About our flagship institutes

The key issues facing humanity are embedded within complex systems, which cross the boundaries of academic disciplines. Our flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle these, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.


Researchers at the University of Sheffield are passionate about tackling the great global challenges of our time.

The key issues facing humanity are embedded within complex systems, which cross the boundaries of academic disciplines. We recognise that effectively addressing these challenges means working together across the traditional boundaries of our research fields.

Tackling complex issues requires interdisciplinary and translational research – taking academic research and turning it into real-world solutions.

Our flagship institutes

To make this happen, we have created four bold new research institutes within the University, each focused on an era-defining challenge:

The creation of focused research institutes enables us to bring our key strengths together in exciting new ways.

Solutions for a changing world

As the climate changes and global population increases, the need for sustainable methods of energy and food production is abundantly clear. The challenge is to achieve safe and secure food and energy for all, while taking a long-term view of environmental sustainability and ensuring equity of access.

In the UK and internationally, our populations are living longer and, as we age, many of us are living with more than one chronic health problem. Improving health and quality of life is a worthwhile goal in itself, but a secondary important factor is reducing the associated health and social care costs.

The Neuroscience Institute at the University of Sheffield is at the frontier of a fascinating scientific field. It seeks to better understand neurological and sensory conditions – including chronic pain and motor neurone disease. The Healthy Lifespan Institute at the University of Sheffield focuses on understanding the biological and socio-economic drivers of disease and ageing and looks at how we can intervene to support healthy ageing for all.

Across the faculties at the University of Sheffield, we have a wealth of world-class expertise and state-of-the-art research facilities. We are in a unique position to bring together internationally recognised experts with the vision to make change happen.

A collaborative approach

Finding effective solutions will not happen solely within the walls of the University. These institutes will support and engage with key stakeholders for each of these subjects. We have strong links in each of the fields – with industry, with government, with people directly affected by the issues in the UK and internationally, and with people working in these areas, all of whom can help us to understand the problems and implement the solutions.

The institutes are based on outstanding academic strength and dynamic leadership. Their focus is on research excellence, impact, engagement across faculties and disciplines, and making a distinctive and ambitious contribution to global challenges.

We hope that each institute will inspire collaboration and innovation from our research teams and everyone they work with. Together, we have the opportunity to find new answers to complex problems and change the world for the better.