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Durham University

University Committees

Research Committee

Standing Orders

(Strategy committee of Senate)

These Standing Orders should be read in conjunction with the Joint Standing Orders of Senate and Council.

Membership (Composition)

Members 2021/22
Ex officio members:
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Colin Bain (Chair)
Deputy Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Jane Macnaughton
Industrial Strategy Lead Professor Jon Gluyas
Four Deputy Executive Deans (Research and Innovation):
  • Arts and Humanities
Professor Fiona Robertson
  • Business
Professor Richard Harris
  • Science
Professor Stefan Przyborski
  • Social Sciences and Health
Professor Chris Brown
The Director of Research and Innovation Services (To be appointed)
Head of Research Development Lorna Wilson
Appointed members:
An early Career Academic Researcher Dr Mercy Denedo (2024) (21)
Director of a University Research Institute Professor Steve Cobb (2022) (19)
Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Matthew Townson (2024) (21)
Durham Students' Union Postgraduate Research Student Representative Declan Merrington
Four Disciplinary Members (one from each faculty) (Elected 3 year terms): Professor Andy Beresford (A&H) (2022) (19), Professor Chris Done (Sci.) (2022) (19), Dr Kyriaki Nanou (2024) (21), Susanne Braun (Business) (2022) (19)
Colleges Representative Professor Carolyn Summerbell
A full date after a member's name indicates that their term of office will expire on the 31 July in that year and a half date indicates the year of appointment of that member. eg (2021) (18) indicates that the member was appointed in 2018 and their term of office will expire on the 31 July 2021.


The Secretary to the Committee to be appointed by the University Secretary in consultation with the Committee Chair.


The Committee will normally meet 6 times a year.


As per University Statute 41c the Committee shall be quorate when attended by ten members or not less than one-third of the current membership (whichever is the lower figure).


The Committee shall receive regular reports from each of its Sub-Committees and Task and Finish Groups. The Committee shall provide a report to each meeting of Senate.

Terms of Reference


  1. To work with the Vice-Provost (Research) to secure the implementation of the University’s Research Strategy.
  2. To advise the Vice-Provost (Research) in the development of such new research policies as may become necessary from time to time for reasons internal and external to Durham University: the development of such policies ordinarily being undertaken by Task and Finish Groups with membership drawn from Research Committee and beyond, as appropriate.
  3. To scrutinise as necessary new policies for research.
  4. To maintain, support and develop a best in sector research environment. This includes promoting the appropriate adoption of innovations in research delivery, design, impact, external communications, management and support, particularly in relation to process, technologies, equipment, partnership and the dissemination of good practice.
  5. To promote, support and monitor strategic links between the University and research funders, research users, and research partners, thereby maximising the impact of its research nationally and globally, in the context of the University’s research strengths and priorities.
  6. To provide assurance to the University Executive Committee, Senate and Council of the management of the University’s research portfolio; particularly its research grant income performance. To support and co-ordinate relevant responses to external consultations and returns.
  7. To oversee the development of a changing portfolio of high quality research programmes and institutes.
  8. To support and promote a world-class research culture at Durham, delivering excellence across the research environment, including in research supervision, interdisciplinarity, partnerships and collaborations, and embedding equality and diversity at the heart of all research activities.


  1. Research Committee is directly responsible for all staff research, funded research and for the broader research environment for student research.
  2. Quality and standards: to advise the University Executive Committee, Senate and Council on the University’s compliance with regulatory requirements and on its performance, inter alia, against relevant concordats and the Research Excellence Framework.
  3. Research degrees: to monitor the environment, experience and outcomes of research students not reserved to Education Committee.


To review on an annual basis the effectiveness of the Committee against its Terms of Reference. Any changes will be proposed in a report delivered to Senate at the end of the academic year.


To set up Task and Finish Groups as necessary to expedite the Committee’s business and to develop new policies under the leadership of the Vice-Provost (Research).

Sub Committees

  • REF Strategy Committee
  • Research Management Committee
  • Faculty Research Committees
  • Research Culture Committee

(updated February 2021 post Senate )