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About

Our research is designed to have impact, influence policy and practice and change lives for the better. We maximise our impact through major collaborations with external organisations ranging from public bodies to third sector to business.

Our current strategic plan for research is aimed at strengthening our academic reputation, improving our research environment, ensuring there is intellectual breadth and rigour across all our curriculum areas and also creating a focus on ‘strategic research areas’. These are currently:

Academic Excellence is one of the strategic objectives that make up the OU’s Students First: Strategy for Growth.

Our aim is to ensure OU research is externally recognised for excellence and impact, delivering substantial benefits to the University’s mission and priorities.

In the years ahead, we will use the intellectual leadership derived from our research to support even more effectively our primary purpose of creating educational opportunities and increasing social mobility.

Key facts about OU research

Our world-leading innovative research and development ranks in the top third of UK universities. It influences policy and practices from local to global levels.

  • We spend approximately £60m on research each year, generating an income of more than £30m annually
  • host over 900 registered postgraduate students
  • work with 23 Affiliated Research Centres worldwide
  • and house over 33,000 OU research publications on our Open Research Online database

News & articles

MESSENGER enhanced colour image showing the southern half of Mercury’s Caloris basin, hosting several red spots. NASA/JHUAPL/CIW, Author provided

Mysterious red spots on Mercury get names – but what are they?

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but far from being a dull cinder of a world, it has instead turned out to be a real eye opener for geologists. Among the revelations by NASA’s MESSENGER probe, which first flew past Mercury in 2008 and orbited it between 2011 and 2015, is the discovery of a hundred or so bright red spots scattered across the globe.

23rd April 2018
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Upcoming Events

May 22

OU inaugural to investigate why only 10% of maths professors are women

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 -

18:00 to 19:45

Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

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