Impact case studies | University of Oxford

Impact case studies

The Oxford Impacts series celebrates the range of impacts the University has on the world of policy, health, business and culture. All of this is enabled by the world-leading research of Oxford academics. This set of case studies showcases academic research, across a range of subjects, that has had an impact on the world.

If you know of some impact from Oxford research which we should showcase please contact the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team.

red blood cells

Good Sense

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.