Our four new University Research Institutes

With approval from Senate and ahead of a formal launch in the spring, discover our four new flagship institutes designed to address global challenges and epidemics.

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The University of Sheffield Research Institute for Energy

Directed by Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian

  • Designed to be a world-leading energy research institute and a one-stop shop for all things energy related at the University.
  • This Institute will build on the foundations of existing flagship centres in Energy Storage, Nuclear, Wind Generation, Low Carbon Energy Systems and the Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy.
  • The team will work to increase the visibility of excellent research and provide a focal point for cross-disciplinary research, for example across social science, engineering and science. There will also be a common contact point for industrial interaction and enquiries.

The University of Sheffield Research Institute for Healthy Lifespan

Co-directed by Professors Ilaria Bellantuono and Alan Walker

  • The Institute for Healthy Lifespan will lead multidisciplinary scientific efforts to prevent or delay multimorbidity with the production of new policies, practices and products.
  • The team will aim to understand the common biological and social processes underpinning multimorbidity as people age and discover novel ways to intervene at different stages of life.
  • Multimorbidity is a rapidly increasing global epidemic due to population ageing. It is recognised as a grand challenge by the World Health Organisation and UK Government and as the major health research priority by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The University of Sheffield Research Institute for Neuroscience

Directed by Professor Dame Pamela Shaw

  • The Institute for Neuroscience will work to to unravel the mysteries of the nervous system and to discover new understanding of disease mechanisms and new treatments for neurological and sensory-related diseases.
  • It will bring together a talented and dedicated group of internationally recognised research leaders working together with NHS staff and will support over 100 people across the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry & Health, Science, and Engineering.
  • The team will create a coherent and focused centre of excellence for neuroscience research that will maximise existing strengths and support major new ambitions for securing funding to advance our understanding of human neurobiology. They will also deliver diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions to improve human health and wellbeing.

The University of Sheffield Research Institute for Sustainable Food

Co-directed by Professors Duncan Cameron and Peter Jackson

  • The Institute for Sustainable Food will work to address the epochal challenge of global food security. The team will seek to understand contemporary agri-food systems working at a range of scales from the molecule to the ecosystem.
  • Acknowledging that food security is as much a socio-cultural as a technical challenge, there will be a combination of fundamental research in natural and social sciences with a strong commitment to translating research findings into practical policy-relevant outcomes.
  • The institute will see involvement from all five faculties at the University. The team will work with a range of stakeholders to identify and implement more sustainable modes of food production and consumption.

Note: names are provisional and to be confirmed in consultation with the incoming directors

Following approval from Senate in October, Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research, explains the process and next steps for the new University Research Institutes.

Professor Petley said: "At their meeting on 31 October 2018, University Senate approved recommendations for the first wave of four University Research Institutes, designed to support the delivery of our strategic objectives and build on some of our acknowledged areas of research excellence.

"Over the past year, we’ve been working to clearly identify key areas we want to see as cross-disciplinary flagship research institutes and have selected the institutes based on outstanding academic strength, scale, distinctive leadership, reputation, societal relevance and the generation of income. In addition, the normal expectation is for engagement across at least three academic faculties.

"The institutes will be supported by a team drawn from across Professional Services to undertake detailed business planning and work towards a formal launch in Spring 2019 at which time we will communicate the news externally.

"Thank you to everyone involved for your continued support and I look forward to working with colleagues further as we launch a call for a second wave of institutes next year."