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What is a Research Entity?

The University recognises that the image, reputation and competitiveness of an institution depend on the range and quality of its research performance. The University expects all academic staff to be research-active, consistent with the norms and standards of their disciplines. Over and above this, the University encourages the development and, where appropriate, the formal recognition of research entities so that they can become a focal point of the University’s research effort and promotion.

Research Institute

The establishment of a Research Institute signifies the University’s long-term strategic commitment to a particular area of research endeavour and its intention to lend prestige and standing to this area. A Research Institute will normally be located in a Faculty, but may remain under the authority of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in the early stages of its development, or in unusual circumstances. While the Faculty or University Research Committee will normally provide some funding for an Institute, a Research Institute will only be established if there is demonstrable potential for significant external support from funding agencies and donors.

Research Group

The University encourages the development of research teams within and across disciplines at all levels and in collaboration with other institutions. A Research Group is a formally recognised grouping of established researchers with an agreed-upon Leader, who share common and complimentary research interests and who have similar needs with respect to research infrastructure. They would be able to share technical support staff and research equipment, may submit joint applications for postdoctoral fellows, share some research support staff, etc. They will normally be people who work on research projects that fall under an identifiable research theme or set of themes who occasionally collaborate on common research projects; and who co-supervise research students. Research Groups will be hosted by Faculties/Schools and will be expected to fulfill a range of functions aimed at strengthening, extending and promoting their joint research and research training activities and linkages regionally, nationally and internationally, raising funds for common projects and initiating new intellectual ventures. The life span of a Research Group will depend on the ability of its members to sustain their collaboration and related research productivity.

Research Unit

This is a research entity that is centred on an individual, usually an eminent researcher with a strong research track record and a well defined research programme. The individual would, should his or her group become a Research Unit, carry the title of Director and may build a research team consisting of students, junior associates and post-doctoral fellows working on projects within his or her research programme. By their nature, Research Units are not normally expected to continue should their Directors retire or leave the employ of the University, but may do so under exceptional circumstances.