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Sea birds washing up on the shoreline covered in a mysterious oily substance; young people in Ethiopia, suffering from discrimination and exclusion on account of their disability; families having to face life-changing decisions without the support of specialist genetic counsellors.

Three completely different scenarios but all tied by a common cord: University of Plymouth research. It’s a thread that weaves its way across disciplinary and geographic boundaries, sometimes stitching together partners, and at all times touching on themes of scholarship and learning.

You can read 20 such stories of how University of Plymouth research has changed people’s lives in one way or another. These case studies were at the heart of the Research Excellence Framework submission, which confirmed our standing as a top-50 university, with world-class research right across the spectrum of science and technology, health and medicine, business, arts and social sciences.

It takes time to develop research expertise; it demands a commitment to invest in people, in teams, in resources. Over and again, these stories reiterate that hard-earned truth. And what is particularly impressive is the way that we are able to respond to significant issues when they arise and apply our expertise in genuinely impactful ways, changing lives in the process, guiding policy change, and transforming the way we look at the world.

This research also has huge benefits for our students as it underpins our teaching and learning and enriches the curriculum. It means that our students have direct access to some of the world’s leading academics, and an exclusive preview of the knowledge that will inform the textbooks of tomorrow.

Find out more by accessing our case studies and researcher profiles below, or download the full pdf version of our 'Research: changing the world in 20 projects' brochure.

Research - changing the world in 20 projects

Changing the world in 20 projects

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
Albert Einstein’s famous quote provides a tongue-in-cheek perspective on research, one that emphasises open-ended exploration and blue skies study.