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University launches new specialist research institutes

Press release issued: 20 March 2017

The University of Bristol has today (Monday, 20 March) launched seven new research institutes reflecting the University’s strength and depth in key specialisms.

The Specialist Research Institutes (SRIs) encompass areas where the University is already internationally-leading and is looking to develop capacity.

The seven new SRIs are:

  • Bristol BioDesign Institute - a cross-sectoral engineering approach to biology, the institute looks at how molecules can be engineered in a biological context. With wide ranging applications, from health to food security, its work embeds pioneering synthetic biology practice in biological and bioengineering research. It links the boundary-breaking research of the BrisSynBio synthetic biology network with postgraduate and postdoctoral training; cementing links with academia, policy makers and industry, while engaging the public with emerging solutions to global challenges.
  • Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) - composites are critical to reducing weight, energy consumption and CO2 generation. With the unparalleled scale of activity in composites research and application in the South West, the University has the head start and research strength to make composites in the UK an exemplar of how research and industrial engagement should be done. ACCIS will lead the way in composites education and research, combining cutting edge fundamental science with strong industrial links for technology transfer.
  • Bristol Heart Institute - a world-leading centre for translational cardiovascular research and the leading academic cardiac surgery centre in the UK. Specialising in preventing, predicting, detecting, reducing and treating cardiovascular disease, it brings together scientists and clinicians from across the University and the NHS in Bristol; training the next generation of cardiovascular scientists and clinical academics.
  • Bristol Institute for Migration and Mobility Studies - providing a fresh approach to the study of migration through a prism of arts, humanities and social sciences. Drawing from multidisciplinary perspectives, the institute looks at why people move from one place to another; the social, economic and cultural consequences of migration; and, importantly, the actual experience of migration. It is recognised as setting the agenda in migration research, particularly in the fields of colonial and postcolonial experience, ethnicity and citizenship; family migration, and the analysis of migration data.
  • Bristol Population Health Science Institute - building on Bristol’s internationally-leading reputation for research in the determinants and consequences of ill-health, this institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach to studying the health of populations, spanning molecules to communities. Research ranges from basic discovery science in molecular and genetic epidemiology to innovative clinical trials and policy-influencing and assessment activities spanning across several Schools and Faculties within the University.
  • Bristol Poverty Institute - drawing on 25 years' experience, the institute’s work centres around the production and dissemination of practical solutions and policies to catalyse the eventual ending of world poverty. It provides multidisciplinary analysis of the underlying causes of poverty with leading-edge expertise in the measurement of child/youth poverty and in the development of efficient anti-poverty policies. This essential research and data assists governments, NGOs and private sector bodies striving for poverty reduction.
  • Bristol Quantum Information Institute - long at the forefront of the growing worldwide activity in this area, the institute crystallises the University’s research across the entire spectrum, from theory to technology. With an expert cross-disciplinary team, including founders of the field, it has expertise in all major areas of theoretical quantum information science and in experiment. Fostering partnerships with the private sector, it provides superb teaching and training for the future generation of quantum scientists and engineers and the prototypes of tomorrow.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: "This is an exciting time for research at the University of Bristol. The new Specialist Research Institutes build on our culture of innovation, strong community and outstanding facilities here at Bristol.

"They reflect the strength and depth we already possess in key specialisms, and will clearly benefit from the inter-disciplinary nature of our world-leading research."

The new SRIs complement the University’s existing research institutes which bring disciplines together to meet both the challenges of leading-edge research and the external demands of government, business and society.

These are:

  • Cabot Institute - living with environmental uncertainty.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research - building new health research communities.
  • Brigstow Institute - researching new ways of living and being.
  • Jean Golding Institute - making data work for everyone.


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