About our research

At the University of Derby, we nurture and encourage research excellence across all our disciplines and all career stages. Our researchers are generating distinctive, world-leading and impactful research.

A vibrant environment

We recognise the strong link between excellent research and an excellent student experience. Our aim at the University of Derby is to produce research that is high impact, high profile and beneficial. We are investing in our students, our staff and our research infrastructure to help us achieve this.

We have a vibrant research environment with over 330 doctoral students and support those in the early stages of their career via our early-career researcher forum. 

We also have nearly 200 research-active staff across the University, with over 700 research outputs recorded on UDORA, our comprehensive, open access repository. 

A significant contribution

Our research is wide-ranging and internationally recognised and our research teams are working on projects that are making a significant contribution to national and international policy agendas. Research includes: 

Our latest research news

Maltese audiences get the chills with theatrical Sèance from University of Derby lecturer

This Halloween, horror superfans are set to have their steady nerves tested with a new one man show exploring the Victorian Séance by University of Derby lecturer, Dr Thomas Craig.

Person holding a phone showing the Shmapped good things in nature study app

Study shows that noticing wlidlife and nature in open areas can be good for your mental health

researcher with diving gear measuring coral underwater

A University of Derby researcher has received an international award for his idea to help conserve and restore the world’s coral reefs by identifying and quantifying a previously overlooked key threat to their existence.

Baby urchin with pencil tip

New research into co-culturing – raising juvenile sea urchins alongside lab-spawned corals – has found the technique produces an eight-times-higher survival rate in young corals, and could have major implications for the restoration of damaged reefs around the world.

A young girl standing in a meadow with a dandelion

Young people’s connection to nature drops sharply from the age of 11 and doesn’t recover until they are 30 – with significant implications for their engagement with pro-environmental behaviours like recycling or buying eco-friendly products.

Read all our research news
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Explore our research

We want you to find the research subject area that's right for you and our research categories are designed to help you do that.

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Join the #research conversation

From the future of energy supply to vaccines to reality TV - what our researchers are working on.

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Our partners

Our research is supported by high-profile research funders including Research England, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Innovate UK. 

We have continued to expand our collaborative research and knowledge-exchange activities across a range of businesses from international PLCs to local owner-managed small businesses – all of which bring benefit back to our research and teaching and our region. 

We remain in the ‘top 10’ Universities for the highest number of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships being delivered and our European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) projects have a combined value of £10.3m. Such partnerships ensure that applied research is an integral part of the University.

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Research with us

We are particularly interested in applications for doctoral research that address specific areas.

Our research interest areasOur research interest areas

Research events

Andreas Fejes in a seminar series with students

Andreas Fejes of Linkoping University is the latest exciting contributor to our series on how educational changes around the world are reshaping education in Britain.

Discussion between students

Professor Chris Winch is the leading philosopher of education in England writing on questions of technical and vocational education and training, and an acknowledged international expert in the field of professional and vocational curriculum.

A house in the mountains in Cuba.

Rosi Smith will be looking at the impact in rural province Granma and will be sharing some of the testimony gleaned from over 230 interviews with students and teachers.

Liz Atkins in a blue suit

Liz Atkins is a Professor of Vocational Education and Social Justice at the University of Derby. In her Inaugural Lecture, Liz will begin by drawing on ancient and contemporary literature to position social justice as a form of ethics and morality.

A student working in our Bloomberg lab at a computer.

As part of the Enterprise Evaluation and Applied Economics Cluster's Autumn seminar series, Dr Neil Lee will join us to examine the impact of entrepreneurship on poverty in US cities.

An image of a student in a lecture theatre.

Our iCeGs Annual Lecture 2019 will look into the early history of careers education in English schools before examining in more detail what has happened over the past seven years.

The Bloomberg suite with figures running on the screen and people using computers.

As part of the Enterprise Evaluation and Applied Economics Cluster's Autumn seminar series, Professor Ian Marsh will join us to look at exchange rates of cryptocurrencies against Bitcoin and examine the properties of returns and volatilities.

Man sat at table talking to a group of people

Our Online Learning Summit will bring together a community of experts, researchers, practitioners and students from the UK and beyond to exchange ideas, gain new insights and contribute to the thought-leadership that will shape the future of online learning.