Research Themes

The Research Institutes provide the focus for delivery of research and knowledge transfer within the University.

Although based within the Faculties, membership of the Institutes crosses the boundaries with each institute being thematic, rather than discipline based, and carries out research which is relevant to the external community.


Business & Enterprise

The Business and Enterprise theme covers a wide range of industries including the energy and tourism sectors as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.

Business and Enterprise theme logoInterests within the Business and Enterprise theme are in areas such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Marketing
  • Employee relations
  • Finance

Contact / Theme Leader: Professor Alistair Anderson

Business & Enterprise Research Members

Governance & Society

The Governance & Society theme explores the interfaces between governance and society at local, national and international scales.

Governance and Society theme logo Disciplines contributing to the G&S theme include:

  • Law
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Transport Policy

Governance and Society research staff are involved in international class multi- and interdisciplinary research whose underlying aim is to bring benefit to societies, economies and individuals.

Areas of Research

Current areas of research activity (and dissemination) include:

  • Care North and E Harbors - two European projects examining practical ways of reducing energy use and CO2 emissions from local transport and port activities, undertaken by researchers from IMaGeS and RGU's IDEAS Research Institute.
  • Effective Communication with Jurors in the UK - Collaboration between researchers in Law and Psychology looking at jurors understanding of evidence and legal process.
  • A Multidimensional Framework for Evaluating and Selecting Bankruptcy Prediction Models - Financial research aiming to develop a forecasting model to predict the business failures.
  • The UK Government's legislative ‘war on terror': legal, social and human rights outcomes - collaborative research between researchers in Sociology and Law
  • ‘Variated Civil Society: the Brussels offices of the regions' - A Research project in Public Policy funded by the British Academy
  • Do small town main streets still matter?- Multidisciplinary research looking at the relationship between small town main streets and cultural identity
  • Relatives' experience of post mortems - A Research project featuring researchers from Law and RGU's Health and Wellbeing Research Institute, funded by the NHS Endowment Fund.
  • A Global Study for the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER) - A team from Accounting searched for good practice in the development and assessment of non-technical skills in accountancy trainees.
  • Socio-legal studies conference 2014. Major law conference being hosted by Governance and Society members.

Contact / Theme Leader:  Professor David Gray

Governance & Society Research Members

Information & Communication

This theme focuses on the use and impact of information and knowledge, with an emphasis on information user perspectives.

Information and Communication theme logo

The aim of the Information & Communication theme is to develop understanding of, and solutions to, information and communication challenges in society through quality research and practitioner engagement.  

Our Information and Communication research covers:

  • User Behaviours and Skills – integrates long-standing interests in information literacies, information behaviour and knowledge management.
  • Managing Information Assets – the role of information as an organisational or societal asset, and issues affecting its application.
  • Information Environments – the examination of specific information-centric contexts, such as libraries and publishers, as well as online and workplace environments.

Engagements and Outputs

Typical types of engagements undertaken by members of the Information and Communication theme include:

  • Externally-funded research projects (funding bodies include NHS, UNESCO, AHRC, and The EU)
  • Technology transfer partnerships (including Amor Group)
  • Consultancy work with public and private sector clients including Shell Expro and The United Nations

Events and Conferences

Making Connections Events

An occasional series of presentations and workshops bringing researchers and practitioners together to explore the implications of research into information literacy.

Information: Interactions and Impact (i3) Conference

The Information and Communication group's biennial international conference brings together researchers working in traditionally separate user-focused fields of information literacy, information behaviour, and impact.  The conference addresses research questions and methodological issues, and informs research agendas.

We are also proud members of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (ESRC Doctoral Training Centre
in Scotland) and its Information Science pathway

Contact/ Theme Leader: Dr Simon Burnett

Information & Communication Research Members

Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health

A theme within the Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research.

CVMD LogoOur aim is to better understand the pathology of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at the cellular level, and develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that will be translated into clinical practice.

The group include researchers with a widespread expertise spanning from immunology, molecular biology, nutrition, organic and medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, physiology, clinical biochemistry, and pharmacy practice.

View Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health Potential PhD Research Projects

The cross disciplinary nature of the group spans the areas of basic science, clinical and practice based research. Our outcomes are readily transferable into treatment and prevention strategies at patient level.

Download the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health Research flyer


Dr Giovanna Bermano

Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health Research Staff 

Psychosocial & Mental Health

A theme within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing Research.

NMH Theme logoOur research is dedicated to the enhancement of lifelong mental health and wellbeing from a multidisciplinary perspective. We embrace an evidence-based approach to informing policy initiatives, clinical practice, and the education and training of healthcare professionals.

Programmes of research within the theme include:

  • Bereavement care
  • Ante-natal care
  • Promotion of healthy ageing
  • Mental health policy
  • Self care interventions
  • Clinical care provision for ethnic minority groups 
  • Trauma care - focused within the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research (ACTR)
  • Mental health and forensic nursing practice

View the Psychosocial & Mental Health Potential PhD Projects

Download the Psychosocial  & Mental Health Flyer


Dr Susan Klein

Psychosocial & Mental Health Research Staff

Environmental & Occupational Health

A theme within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing Research.

EOH LogoOur research employs cutting edge techniques to address health problems that are presented both within the environment and the workplace. Our interests focus on clinical and basic science research into environmental health and physical wellbeing.  Our interests include:

Environmental Health

  • Development of novel semi-synthetic flavonoids against MRSA
  • Triclosan as an antibacterial agent
  • Development of novel antibacterial wound dressings
  • Tracking the diet of the Scottish population in relation to the Scottish Dietary Targets

Occupational Health

  • Use of gait analysis to understand chronic back pain
  • Assessment of tendon properties and adaptation in patients and athletes
  • Self-management of chronic conditions
  • Exercise and physical activity in Physiotherapy,
  • Movement analysis to aid diagnosis & outcome measurement in Physiotherapy
  • Medical evacuation procedures from oil rigs 

View Environmental & Occupational Health Potential PhD Projects

Download the Environmental & Occupational Health Flyer


Professor Cherry Wainwright

Environmental & Occupational Health Research Staff

Energy, Environment & Sustainability

The related subjects of Energy, Environment and Sustainability (EES) extend across a range of significant research activities within IDEAS.

Research in this area focuses on providing innovative and practical solutions to industrial problems, with particularly strong industry-focused research in the oil & gas and renewable/sustainable energy sectors. The research is well recognised for transferring new technologies to industry through spin-out companies, patents and knowledge transfer partnerships.

EES is organised into two multi-disciplinary research sub-themes.


This sub-theme focuses on solving various aspects of problems related to oil & gas. In recent times, this expertise has been transferred to renewable and sustainable energy.

Energy research is organised under the following sub-groupings:

Creativity Design & Innovation

Research in the Creativity, Design and Innovation theme takes place across two areas:

Research in Art & Design at Gray's School of Art examines the scope for intervention of the artist and designer.

This research responds to cultural, environmental and economic challenges, working within sustained academic and non academic partnerships. 

Grays has pioneered methodologies of practice-led, co-creative research over two decades.

Research within Architecture, Built Environment and Planning has for many years considered the design, provision & assessment of present and future built environments in terms of their suitability to those they're designed for.

It is underpinned and demonstrated both by a practical grounding in the design, production and assessment of innovative, groundbreaking buildings, and through the publication of high level written work.

Find out more

Digital Technologies

The Digital Technologies theme brings together researchers in computer science and engineering with a diverse range of specialisms and experience.

Our vision is to carry out leading-edge applied computer science research with a high industrial and societal impact. We bring novel technology, theoretical innovation and scientific rigour to bear on tough and demanding real-world problems.

We have four main research groups, each of which serves as a focus for academic research and international collaboration, as well as the recently launched Centre for Smart Data Technologies.

Our research has been successfully applied across a broad range of industrial and societal areas including engineering, medicine, aerospace, telecommunications, transport, journalism, and heritage. We are always keen to extend our collaboration with industrial partners, which include leading multinational companies as well as small and medium sized enterprises.

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