Global research

Our internationally acclaimed research is helping to make a real impact in the real world.

Founded in 1838 by the celebrated Victorian engineer Sir George Cayley to promote innovation in science and the arts, today we continue our long-standing heritage of encouraging public engagement with, and public benefit of, our research and innovation activities.

Research Excellence

We are proud of our world-leading and internationally excellent research, underlined by our performance in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 assessment, the five-yearly national assessment of research quality and impact of research in UK universities.

Submitting in 13 subject areas, we achieved ratings of international recognition, excellence or world-leading leading quality for some 90% of our submitted work. The results affirm our world-leading position in Art and Design, and Media and Communications, as well as internationally excellent and world-leading performances in English, Architecture and the Built Environment, and Allied Health.

Global themes

Our research addresses truly global themes, contributing to the solution of real-world problems and enhancing and enriching economic, health, social and cultural life.

Areas where our work has had significant impact include: depression; Sickle Cell Disease awareness; management of aviation delay costs; motion sickness in the space and defence industries; internet fraud; policy and international relations in the global context; development of a portable device to diagnose the Ebola virus and a BAFTA-winning film which explored the impact of genocide in Indonesia.

Global collaboration

Every faculty of the University is actively involved in collaborations with both academic institutions and businesses overseas.

The International Eco-Cities Initiative is a research network exploring contemporary urban sustainability, governance and innovation involving collaboration across 5 national research teams: China, France, Germany, Netherlands and the UK. The transnational comparative analysis covers the: Ningbo, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Wuhan (China) and Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Hamburg & Manchester (Europe) and is part of an EU-China collaborative research programme on the green economy supported by €1.1 million in funding.

SESAR is the technological pillar of Europe’s ambitious Single European Sky initiative, coordinating most European R&D activities in air traffic management (ATM). It is one of the most innovative infrastructure projects launched by the EU, developing and deploying new technologies to meet the expected growth of aviation by 2035 and beyond, building Europe’s intelligent transport system, and connecting cities and citizens, while increasing safety and reducing the climate change impact of aviation. The University of Westminster’s ATM Group, led by Andrew Cook, has won the €4m contract to run the European Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) for SESAR for the next four years. A key focus is better integration of industrial and exploratory research, as a ‘push-pull’ process. The KTN will develop a long-term concepts roadmap, devise a new ‘one-stop’ European knowledge hub, support the main annual European ATM conference, run twenty innovation workshops, host a series of summer schools, and fund a range of PhDs and new teaching/training initiatives supporting student mobility. Visit Engage  to read more about this interdisciplinary network, its activities, consortium members and 50+ industry partners.

Newton Funded Project – Innovative Technology for Wastewater Treatment is a collaborative research project between the University of Westminster and Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (AEA), to develop a novel microbial fuel cell (MFC) system for industrial wastewater treatment. The project addresses the challenge of water scarcity and water quality in Egypt, and has the potential to positively impact the economy and social welfare of both countries by mitigating the pollution of water bodies from contaminated wastewater while providing water for reuse.

Working in partnership with the Universiti of Malaysia Sabah, staff from the IDEaS – Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Strategy Research Group recently secured funding from the British Council for an international collaboration between universities and industry. The project aims to improve the resilience of social enterprises in Malaysia through team entrepreneurial learning. The project will begin in the first quarter of 2018 and culminate in a five-day research workshop involving 40 participants from across the UK and Malaysia.

The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) has won a £600,000 funding bid from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a three-year project ‘Documentary of the Imagination’, with Professor Joshua Oppenheimer as Principal Investigator and Professor Rosie Thomas as Co-Investigator.

Latitudes is an innovative network providing a platform to share ideas and find design solutions to the challenge of climate change. Organised by the University of Westminster, it is open to individuals, institutions, students, academics, professionals or researchers and involves participants stretching from Malaysia to the east coast of America, and Africa to the Arctic.

After getting the opportunity to present their research on Gender Equality at the Second International Symposium on Gender, Law and Constitutions, the formal report of the student project was published on the UN Women website. The research by Livia Schmidt, currently studying on the International Law LLM course, and Manvir Greval, who is studying for a PhD degree also in the Westminster Law School, looked at different aspects of reproductive rights and bodily integrity in different constitutions, including the UK, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Iran and Indonesia.

EU funded projects

The University has won many prestigious research and collaboration grants from the EU under schemes including Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 (FP7), European Research Council, Marie Curie Actions, Erasmus+, Lifelong Learning Programme, and TEMPUS. For further information visit our EU-funded projects page.

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Research Impact

Read more about our research impact on the arts and sciences, culture, transport, health, legislation and business.

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Research Excellence Framework 2014

The very positive outcomes of the REF2014 confirm the internationally excellent quality, reach and significance of our scholarship and impact.