About our research

The School has an excellent reputation for the quality of its research. Designed to meet the current and anticipate future needs of the built environment. It boasts an impressive list of funders and clients covering UK and EU government, research funding councils and industry. Links with universities worldwide provide exciting opportunities for collaborative research, exchanges and overseas study. Staff engage in a continuous stream of interdisciplinary cutting-edge research and scholarly activities designed to meet the current and anticipate future needs of the built environment. 

Key areas of expertise and scholarship in the school form the following research groups.

These comprise substantial research arms of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), which was founded in 2004, and forms the largest academic research institute in the UK dedicated to research on sustainable development in the built environment. This gives us the ability to quickly assemble transdisciplinary research teams to tackle the major challenges affecting the built environment - such as climate change, resilience, energy efficiency, resource scarcity, infrastructure, investment, and productivity.

Research degrees

Research students play a vital role in the school and are integrated into all aspects of academic life.

Research Excellence Framework

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2021, 99% of our research was ranked as either world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised. 

Our research environment (together with the School of Architecture in Unit of Assessment 13) scored 100% in terms of being ‘conducive to producing research of internationally excellent quality and enabling very considerable impact, in terms of its vitality and sustainability’. 

Research income across the unit trebled from the previous in REF exercise in 2014. Research collaborations have also been extended significantly with both UK and international institutions (including in India, Brazil, US, Lebanon, Africa, China, Turkey and Europe), funded through the Newton Fund, British Academy, UKRI (AHRC, EPSRC, ESRC), RAEng, EU Horizon 2020, United Nations, and The Leverhulme Trust. All SBE research groups are closely linked to the associated professions, as well as industry, public bodies and major international organisations.

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