Four university students socialising

Our Research

star Overview

Research at Portsmouth is flourishing and this is demonstrated by the strength and variety of the research collaborations in which the institution is engaged.

Our research ranges from the purest sciences - investigating the evolution of galaxies - to the most economically and technologically applied ones - computer games design. Through studies of history, literature and society, our researchers develop and communicate new insights on topics ranging from Charles Dickens to the European Union, and from the challenges of ageing to new methods of fraud-prevention.

Our world-class research is further validated by the outcome of the most recent national Research Excellence Framework (REF), with over 60% of research submitted by the University rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.

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star Strategy and Governance

Our research strategy enshrines our core values which are to support the highest quality research and develop collaborations, to support and develop excellent researchers within a sustainable research culture and to promote and publicise the contributions that our research makes to the advancement of knowledge. We are committed to the delivery of growth and development for our research staff through the application of consistent research governance.

Research Governance

The University is concerned to ensure appropriate research governance for all its research activity and this is delivered through the institution’s own regulations, standards and procedures as well as the dissemination of best practice. Full details of policies and procedures relating to Research Integrity and Research Governance are available on our Research Governance webpage.

Research Council Concordat to Support Career Development

The University subscribes to the Research Councils’ Concordat on staff development. We value the expertise of our staff and students, and are committed to supporting them to reach their full research potential. We aim to attract, retain and reward high quality academic and research staff who are able to make a significant contribution to our research profile. As part of our continuing commitment to reviewing the career development options available to staff, the University has recently published a gap analysis, to guide our future activity.

Athena SWAN charter for the advancement of careers for women in research

The University of Portsmouth is a member of the Athena SWAN charter and is committed to the advancement and promotion of careers for women in the disciplines of science, engineering and technology in both higher education and research. In 2011 the University joined the Athena SWAN charter and made a commitment to the six charter principles. In 2014 the University was awarded an Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in recognition of its commitment to achieve a significant increase in the number of women recruited to top posts in the areas of science, engineering and technology (SET). More information for staff is available on our internal pages.

Open Access

The University is committed to the principles of open access, providing public access to its research and expertise wherever possible. The University's Institutional repository allows access to thousands of research works (in accordance with our open access policy) and free public outreach events are organised on a regular basis.

Research Environment

The University has a number of forums that foster an active and inclusive research environment. The Research staff forum engages research staff at all levels and the Professoriate provides a voice for the senior research management team at the University. Information on these two initiatives is available on our internal pages.

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building Research groupings

Thematic Networks

  • The University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN)

    UPEN was established in 2010 to coordinate and promote the diverse array of environmentally relevant teaching and research from across the University. Understanding interactions between the environment (natural, managed and built) and human populations is a global priority. The University is keen to build on its existing contribution to this agenda, through its research and educational activities.


  • The University of Portsmouth Ageing Network (UPAN)

    The University of Portsmouth Ageing Network (UPAN) is a support system, bringing together a broad scope of knowledge and expertise to address the ‘Active Ageing’ agenda. Healthy active ageing is now a global concern; with the continuing increase in life expectancy, the demographic make-up of society at local, national and international platforms is changing, providing new challenges and many new and exciting opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary projects. UPAN hopes to make the most of these opportunities to make an impact on society, the economy, and to academia.



Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (IBBS)

IBBS concentrates on multidisciplinary research, both fundamental and applied, in biomedical and molecular bioscience. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, IBBS was rated in the top 3 English universities in Unit of Assessment 12, Allied Health Professions and Studies.

Cosmology and Gravitation

Institute for Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)

Research at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) covers theoretical and observational cosmology and astrophysics under three broad categories: early universe and particle cosmology, structure formation in the universe and galaxy evolution.

Criminal Justice Studies

Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS)

ICJS is involved in an extensive range of research activity, pure and applied. Their research is organised under four interrelated clusters: Comparative and International Crime and Justice; Policing, Crime and Investigation; Risk, Security and Counter Fraud; and Youth, Crime and Social Justice.


  • Centre for Applied Geosciences (CAG)

    CAG specialises in the investigation and management of natural and man-made hazards and the conservation of our geo-heritage. Research and consultancy is focused on four themes: disaster risk reduction; environmental monitoring and modelling; geoconservation and heritage science and volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunami.

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  • Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology

    The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology aims to better understand human and animal behaviour and cognition through comparison with other animals and consideration of evolutionary processes. We collaborate with international scientists and animal institutions and we have recently opened a primate behaviour study centre in collaboration with Marwell Wildlife.

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  • Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR)

    CEISR is a major interdisciplinary centre for research on Europe and the wider world: examining human cultures, conflicts, diasporas and inter-relations, past and present. It is the largest interdisciplinary research centre for European studies in the UK and was ranked first in the 2008 RAE.

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  • Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology

    ICRFP has an established international reputation for conducting a broad range of criminological and forensic psychology research. The Centre’s work has been funded by: ESRC, Home Office, British Academy, Nuffield Foundation, US Government, Leverhulme Trust, British Psychological Society and Prison Service. Several members of the Centre regularly serve as Expert Witnesses.

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  • Centre for Situated Action and Communication

    The Centre has at its core a commitment to studying psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge. Its work covers a multitude of areas – such as developmental psychology, animal behaviour, understanding of object functions, autism and psycholinguistics.

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  • Centre for Studies in Literature (CSL)

    The CSL brings together scholars from different fields within literary studies. Our areas of special interest are Early Modern Writing; Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture and Twentieth and Twenty-First Century British and American Literature. CSL is also affiliated with the Dickens Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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  • Centre for Healthcare Modelling and Informatics

    The Centre for Healthcare Modelling and Informatics is a multidisciplinary research group at the University of Portsmouth. Our broad aim is to bring our information systems and computer science expertise to bear to make easier some of the day-to-day jobs involved in healthcare delivery and administration. To achieve this we:

    • Establish and maintain links with healthcare and social care professionals to keep abreast of their problems and needs;
    • Conduct research to investigate new solutions to relevant problems;
    • Provide knowledge transfer services to organisations and individuals in the health and social care sector that wish to adopt information, communication and sensing technologies.

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  • Centre for Operational Research and Logistics

    The Centre for Operational Research and Logistics brings together a multidisciplinary expertise on the Science of Data and the Science of Decision Making from across the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Technology, Portsmouth Business School and the Institute of Industrial Research at the University of Portsmouth. The key aim of the centre is to achieve research excellence in Operational Research and Logistics fields, and enhance the knowledge transfer activities to deepen the strategic partnership between CORL and the business and public organisations to address greater challenges.

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  • Zeiss Global Centre

    The Zeiss Global Centre is a strategic collaboration between the School of Engineering at the University of Portsmouth and Carl Zeiss Ltd. It will become an important part of our HEFCE-funded Future Technology Centre, when the building is opened in 2018.

    The Zeiss Global Centre undertakes research into biological structures, biomaterials and bio-inspired engineering materials, through advanced X-ray microscopy.

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Faculty-level research

In addition to all the above research of our Centres and Institutes, all of our faculties foster a developing research culture among academics in their departments and schools.

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book Publications

Access our published research

The Portsmouth Research Portal is a website showcasing University of Portsmouth research personnel, our research projects, outputs and outcomes. It provides a publicly accessible, fully searchable and navigable interface, with information drawn directly from the University's Current Research Information System, Pure.

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