Leeds Ranks in Top 10 Unis for Research Grant Awards

The University of Leeds is in the top 10 institutions for securing research funding, analysis conducted by the Times Higher Education (THE) reveals.

According to the data provided by six research councils, Leeds was ranked 10th in the UK and succeeded in capturing almost £40 million in research grants.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Leeds, commented: “We have truly outstanding researchers who make a real difference to the world. 

“Funding allows us to collaborate with governments, organisations and charities across the world to improve lives, whether that’s by developing new products, through life-changing medical research or tackling challenges through cultural engagement.

“Our continued success in attracting research council funding reflects the fantastic expertise and effort of our research teams at Leeds.”

Earlier this year, University of Leeds was ranked in the top 3 universities in the UK for securing global funding, as reported by Research Fortnight. This ranking accounted for the global funding captured from the Newton Fund and the Global Challenges Research Fund in the period between 2014 and 2018. Leeds was awarded grants amounting to £36,164,619.

“[This ranking] reflects the fantastic expertise and effort of our research teams at Leeds.”

These funds help maintain the University of Leeds’s reputation for excellence, and strengthen its importance as a global research hub.

Despite these accomplishments, as the Times Higher Education ranking demonstrates, Leeds has fallen from the 6th position in 2016/2017 to the 10th this year, securing £52,395,277 and £39,552,342, respectively. While the previous analysis showed that only the University of Oxford, University College London, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Manchester managed to capture more funding than Leeds, in 2017/2018 Leeds was preceded by these five institutions, as well as the Universities of Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow.

The overall value of grants for all UK universities secured this year fell from £1.29 billion to £1.18 billion.

The number of applications for research funding is down as well, which some researchers, such as Professor Dorothy Bishop from the University of Oxford, appointed to the fact that in this very competitive environment universities might, in internal proposals, only allow for the most competitive candidates to submit applications.

Bishop said: “That’s getting more common, I think, because institutions don’t want lots of people from [the same university] all chasing a very scarce grant”.

“[An alternative], depressing, option is that there’s a Brexit effect,” she added. “Even if they have not left yet, our European Union colleagues may be disinclined to submit grant proposals in this period of uncertainty. And finally, could it just be austerity kicking in?”

Zornitsa Stoycheva

Image: [University of Leeds]