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A pharmacy researcher in the lab

Research Insights

The UK Research Councils (RCUK) define research impact as: 'the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy'.  

The impact of research can be further categorised as Instrumental (influencing the development of policy, practice or service provision, shaping legislation, altering behavior), Conceptual (contributing to the understanding of policy issues, reframing debates) or Capacity building (through technical and personal skill development).

Read, watch and learn more about our research specialisms, impact and case studies from the research community here at the University of Sunderland:

Dr Derek Watson – Totrain Enlighten model

Senior Lecturer Dr Derek Watson talks about the Totrain Enlighten model, an innovative model specifically designed to measure food safety cultural compliance for the Food Industry. The model implements a three stage research process that focuses on four core themes, namely Control, Co-operation, Communication and Competence.

Derek's research has had a global impact, with the ToTrain model being used in Athens, Inner Mongolia, Panama, New York and United Kingdom. The data provides organisations with insights concerning their current best practices and key organisational barriers.

Professor Clarissa Smith

Professor Clarissa Smith talks about the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies and the recent series of research seminars organised by the centre.

The seminar series offers members opportunities to showcase their own research, as well as bringing in renowned scholars from around the world such as Susanna Paasonen of the University of Turku, Finland.

The centre also arranged a series of events called ‘Being Human’, which are designed to take humanities research out of the University and into communities.

These events covered such thought-provoking topics as the history of utopian thought, what it will mean to be a human in space, and love and sex with robots.

Dr Carol McKay

Dr Carole McKay talks about the Northern Centre of Photography and the North East Photography Network (NEPN).

NEPN is a research and development agency, whose vision is to develop an extended community of practice for research photographers.

Their research focuses on commissioning photography for the public realm, the networked image and visualising the invisible.

The network also creates opportunities for students at all levels, from undergraduate to PhD, and has had a number of recent projects funded by the Arts Council England

Political theory

Dr Peter Hayes talks about his research in political theory and how it impacts social and political change:

Less is more in the fight against rare condition

Pioneering research by Professor Roz Anderson and her team brought new hope to patients with life-threatening genetic diseases. Cystinosis is an extremely rare condition that, until relatively recently, caused most patients to die from kidney failure before the age of 10. Learn more

Professor Roz Anderson


Environmental psychology

Dr Stephanie Wilkie talks about her research in environmental psychology and the effect places and environments have on us, and our sense of well-being and physical health:


Underground research helps others dig into the past

When Dr Stuart Howard was alerted by a student that certain mining records were going to be dumped into a skip he hired a van and embarked on a rescue mission. Then, back in 1994, as the industry was in its final throes, nobody else much cared, but Dr Howard, a University specialist in mining history, was keen that these records of Nacods, the National Association of Colliery Overmen Deputies and Shotfirers, should not be lost. Read more.

Dr Stuart Howard


The autism spectrum disorder and cognitive development

Dr Amy Pearson talks about her research exploring the autism spectrum disorder, cognitive development, perspective and social cognition in autism.

Expanding the kidney donor pool

This short film showcases research undertaken in the Newcastle Freeman Hospital's Transplant Unit that led to the approval of two new transplant processes and resulted in the expansion of the kidney donor pool. 


Sunderland Software City

Building on excellent computer science research, carried out in a number of applied research centres, the University has taken a leading role in the establishment and development of the software sector in the North East. This film showcases Sunderland Software City and its impact beyond academia.

Storytelling within the Police

This short film highlights how the University of Sunderland’s storytelling approach to management and organisation development has been implemented and benefited the police service on a local and national level.

National Glass Centre

This short film illustrates how the work of the Institute for International Research in Glass at National Glass Centre has helped develop new knowledge relevant to contemporary glass practice and diverse means in the dissemination of this information to artists, students and the public.

Book of Bells

Book of Bells blends bell and brass recordings to sculpt a sonic and cultural resonance with the Gospels Book to evoke its status as historical artefact, living text and calligraphic work. This short film showcases the Book of Bells installation at Durham Cathedral and its impact beyond academia.


SUnderland REpository (SURE) is a collection of the research output produced at the University of Sunderland. It contains book chapters, journal articles, reports, artworks, PhD and MPhil theses, conference papers and many other items.
In the event of a potential breach of copyright, please contact sure@sunderland.ac.uk.
On receipt of a complaint, the full text will be removed from public view within 24 hours so that a considered evaluation of possible copyright infringement can be made.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please get in touch: sure@sunderland.ac.uk

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