Shoal of fish

Strategic priority: research

We intend to make a step-change in research and innovation through a targeted approach which builds on our strong reputation for research impact in the UK and internationally. 

As a research-intensive university, we promote economic development and regeneration, attract investment, stimulate business engagement, generate high-value jobs, and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world. We produce outcomes that have the potential to transform people’s lives.

The interdisciplinary nature of our research is critical to producing successful solutions-driven outcomes and, for us, deriving impact and tangible benefit from our research is a key measure of success. As we prepare for the Research Excellence Framework 2029 (REF29) we will build on existing success to further develop our reputation as a university that makes a difference. Research engagement and impact are ways in which we demonstrate that we are fulfilling our pledge to be a university with purpose.

We will reinforce the importance of getting right the process and culture of producing research of the highest quality. We will ensure our postgraduate research community and research teams are steeped in a culture of curiosity, creativity and innovation. Our strategy makes it an imperative to create and use new knowledge locally, nationally and internationally, making a positive impact on people’s lives and the places and spaces which they inhabit.

What the University will do for research

Over the course of this plan, the University will:

Measures of success

By 2030 we will : 

  • Significantly improve our research performance in REF29, establish ourselves among the leading research-intensive universities, and build on our reputation for research impact.  
  • Increase our interdisciplinary research profile and optimise the impact our research has upon academia, society and the environment. 
  • Increase research grant capture to £40 million a year while increasing the number of research-active staff and investing in our infrastructure.

The difference is... solutions

We are tackling major global challenges, changing lives, and creating a more sustainable and inclusive world through our mission-focused, interdisciplinary research.

A person working in a garden

Healthy ageing and dementia

Our research into sustainable healthy ageing is delivering pioneering solutions to the challenges posed by an ageing, global population. Our researchers are helping millions of people across the world to live independent lives for longer – through our work on dementia design, by age-proofing businesses, and by shaping policy. We are transforming the narrative of ageing from one of challenge to opportunity. 

The Intergenerational Living Innovation Hub, developed under the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, will ensure we continue to deliver groundbreaking solutions as we adapt to changing global demographics.  

City of Stirling and the River Forth

Delivering change

We are delivering change around the world, while making a meaningful difference to the communities on our doorstep. As a leading partner in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, we are shaping our region's future – delivering jobs, growth and prosperity – by developing local solutions to global challenges.  

Scotland's International Environment Centre – one of three university-led research and innovation hubs funded through the Deal – will spearhead the region’s transition to net zero. Its flagship project Forth-ERA is creating a catchment-scale environmental observatory – the first of its kind in the world – to drive sustainable, inclusive economic recovery in Forth Valley. 

Red Tilapia fish

Tackling global food security

Our award-winning Institute of Aquaculture is seeking solutions to develop sustainable, healthy and secure ways of living – exploring how best to support developing countries in tackling global food security by establishing strategies for sustainable aquaculture and aquatic food security. 

The National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub, created under the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, will drive the UK’s ambitions to become a world leader in modern aquaculture practice.