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John Rylands Library

Interdisciplinary research

The sheer scale of high-quality, interdisciplinary research activity here sets us apart. We're able to combine disciplines and capabilities to meet both the challenges of leading-edge research and the external demands of government, business and communities.

We created the University of Manchester Research Institute (UMRI) to take forward our goal, outlined in the Manchester 2020 strategic plan, of establishing the University as a major centre for interdisciplinary research.

UMRI enables us to achieve this by ensuring that the necessary structures, resources, incentives and governance frameworks are in place. It also nurtures the emergence of new cross-cutting themes and networks.

University research institutes and networks

Our institutes and networks carry responsibility for the University’s research priorities, working in areas where we have achieved or aspire to world-leading status.

Grand challenges and themes

We are making a contribution to tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. Our work on grand challenges involves many units and researchers, sometimes in disparate areas.

As well as these grand challenges, there are many other examples of interdisciplinary work between our researchers, including:

  • advanced materials;
  • ageing, wellbeing and life course;
  • cancer;
  • global poverty and inequalities;
  • industrial and medical biotechnology;
  • personalised and stratified medicine;
  • policy;
  • systems and synthetic biology.

Find out more about these interdisciplinary research themes.