Research excellence

“94% Internationally recognised”

“59% world-leading or internationally excellent”

“Led 41% rise in research funding”

Research and innovation

At Oxford Brookes University, our research is focused on delivering social, cultural and economic benefits which are transformational for our communities, both locally and globally. Our researchers are busy pioneering eye genetics research with life-changing impact, developing new approaches to cancer care, developing sustainable energy solutions for housing, helping to conserve endangered primates in rainforests and much more.

Our research excellence has its foundations in a distinctive disciplinary base and interdisciplinary or collaborative working. Building ever stronger regional and global partnerships, and strengthening our research community through inclusiveness and connectedness are key.

Through our research, we lead and contribute to national and international initiatives, driving forward sustainable innovation, knowledge exchange and enterprise.

Research networks and centres

At Oxford Brookes, our research networks bring together expert thinkers from across the University to tackle some of the most pressing global issues. They include:

  • sustainability and resilience
  • our ageing population
  • artificial intelligence and the use of data
  • inclusion and diversity
  • migration and refugees
  • the challenges facing children and young people
  • and our creative industries.

These interdisciplinary networks allow us to pool expertise across disciplines and to develop partnerships with industry and communities. This ensures that our research is translated into the best possible benefits for society.

The University’s globally recognised research centres help to define policy and thinking in a number of important areas. For example our Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), founded in 2004, forms the largest academic research institute in the UK dedicated to research on sustainable development in the built environment.

Our newest research centres include:

  • Centre for Psychological Research
  • Centre for Bioimaging
  • Centre for Environment and Society
  • Institute for Ethical Al
  • Centre for Development and Emergency Practice
  • Oxford Regions, Innovation and Enterprise Lab.

research network pictogramme

Our research staff and students

The dedication and expertise of our research community underpins the University’s reputation for research excellence. To support their development, we equip staff and students with the skills and confidence to contribute across academic, commercial, public and voluntary sectors.

  • Oxford Brookes holds the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission, which recognises our commitment to supporting research-active staff
  • We have committed a Central Research Fund to support individuals and research groups including Collaborative Travel Awards, Bridging Funds, Research Fellowships and PhD scholarships
  • Postgraduate and research students enjoy a vibrant and supportive environment, and benefit from a strong programme of research training.

HR Excellence in Research
Research excellence awards logo
Research student in the laboratory

Knowledge exchange

Oxford Brookes is a thriving centre for knowledge exchange, working closely with external partners to make a difference in the real world.

The Knowledge Exchange Framework for English universities ranked us:

  • in the top 10% for commercialising intellectual property (IP) - through licensing and spinouts
  • in the top 40% for its research partnerships and for working with the public and third sector
  • in the top 50% for working with business, recognising its strength in working with external organisations and contributing to the local economy.

(published by Research England, March 2021)

Examples of successful spin-outs from Oxford Brookes include Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd which is using its proprietary virus-based protein expression technology to help to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. 


Major funding comes from research councils, charitable trusts, industry and government.

Here are some examples:

*These research projects involve other university and healthcare partners both in the UK and globally.