Explore Themes

Present & Future Research

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Video: What is Astrobiology?
Duration: 00:02:15
Date: 2019
Video: BepiColombo mission to Mercury
Duration: 00:01:25
Date: 2018
Video: PhDs and Professional Doctorates at the Open University, UK
Duration: 00:03:19
Date: 2019

The Future...

In contrast to those first incipient days, when observers outside the University were sometimes surprised that the OU conducted research at all, we are now firmly established as a world-leader.

A key project for OU Research as it looks towards the future is the "Expanding Excellence in England (E3) 2019-2022" grant of £6.7 million to expand the Astrobiology Research Group. AstrobiologyOU’s vision is to establish a multi-disciplinary research community that will collaboratively address the scientific and governance challenges associated with the advancement of astrobiology and related space exploration missions; whilst ensuring societal benefits and sustainability, supported by commercial application. In the first video on this page, three members of AstrobiologyOU discuss some of the big questions within the field.

Space Exploration maintains a high public profile, and the second clip on this page shows Professor David Rothery talking about his involvement with the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, due to arrive at the planet in 2025. Several PhD students from the OU are carrying out geological mapping of the surface. Also, as recently as July 2019 it was announced that the OU have designed an instrument called PITMS (PROSPECT Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer) which will be part of NASA’s 2021 Artemis programme to look for evidence of a ‘water cycle’ on the Moon.

Another key focus of the future of OU research is its PhD students. The OU Graduate School encompasses a community of around 900 postgraduate research students (PGRS): some on campus in Milton Keynes and others around the globe and linked through the Affiliated Research Centre programme. In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2019, the OU was in the top quartile for student satisfaction, and the final video on this page shows some current PhD students describing their experiences at The Open University.

After 50 years, research at the OU continues to push boundaries and explore further than ever before. The breadth and scope of current and future research at the University can be seen from our Research websites, across the flagship research themes and more specific faculty focus.

Present & Future Research (page 2 of 2)