Research | University of Oxford


Oxford University is world-famous for research excellence. Our core commitment is to maintain originality, significance and rigour in research within a framework of the highest standards of infrastructure, training, and integrity.

Search below for a range of research stories by department or topic. These stories include impact case studies, videos, news and the research in conversation series. For more information please see individual department websites.

Teacher marks books

Could teachers do less marking for better results?


The report, A Marked Improvement?,  by the University of Oxford and the charity, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), says there needs to be more research into which marking strategies really work, but it also identifies some approaches that do make a difference.

A group of friends

Friends 'better than morphine'


She said: 'I was particularly interested in a chemical in the brain called endorphin.  Endorphins are part of our pain and pleasure circuitry – they’re our body's natural painkillers and also give us feelings of pleasure.  Previous studies have suggested that endorphins promote social bonding in

red blood cells

Good Sense

Impact case study

Research from Oxford has revealed details of the chemistry which humans use to sense changes in oxygen availability, opening the way to breakthrough treatments for diseases ranging from anaemia to cancer.
Dr Jennifer Lucey

Putting ‘no deforestation’ into Practice in Tropical Commodity Industries

Palm oil (PO) is the world’s primary source of vegetable oil, and rapid expansion of the industry has caused widespread deforestation. The Roundtable on Sustainable palm oil (RSPO) certification standard was set up to address these issues.
Women Speak Out

Women Speak Out: An Academic-Community Collaboration to Explore the Links Between HIV, Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights Among Women with Drug Dependence

Women Speak Out is an academic-community collaboration between Oxford University and the Indonesian Drug Users Network aimed at addressing HIV and gender-based violence among drug-using women in Indonesia.
Miss Melissa Skorka

21st Century Terrorist Political Adaptation to Western Policy

This project has created new synergies between academia and public institutions, while promoting Oxford’s Changing Character of War Programme as a world-leader in policy-relevant research-led innovation.
Dr Phil Grunewald

Interdisciplinary Study of Energy use and Activities

Understanding the timing of energy demand is becoming ever more important. The uptake of renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, is accelerating and systems have to accommodate their sometimes volatile outputs.
Dr Carl Benedikt Frey

The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?

In this project, Frey and his team developed a novel approach to measure the exposure of jobs to automation. They did so against a background of the rapidly expanding scope of tasks computer technologies can perform, following recent developments in machine learning and various sub-fields of artificial intelligence.
Ms Alice Purkiss

Trusted Source Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Trusted Source was a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Oxford and the National Trust which responded to the challenge of creating resilient and long term relationships between the heritage sector and academia.
filling bags

Special Economic Zones for Refugee Employment

Most refugees flee to neighbouring haven countries where jobs are scarce. The governments of these havens consequently deny them the right to work. Refugees pass years dependent on aid in camps, or take clandestine work in which they are highly vulnerable.
Professor Paul Newman

Where am I? Large Scale Infrastructure-Free Navigation for All The Vehicles - From An Oxford Lab to a Globally Leading Company

From 2005 to 2017 Paul Newman led the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) within the Dept. of Engineering Science. In 2017 MRG become the Oxford Robotics Institute. During this time he led the development of a suite of technology that enabled autonomous vehicles to navigate with zero dependence on infrastructure at scale. It is a foundation technology.
Professor Mark Howarth

Superglues from Pathogenic Bacteria

Synthetic biology, the engineering of living systems, is likely to generate major changes to society in areas including energy, healthcare and agriculture.
Professor Katherine Blundell

Global Jet Watch for Social Change

A key aim in astrophysics is to understand how matter behaves in the vicinity of black holes in galaxies across the Universe, especially those in our own Milky Way.
Professor Aditi Lahiri

FLEX-SR (A FLEXible new approach to automatic Speech Recognition)

A key principle of the Featurally Underspecified Lexicon (FUL) model, built within the framework of linguistics, is that “phonological features” (the articulatory and acoustic properties that make one sound crucially contrast with another) should have rigorous definitions and a finite set should adequately cover all the distinctive sounds across the languages of the world.

Parenting for Lifelong Health

Africa has the highest rates of child abuse in the world, but no programmes that have been shown to prevent this. Academics at Oxford University worked with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the University of Cape Town to create and scientifically test a series of free workshops to support families in bringing up their teenagers.
medical equipment


There is currently a lack of funding and industrial expertise available to help translate innovative, world class, biomedical discoveries at Oxford University into next generation drug discovery programmes that can be commercialised for patient benefit.
people looking for water

Smart Handpumps

844 million people lack access to basic drinking water. The majority live in Africa and Asia, often depending on handpumps, which lift groundwater.

GDm-healthTM: real-time management of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects 5%-16% of all pregnancies in the UK and can lead to complications for the mother and baby if blood glucose (BG) is not tightly controlled. Women require hospital visits every 1-2 weeks. The cost and burden of GDM for both the NHS and the patient are high.
medical equipment

Building Strategic Partnerships in Digital Health

The National Health Service is in crisis. Constrained spending for a population with increasing healthcare demands means it is critical that we adopt innovative strategies for delivering healthcare in the 21st century.
Dr Ian Griffiths (Mathematical Institute)

Mitigation of arsenic mass poisoning: a unified experimental and theoretical approach

The Ganges–Brahmaputra Delta is a global hotspot for arsenic groundwater contamination. Naturally occurring arsenic concentrates in water drawn from deep wells, creating a major public health issue in West Bengal and Bangladesh, which has been described as the largest mass poisoning of a population in history.