenges, from infrastructure and fundamentals to global problems and the legal and ethical issues of 'big data'.

Materials Science Institute

Materials Science Institute

Our new institute is home to a field of study practised at a handful of world-class, research-led UK universities and equivalent universities globally.

Institute for Social Futures

Institute for Social Futures

Combining social science and humanities with science and technology research to discover routes to the futures we want and need.

Ruskin Centre for Culture, Landscape and Environment

Ruskin Centre for Culture, Landscape and Environment

Focusing on the nature of human existence within environment, and the place of the landscape in artistic and cultural traditions.

Energy Lancaster

Energy Lancaster

Experts from across Lancaster University working with global partners to the develop secure and sustainable energy supplies.

Centre for Ageing Research

Centre for Ageing Research

Growing a centre of excellence for interdisciplinary research around ageing, older people and age-related disease.

Centre for Mobility Studies

Centre for Mobility Studies

Combining social theory with research and innovation to bring long-term sustainability to mobile life.

Faculties and Departments

See the full list of Lancaster's faculties, departments, institutes and research centres.

Research stories

Lancaster University research stories from the past few weeks:

Support for Researchers

Providing support and development opportunities for researchers is a key part of Lancaster's research strategy:

Research Services

Lancaster’s Research Services team provides support for all aspects of externally-funded research activities.

Our experts help academic staff to:

  • Identify funding opportunities
  • Develop applications
  • Cost proposals
  • Deal with post-award administration

The team also provides University-wide support for research governance and ethics, REF, research contracts and research information and systems.

Research Services

Researcher Development

The development of our researchers is central to the success of Lancaster’s 2020 strategy.

As part of our People Strategy, we are fully committed to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and have an action plan in place to support its implementation.

Lancaster's demonstrated commitment to the Concordat has received European recognition in the form of the HR Excellence in Research award, first awarded to the institution in 2011, retained in 2013 and again in 2016.

Development opportunities for researchers

Delivering the Northern Powerhouse

Lancaster University is strongly committed to playing a leading role in helping to deliver an economically vibrant Northern Powerhouse.

The Northern Powerhouse is a Government-led ambition to bring together the great cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England and Wales to become a powerhouse for the national economy. 

As part of the Northern Powerhouse the government has pledged to invest in transport infrastructure; work with local areas to raise education and skills levels across the North; ensure the North is an excellent place to start and grow a business; and ensure the Northern Powerhouse is recognised worldwide as an excellent opportunity for trade and investment. 

A research-intensive university, Lancaster works hard to ensure its world-leading research breakthroughs have a significant impact on the wider economy. A recent independent report measured Lancaster University’s contribution to the UK economy to be worth £627 million, supporting more than 10,000 jobs. 

Lancaster has worked with more than 5,000 SMEs over the last decade and has established strategic links with other universities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and large industrial partners to deliver innovative programmes, investments and initiatives aimed at raising productivity across northern England. 

Examples of these include:

Lancaster University is part of The N8 Research Partnership - a collaboration of the eight most research intensive universities in the North of England. The N8 Research Partnership is part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse partnership programme.