In an increasingly competitive national and global research environment, the Impact Data Metrics team was challenged by two Russel Group Universities, The University of Manchester and The University of Liverpool, to help to identify areas where their respective life and clinical sciences research could be brought together, be more collaborative and stand out from their competitors.
This required a detailed analysis of the research activities of the organisations’ two largest faculties, and comparison of their relative strengths and weaknesses. The overall goal was to inform how best to invest a joint research budget of £4M with a view to boosting the clients’ national standings in the first instance. We conducted a data-led analysis, with face-to-face interviews to corroborate findings and ensure that all parties agreed on the approach taken. The team undertook a national comparative analysis of research activity, ranging from publications in leading journals, research income, patenting and existing collaborations. We collected, cleaned and analysed over 100,000 records spanning a 5 year period.
We identified four main areas where the two organisations could work together collaboratively and boost their impact beyond the leading competitive centres in the UK. Those areas were; Mental health (Psychology and Psychiatry), Pharmacology (particularly precision medicine, skin diseases and toxicology), Paediatric medicine and Ophthalmology. In addition, we also identified a cross-cutting theme relating to genetics and genetic technologies that underpins many of these research areas.
Impact: Stakeholders came together to utilise investment to build more collaborative and competitive research programs.