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Setting up a new University Research Support Service – Challenges and Opportunities

Lead Authors

Dr Cecilia Fenech Brincat (Research Delivery Executive, Cranfield University)


Dr Jen Fensome (Head of Research Excellence, Cranfield University); Jane Alder (Research Grants Coordinator, Cranfield University); Dr Helene Ducrotoy (Research Grants Coordinator, Cranfield University)

The Research and Innovation Office (RIO) at Cranfield University was newly established in 2014 as a key outcome of the University’s recent reorganisation. Within this, a new pan-University Research Support Service was implemented at the start of 2015. Previous research support services at the University were largely on an ad-hoc and disparate basis, and it was hoped that a single, value-added service would better support researchers in achieving the University’s corporate targets as well as provide a focal point of management and research oversight. The establishment of this new research support service provides a unique opportunity to assess and articulate the challenges and opportunities faced by both academic and professional staff, and our ideas on how to continue embedding many of the principals in everyday University business practice. These elements will be addressed in this interactive poster that will include space for input from conference participants.

Key Messages

The key challenges and opportunities faced by the Research Support Service team at Cranfield University over their first year of service.
Best practice identified at Cranfield for meeting the needs and expectations of academic and professional service colleagues.
Future plans to embed the principals of the service within University culture.