The Process for Applying to Establish a New University of Sheffield Research Centre:

Where the Centre Includes Academic Departments from More than One Single Faculty

Note: The University's Research and Innovation Committee does not have a pot of funding enabling it to provide funds to support new University Research Centres. If pump-prime funding is sought other mechanisms should be explored.

If you plan to establish a new Research Centre that includes academic departments from more than one Faculty then the following formal approval process must be followed:

1. Complete the Application Form (a link to which is provided within the Downloads box to the right of this webpage) and a Business Plan (the core components of a Business Plan are listed in the Application Form).

2. Obtain signatures, on the Application Form, of the Head(s) of Department(s) within which the lead academic member(s) of staff proposing the establishment of the Centre is based AND the signatures of the Directors of Research and Innovation for the Faculties involved in the proposed new Centre.

3. Email an electronic copy of the completed Application Form and Business Plan AND provide a signed hard copy version of the Application Form to Richard Hudson, r.j.hudson@sheffield.ac.uk, Research and Innovation Services, New Spring House.

4. Mr Richard Hudson is Secretary to the University’s Research and Innovation Committee and the endorsement of this Committee is required. Richard ensures that the application is included in the Committee’s papers for discussion and decision by the Committee.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE E-VERSION AND SIGNED HARD COPY VERSION OF THE DOCUMENTS REACH RICHARD ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE OF A MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE (there is flexibility on this point but it’s in order to give the Committee’s members time to properly read and reflect on the documentation before a meeting).

5. Potential decisions reached by the Committee:
- Not endorsed (feedback provided regarding the rationale for this).
- Request for further information is sought before the Committee can make an informed decision.
- The establishment of the proposed Centre is endorsed subject to additional information being provided.
- The establishment of the proposed Centre is endorsed.

6. With respect to proposed Centres that have been endorsed by the Committee a recommendation to formally approve the establishment of the proposed Centre is made to SENATE (the SENATE meeting following the meeting of the Research and Innovation Committee).

7. The academic(s) proposing the Centre are informed of SENATE’s decision and are advised to include a link to the Centre’s webpage (once it is live) on the official list of Centres at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/research/research/centres

Advice for Academic Members of Staff Considering or Planning to Activate the Above Process:

Make contact with your Faculty’s Research Strategy Manager: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ris/contacts/rds

The types of criteria that the University’s Research and Innovation Committee may want to look at, in terms of whether the establishment of a Centre should be supported, include:

1. Intellectual Coherence.
This needs to be the primary criterion (look both at the degree to which such coherence already exists and the plans to use the centre to develop it further)

2. Strategic need - a clear rationale for why we need to do this now.

3. Sustainability - what the plans are to attract the resources needed to develop and grow the centre.

4. Leadership and management - which needs to be robust and inclusive.