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Research Festival 2022 

24 June – 1 July
The annual Research Festival returned to celebrate collaborative partnerships and showcase leading work across disciplines. Fellow academics, industry, policymakers, students and the public were invited to understand how the University is responding to the most pressing 21st-century global challenges with a systems-thinking approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Evolving into an extended edition which encompassed the popular Sustainable Earth Conference, the Research Festival welcomed attendees to hear about cutting-edge research from leading experts and keynote speakers and learn how their research or business could achieve greater impact through co-creation and collaboration, locally and globally.
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Research Festival 2021

28 June – 2 July

The annual Research Festival celebrated curiosity and collaboration, showcasing leading work across disciplines and inviting fellow academics, industry, students, policymakers, and the public to understand more of our world and those living in it.

In the first edition to be delivered online, attendees heard cutting-edge research from world-leading experts and top keynote speakers and learned how their own research or business could achieve greater impact through collaboration, locally and globally.

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Research Festival 2020

20–24 January

The third annual celebration of research saw a full week of events that confronted our world in a changing environment with a spotlight on sustainability and marine research, educated on best practice for healthcare professionals and patients, explored the positive and negative impacts of technology on modern society, and marked the Mayflower 400 commemorations with a contemporary response to our history and heritage. 

Top keynotes included speakers from DEFRA, the OECD, the Independent Newspaper, The Crown Estate, Renewable UK, Natural England and more.

Research Festival hero

Beethoven's private legacy: his musical sketches

Christmas Lecture | 16 December 2020 | Watch the recording

What insight do Beethoven’s musical sketches provide to the inner workings of his creative process? Dr Robert Taub and Professor James Daybell marked Beethoven’s 250th birthday in a special evening, exploring how these sketches lead to a greater understanding of the creative evolution of his art. 

The discussion with musical accompaniment illustrated how Beethoven challenged artistic perceptions of human expression and how listening to music has changed through generations.

Engraving of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, Getty images


Research Festival 2019

21–25 January

Returning for the second year, the week welcomed over 1000 participants for a variety of events that addressed questions like:

  • Can we change the world one person at a time?
  • What does a suitcase full of eels have to do with sustainability?
  • How do we create and maintain healthy landscapes? 
Top keynotes included speakers from National Geographic, Innovate UK, CBI, Eden Project, Environment Agency and more.

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Research Festival 2018

22–26 January

The first Research Festival explored a variety of topics from community engagement to antibiotic resistance, social media and politics to heritage, finishing with a day dedicated to addressing the opportunities presented by the Industrial Strategy.

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Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2018


  • Professor of Building Performance Analysis, Pieter De Wilde
  • Professor of Modern Literature, Angela Smith
  • Professor of Medical Education, Hilary Neve
  • Professor of Geology, Mark Anderson
  • Professor of Primary Care, Richard Byng

Inaugural Professorial Lecture archive 2018

2017 and earlier

Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2017


  • Professor of Aquatic Biology, Simon Rundle
  • Professor of Composites Engineering, John Summerscales
  • Professor of Human Geography, Richard Yarwood
  • Professor of Geospatial Information, Ralph Fyfe
  • Professor of Geomorphology, Anne Mather
  • Professor of Education, Garry Hornby
  • Professor of Animal Behaviour, Mark Briffa

Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2017 archive

Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2014/15/16


  • Professor of Aquatic Biology, Dave Bilton
  • Professor of Catchment Science, Will Blake
  • Professor of Environmental Politics, Ian Bailey
  • Professor of Environment and Health Sciences, Tom Hutchinson
  • Professor of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, Nathan Clarke
  • Professor of Entrepreneurship, Gideon Maas

Inaugural professorial lectures archive 2014/15/16