The research activities of the School continue to develop, maintaining our emphasis on student and staff inclusion and a drive to innovate and engage with the economy.
Our objectives from RAE 2001 were achieved, increasing our rating from the 5C grading allocated previously, and the School has grown both in staff numbers (almost a third of our submission came from early-career researchers) and in research income. As a measure of our success, more than 40% of the research outputs were classified in the internationally excellent to world-leading categories.
In particular we were praised for the "excellent training and support for research students", the "prizes won by research students at international conferences", and our "strong engagement with industry, and commercialisation of research", along with our engagement of staff at international level with government and professional bodies.
Aston has had a long-standing emphasis on the importance of its PhD student training and employability, the relevance of its research, and its desire to provide an environment which is supportive to its staff.
Building on this, our plan is to continue our support for improving our students' and staff research experience, and to develop new research areas to complement our existing peaks of excellence in photonics, biomaterials, bioenergy and pattern processing.
The School has established a European Bioenergy Research Institute, and continued to support University's Aston Brain Centre and the Aston Research Centre into Healthy Ageing