Research impact

Research that delivers solutions to the problems of the 21st century

We are well respected for our pioneering research that benefits society. Our researchers are working on a variety of projects across a range of fields. We’re making important and often world-changing discoveries.

We have summarised some of our highlights below so you can find out more about the impact of the research undertaken at the University. Research underpins our academic endeavours at all levels.

The examples above only scratch the surface, there are numerous examples of LJMU research projects that are making an impact locally, nationally and internationally.

If you’d like to find out more about the research that’s taking place at our University, please visit our research areas.

Case studies

Discover how our research makes an impact in each of these areas:

Arts, culture and history

Marginal voices brought centre stage

LJMU researchers are redefining a range of Irish texts, cultural practices and events from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in relation to the political, social and cultural perspectives of the nation. The group has been successful in bringing the texts to the public through its highly accessible theatre productions, concerts and public lectures. Now the group is set to tell an untold story behind one of the movement’s celebrated figures in a new stage production.

Free to write

Writing has historically been a powerful tool of self-expression for those in prison. Researchers at LJMU have used the written word to impact positively on the lives of prisoners, influence prison-education practice and contribute to public debate around justice and criminality.

Co-operative heritage

A collaborative research team of historians has delved into the historical archives of the Co-operative Group and the Co-operative Wholesale Society to provide a comprehensive business history of the movement.

Art in the public realm

Together, the Liverpool Biennial and researchers from LJMU’s Liverpool School of Art and Design are working to extend the opportunities for local communities to participate in public art projects and improve the opportunities to talk about and share experiences of contemporary visual art.

Celebrating the ‘everyday’

Historical reflection on what may seem mundane or routine has deepened public understanding and promoted debate about the daily life of Britain’s recent past.

German resistance to Nazism

Stories describing the tireless, brave and inspiring activities of the resistance movement throughout World War II are well known but few of us would be aware of German resistance to Nazi Germany or the contribution made by one Sophie Scholl…or we wouldn’t be, if it were not for the work of LJMU’s Professor Frank McDonough.

The Artists’ City

The ‘Artists’ City’ project at Liverpool School of Art and Design was designed to nurture emerging and early career artists from a range of disciplines to further strengthen Liverpool’s creative communities.

China’s ascendency: its nature and repercussions

Research conducted at LJMU has played a significant part in shaping UK Government and diplomatic responses to the rise of China as a global power.

Built environment, sustainability and urban affairs

Major advances in sensor technologies

Sensor technologies developed at LJMU have proven application across a wide range of industrial sectors generating significant cost savings.

The power and potential of cities

Research by LJMU’s European Institute of Urban Affairs has demonstrated the crucial contribution of cities to the UK’s economic performance and welfare and has placed cities at the heart of economic policy making in the UK.

Energy for the future

Advanced microwave technologies developed by LJMU researchers provide UK and international markets with alternative high-efficiency and sustainable energy sources that have real environmental benefits.

Business, law and criminal justice

Battling the silence

There is an estimated 14,000-20,000 veterans in prison or on probation in the UK. Research within the Criminal Justice Research Group has uncovered the need for a platform where marginalised voices and alternative perspectives on the topic of veteran offenders, as well as veteran affairs as a whole, could be heard. The Reimagine the Veteran project aims to challenge the perceptions of veterans.

Changing the system: how good practice guidance improved the commissioning of psychiatric reports

Researchers in LJMU’s School of Law produced the first and only official guidance for the production of psychiatric reports for sentencing in England and Wales endorsed by Her Majesty’s Court Service.

Workplace death and injury: campaigning for corporate accountability

LJMU research has influenced ways in which occupational safety is regulated and enforced, and helped to provide support to families bereaved from work-related deaths.

Regulation of the press

Never have journalism and press standards been so scrutinized, with the years leading up to the Leveson Inquiry seeing the industry itself making the headlines. Research at LJMU has significantly contributed to the debate and influenced policy makers, campaigners and regulators.

Alcohol and sexual assault: educating the public on the law of rape

When Liverpool City Council looked to develop a media campaign aimed at raising awareness around alcohol involved sexual assault, they turned to LJMU researchers to help shape its content. In a departure from the Council’s intended focus, the actual campaign as advised by LJMU, targeted young men as potential perpetrators as opposed to the victims of sexual assault.

Interrogating penal power and developing policy responses to deaths in custody

A body of work developed by Professor Joe Sim in LJMU’s School of Humanities and Social Science has aimed to critically interrogate the issues around medical power in prison in general and deaths in custody in particular, especially with respect to those occurring in the prison system.


Combating cyber crime

As technology develops, more and more of our personal and confidential data is available online and potentially vulnerable to breaches in security. Researchers from LJMU’s Department of Computer Science are responding to demands for security to be one step ahead of the latest advances in cyber-crimes.

Influencing the new generation of flash memory devices

LJMU has helped resolve major challenges faced by global semiconductor chip manufacturers, enabling them to produce smaller, better-performing and lower cost products.

Algorithm’s Holy Grail

Phase unwrapping is considered to be one of the most difficult problems in mathematics and engineering, with hundreds of approaches to solutions proposed each year. Research at LJMU’s General Engineering Research Institute has made huge advances in this field which have been adopted within an extensive and diverse range of industries.

Protecting the vulnerable and saving lives

Researchers in LJMU’s School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences have developed computational statistical models that allow for better targeting of fire prevention resources that support a reduction in the incidents of fire.


Teaching the teachers

It is widely acknowledged that mentoring and coaching provided to novice school teachers in the early stages of their careers is critical to promoting teacher excellence, retention and student success. LJMU research not only supports this reality, but has demonstrated the wider impact of coaching and mentoring on other education practitioners’ continuing professional development and practice, and how it can lead to school-level quality improvement initiatives.

