Our Institutes, Centres and Groups

Our dynamic research community is organised into Institutes, Centres and Groups. These provide a focus for our cutting-edge research. Many of our academics are world leaders in their fields. They have a well-deserved reputation for delivering innovative, high impact projects. These range from health, education and environmental sustainability to architecture, digital industries and social sciences. At UEL, we excel at attracting funding and developing partnerships. We work with organisations in the academic, public, private and voluntary sectors to combine expertise and achieve strong outcomes.

Sustainability Research Institute (SRI)

People outdoors doing research

The Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) is UEL's centre of excellence for environmental research. We run a wide range of projects for sustainable living and development. 

Our main areas of interest are peatlands, waste materials and urban green infrastructure (UGI).

Sustainability Research Institute

Institute for Connected Communities (ICC)

People indoors sitting at table talking

The Institute for Connected Communities (ICC) focuses on connected offline and online communities exploring contemporary issues including harms, cybercrime, safety, security, health and wellbeing. The ICC incorporates the former Institute of Health and Human Development and the Online Harms and Cybercrime Unit.

Institute for Connected Communities

Making an Impact

Our research is central to achieving our Vision 2028 goals, specifically to increase the economic, social and cultural impact (reach and value) of our activities to the communities we serve. 

From influencing policy related to online harms, to conserving UK peatlands and helping young people with disabilities live more independent lives – UEL research achieves positive social change.  

Many of our academics are key members of influential policy working groups including government, business and the not-for-profit sector. We are committed not only to sharing the impact of our research with our communities and the wider public but to engaging people in the whole research process from listening and responding, to co-creation, implementing interventions/solutions and measuring impact.

At UEL, we believe in working with communities to co-create futures. This kind of engagement means we can help shape policy and practice to bring real improvements to people's lives. 

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Students working with sand

Research Excellence

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) 17% of research was judged to be world-leading, nearly double the previous REF. At the same time, more than 90% of our research was assessed as 'internationally recognised' and more than 60% was rated 'internationally excellent'. 

We have recently completed our REF 2021 submission, submitting 238 staff to 13 Units of Assessment. 

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Research Environment

The University provides a comprehensive support structure for research and knowledge exchange through the Office for Postgraduates, Research and Engagement. This team provides support for public and community engagement, research ethics, integrity and compliance, the development and monitoring of bids for research funding and research excellence.  

This professional services team works in tandem with a network of roles within our academic schools: our Directors of Impact and Innovation, REF Unit of Assessment Coordinators and annual review panel members as part of a wider impact and engagement eco-system incorporating our institutes, centres and groups.  

Postgraduate Researchers

Located across three campuses in East London, close to the Olympic Park and the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, UEL provides outstanding facilities and campuses that are connected to our communities. With a genuine focus on public and community engagement, studying at UEL will give you the chance to develop projects with real social significance. 

Research in our Schools

Research in the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering

Our research work is renowned in the UK and across the world, and we have developed partnerships so we can transfer our knowledge to a range of industrial, commercial, policy-making and government departments.

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Research in the School of Arts and Creative Industries

Our research is socially engaged, collaborative, and interdisciplinary, and is integrated into the student experience by our research active staff.

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Research in the School of Education and Communities

We are an international centre of excellence for teacher education and professional development

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Research in the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience

Our internationally-renowned institutes regularly carry out research across the UK and overseas.

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Research in the School of Psychology

Our research has prioritised topics which are relevant to the lives of our students and our local communities.

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