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Research strategy and plans

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Research and Enterprise Plan

The OU has a new, five year, Research and Enterprise Plan 2018 - 2023 (internal only).

The new Plan sets out a distinctively ‘Open University’ research and enterprise agenda, designed to differentiate and enhance our research profile on a national and international scale.

The Plan aims to:

  • Achieve success in REF2021
  • Build our capacity to engage with the public and stakeholders
  • Develop the number of large-scale, external research and doctoral training partnerships
  • Improve the link between research, curriculum and teaching
  • Increase the sustainability of OU research

Areas of cross-institutional, thematic research will continue to receive institutional support. These strategic research areas will be our flagships of multi-disciplinary, challenge and mission focused research capability as well as acting as key vehicles to deliver on our primary aims for research and enterprise.

For more information on the OU’s Research and Enterprise Plan and its implementation, or OU research strategy more generally, please e-mail the Research Strategy and Governance Team.

Concordat to support the Career Development of Researchers

In November 2020, The Open University signed a Letter of Commitment to Support the Career Development of Researchers. This letter is a public declaration of the support the OU will provide for the career development of researchers who are working here. This support is based on the principles and obligations in the Researcher Development Concordat (RDC). The OU is a signatory to the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and actively works to implement its seven principles. It is an agreement that sets out the expectations and responsibilities of researchers, their managers, employers and funders. It aims to increase the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and to improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

The OU is a recipient of the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award. As of 14 March 2022, The OU is delighted to announce that we have been successful in retaining the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award at the 8-year review point. This award recognises the University's’ commitment to researcher career development and acknowledges alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The University's 8-year and 6-year review reports and action plan  are available below.

There are currently 96 Vitae UK member institutions with the Award.

Contact us to find out more about the RDC