Semantic web technologies

Researchers from LJMU’s Faculty of Education, Health and Community have proven the potential for using ‘semantic web’ technology and web based tools to support teaching and learning in undergraduate and postgraduate settings and across a wide range of disciplines from biosciences to contemporary dance.

Engineering and technology

A measurement technique with global reach

Measuring electron mobility is essential for evaluating new materials and processes in the semiconductor industry but measurement has historically been expensive, unreliable and inefficient. Researchers in LJMU’s Microelectronics Research Group have developed a new technique which overcomes these issues for the benefit of test engineers within the industry.

Shaping modern industrial grinding practices

LJMU researchers have showed how optimising the delivery of coolants during abrasive machining processes has significant performance, economic and environmental benefits for the manufacturing industry.

Realising innovative and adaptive product design and optimisation through an integrated materials and modelling system

LJMU researchers have utilised their expertise in materials engineering, theoretical/numerical modelling and product development to influence product design processes and optimisation.


Early warnings: policy development in response to a dynamic drugs market

LJMU researchers have paved the way in generating evidence around the societal and health harms of using new psychoactive substances (popularly known as ‘legal highs’).

Alcohol and young people: shaping policy, reducing harm

While alcohol consumption has potential health and social implications for all sections of the community, alcohol policy in England has increasingly focused on children and young people. LJMU’s high quality alcohol research has helped to stimulate debate around this issue and provide a framework for policy recommendations.


Risk decision tool for the maritime industry

The unique operational characteristics of maritime engineering systems, such as ocean-going ships, port terminals and offshore installations, make for a challenging environment when it comes to assessing risk and supporting decision making. Research at LJMU has led to significant advances in risk and security-based decision making which have had an impact on the maritime industry at home and overseas.


Going to Mars

LJMU expert contributes to the activities of the European Space Agency concerning the identification of key factors needed to maintain operational skill in astronauts and reduce accident likelihood during long duration space missions.


Assessing the safety of chemicals

The chemical industry is worth thousands of billions of Euros each year and is subject to a variety of regulations to ensure that chemicals are produced, transported and used safely. LJMU researchers have led the way in developing models to predict the toxicity of chemicals to humans and the environment and thereby aiding hazard assessment and improving safety.

Computational alternatives to animal testing

The use of animals in testing cosmetic ingredients is prohibited under European legislation. Methods created by researchers at LJMU enable the cosmetics industry in Europe and worldwide to continue to ensure the safety of new cosmetics ingredients without the use of animals.

Telling the story of human evolution

The story of where we came from is an interesting one. The scientific evidence for human history is complex, but LJMU researchers are at the forefront of the effort to communicate this science. We engage and educate worldwide audiences by contributing high-quality scientific input to support the commissioning and production of television programming.

Expanding minds in an expanding Universe

Discoveries by researchers in LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute frequently hit the headlines, but the same sophisticated technology underpinning this research is also used by thousands of schoolchildren, motivating and inspiring pupils of all ages and abilities. The National Schools’ Observatory is a unique derivative of the Liverpool Telescope; it provides schools with free access to a front-rank research facility and quality data for experimentation in the classroom.

To boldly go…space exploration on the banks of the Mersey

An historic ferry terminal on the banks of the River Mersey might seem an unlikely place to uncover the wonders of the universe but thanks to the Spaceport Visitor Centre, this is where in excess of 70,000 people each year take an inspirational journey to explore the evolution of stars and the mysteries of distant galaxies.

Telescopic precision engineering

In a shrinking UK market, a Liverpool engineering company has transformed itself from a local company into one capable of winning international contracts – a direct result of its symbiotic relationship with LJMU astrophysicists.

Bio-sensing meets art

As part of FACT’s (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) 10th anniversary show in Liverpool, researchers from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology worked in partnership with international artists to create interactive digital art exhibits.

Community development and capacity building as key aspects of conservation strategy

Research undertaken by LJMU’s Research Centre for Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology has demonstrated how ecological and behavioural research has influenced conservation strategy and practice in Sichuan Province, China.

Sport science

Promoting wellbeing in professional jockeys

The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences was tasked with finding alternatives to the current practices for making weight by jockeys. Until the intervention study by LJMU, the methods commonly used by jockeys to reduce body mass for racing weight were not only ineffective but were having serious consequences on their health. The findings from LJMU’s study has the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of jockeys not just in the UK but across the world.

Making sport science more accessible

Face to Face with Sports Science is the multi-award winning public engagement initiative that aims to help people understand how sport and exercise science research contributes to enhancing human performance, from elite athletes and people with health conditions, to astronauts training for space travel.

Tactical change: how research is influencing the beautiful game

Football is a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon with a worldwide reach but has long been resistant to evidence-based practice. LJMU’s Football Exchange has transformed the landscape of football research/analysis in a way which has impacted on all levels of the game both at home and overseas.

Sudden cardiac death – preventing the tragedy…

Researchers from LJMU’s Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences has helped pioneer and develop the implementation of pre-participation cardiovascular screening protocols to not only help identify those at risk of sudden cardiac death, but improve the cardiovascular care of athletes in the UK and globally.

Designed for health: increasing activity by adapting play environments

Researchers at LJMU have demonstrated how modifying children’s play spaces can significantly increase activity levels over a sustained period, with the potential for generating important short and long-term health benefits.

Get involved in research with us

Find out how to get involved in a collaborative research project.

If you are interested in research opportunities, see our PhD opportunities page.