About research at Oxford

For the intensity, breadth, quality and impact of its research, the University of Oxford has few peers anywhere in the world.

Our over-arching research objectives are to lead the international agenda across the University’s disciplinary spectrum and through interdisciplinary initiatives, and make significant contributions to society – regionally, nationally and internationally – through the fruits of our research.

The scale of research activity at Oxford is substantial, involving the four Academic Divisions, Continuing Education, Academic Services and University Collections (ASUC), more than 70 departments, the Colleges, 1632 academic staff (teaching and research), 3507 research and research support staff, and 4,637 postgraduate research students, supported by Oxford’s research administrators.

For the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Oxford submitted the largest number of researchers in a total of 48 fields. We were judged to have the largest volume of world-leading research (4* rated) of any UK university. Oxford subsequently received the highest amount of quality research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – nearly £119 million – of any UK university.

The University of Oxford's total research income for 2010/11 totalled £500.5 million. Of this sum, £123.9 million was received in HEFCE research funding, and £376.6 million was received from externally funded grants and contracts. Oxford's largest and most important competitive research funders over the past ten years have been the Wellcome Trust, the UK Research Councils and the European Commission. The support of, and our partnership with, all the funders and investors in research at Oxford is greatly appreciated.

There is extensive collaboration with leading university networks, among researchers and with public agencies and business, in the UK and internationally. The largest cluster of overseas research activity is the Africa and Asia Tropical Medicine network, involving more than 1,200 people, the Wellcome Trust, NGOs, national governments and local institutions, and focussed on improving health and on capacity building. There are many other examples in every academic department of Oxford research overseas and work with international collaborators.

Researchers based in different departments and institutes across the University are looking at many different aspects of climate change including climate science; mitigation; climate impacts and adaptation; and policy, governance and financing. We have a website dedicated to our energy research.

Oxford staff and student researchers address many of the major challenges that face our society, from language conservation to new vaccines, ageing to obesity, new energy sources to biodiversity. They use innovative research techniques and modern technology, both to examine problems of the modern world and to understand better the ancient world.

To find out more about research at Oxford, its outcomes and benefits, visit the web sites of the academic divisions, departments and Colleges, read the Latest News, get the inside track on science at Oxford University via the Science Blog, hear from students on the Wall of 100 Faces, explore the work of Isis Innovation Ltd in licensing technology, creating spin-out companies and managing consultancies; read about some of our research on global issues; search the Oxford Research Archive; see how OUP enhances scholarship, research and learning world-wide; surf the Oxford iTunes U site; or visit Oxford’s museums and collections, and the Bodleian, one of the world’s great libraries.