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Researchers & Research Groups

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Clip: Oxford Research Unit
Duration: 00:02:58
Date: 13-08-1978
Clip: Brain Research Group
Date: 2009

Early Research Groups

It took a little while for some of the more in-depth research to emerge at the developing Open University. Ongoing delays in the building of laboratories and the first library building on campus meant that many staff members and researchers were still housed in what Walter Perry described as “temporary hutments” at Walton Hall into the mid-1970s.

Established in 1972, the Oxford Research Unit was comprised of groups from several different faculties, and allowed some sharing of facilities at another site when those in Milton Keynes were still to materialise. In the video clip on this page, the second ORU Director Dr David Blackburn describes the early days of the unit and some of the groups that were based there to begin with.

Other research groups were starting to form by the mid-1970s – we will look at some in more detail on the next page. In 1973, the Brain Research Group was formed around Professor Steven Rose, and soon became particularly high-profile. In the audio clip on this page, Professor Rose briefly describes the formation of this research group.

At the end of the 1970s, the Vice-Chancellor in his Annual Report was able to describe the “Brain Research Group, Energy Research Group and Petrogenesis Research Group [as having] reached a stage of development where their status is considered to be the equivalent of a sub-unit of a faculty” in their own right.

By 1981 there were 27 separate research groups at the OU, many of which were gaining a considerable reputation beyond the University for their work, and setting an extremely high standard for the decades to come.

Researchers & Research Groups (page 1 of 6)