Research strategy

Research Strategy

Aston’s Competitive Advantage

Aston has developed a strong reputation for working closely with industry, the professions, and other stakeholders and for the strong focus on providing solutions to real problems of industry, and addressing societal challenges with high impact research. Since our creation in 1895 we have been an integral part of our region and its employers, advancing knowledge in a relevant and meaningful manner. Our competitive advantage is based on: our strong performance in REF2014; our research partnerships and business engagement; our cross-school, collaborative and interdisciplinary research ethos; and the employability and entrepreneurship of our graduates.

Key Elements of our Research Strategy




Addressing real world problems and providing practical answers means our research is used by organisations, policymakers and stakeholders to make a positive impact on society and our communities. 




Our approach to research is highly collaborative across disciplines and schools, involving partnerships with businesses at a local, national and global level and with academic institutions in the UK and across the globe.




We are committed to excellence in research, as evidenced by the proportion of our research which is assessed as world-leading (4*) in terms of outputs and impacts in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. 



We want our research to be financially sustainable, in recognition of the fact that we have to manage competing priorities for resources. 

Research labs
Research environment