Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation (R&I) consists of a team of specialist advisors dedicated to maximising the University's research income, identifying intellectual property opportunities and successfully exploiting innovative ideas. R&I are the first point of contact for business, facilitating access to the University's expertise for Consultancy and Continuing Professional Development.

R&I works closely with colleagues in the University's Schools and has detailed knowledge of their research interests and expertise. Dedicated business development resource is provided to each of our Schools.

Research Governance Handbook

All stakeholders in research should be familiar with the University Handbook for Research Governance and the information contained on this page.

For research staff and students seeking more information in relation to clinical research, please visit the following link:


Pure is the University's Research Information System. Pure stores information about research activities such as:

  • Research outputs (publications)
  • Professional activities and awards, outreach and knowledge exchange
  • Evidence of Impact
  • Datasets (underlying data from publications)

This page contains information for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Supporting your research project



The Grants Academy is a partnership between Research & Innovation and our research community to support researchers throughout the grant life-cycle.

Helping you work with industry.

The central focus for CPD at the University.

Develop a proposal


Run a project


Achieve impact

Preparing   Management   Impact & Knowledge Exchange
Intention to submit   Accepting an award   KTP
Funding opportunities   Post award financial management   Consultancy
RESEARCHconnect   Data storage and archiving   Commercialisation
Information for bid development   Research data management   Maximising impact
Fellowship applications   Reporting   PERU
Ethics and governance       Working with industry
Impact and engagement   Legal and contracts   PURE
Data management plans   Contracts for research   Communications
    Initiating recruitment   Open Access/Data
Finance and costing        
Costing an application        
IT costs        
Internal peer review        
Submission process        


Research Development

The Centre for Academic Development brings together the Researcher Development Unit with the Centre for Learning and Teaching.

Researcher Development supports the career development of researchers through training and development opportunities to support research excellence and personal and professional growth.

Working closely with the Public Engagement with Research Unit, a progressive strategy for researcher engagement and development ensures wherever possible that skills development is coupled to follow through activities. The University of Aberdeen is a centre for excellence in Public Engagement, one of only 8 centres across the UK.

Training programmes are closely aligned to the Researcher Development Framework and focuses on key generic/transferrable attributes such as: confidence, communication, leadership, intellectual independence, grant writing, creativity, personal effectiveness, CV enrichment and career planning.

A comprehensive suite of development opportunities for postgraduate researchers, research staff, early career researchers, Principal Investigators and Supervisors is available. More information can be found here.

Researcher Engagement and Development also provides positive enrichment of research environments within the training element of funding applications and pathway to impact statements. For more information contact us, or

The wider Centre for Academic Development provides support and innovation focused towards teaching excellence. Staff in the Centre are involved in a range of projects, both within the University and externally. Within the Centre the eLearning team support eLearning activities and developments across the University, whilst the Student Learning Service works with students to develop their academic skills.

Careers Service

The Careers Service is happy to offer advice and guidance to university staff. You can make a one-to-one appointment to speak to a Careers Adviser by contacting the Careers Service on +44(0)1224 27 3601.

Research staff will find specific resources to assist their career planning on the Careers Service website. Some resources you may find particularly helpful include:

  • Recommended websites for job-seeking
  • Recommended websites for obtaining funding
  • Vitae – a national organisation for the personal, professional and career development of researchers in higher education institutions and research institutes.
  • An Academic Career – includes video clips of academics and early career researchers
  • University Researchers and the Job Market (AGCAS) – provides advice for research staff regarding career development and the job hunting process.
Research Data Management



Data management impacts anybody engaged in the handling of information or data, on both a professional and personal level. Good practice ensures that these information and data are stored and backed up securely, can be located easily whenever they are required by the user and are preserved for the historical record.

Management of research data in particular is important for the dissemination of knowledge and the advancement of science and academia; this is reflected in the open access agenda advanced by the UK Government, funding councils, and institutions such as the Royal Society and the Finch Group.

Management of data of all types has become increasingly digital and this presents challenges different to those associated with traditional paper-based methods. Unlike paper-based formats data storage is not stable – technologies become obsolete and media such as CDs or DVDs become unreadable over time, rendering the data contained on them useless.

Due to the pace of technological change there is a heightened risk associated with keeping electronic as opposed to paper-based records, thus presenting an increasingly urgent need to manage these records effectively to ensure they are not rendered obsolete alongside the technology that supports them.

These pages are being developed to provide information on the development of a new Research Data Management (RDM) policy and plan at the University and provide signposting for further information about research data management and related topics such as Freedom of Information, Data Protection and anonymising personal data.

Key reports are highlighted under the "Useful Resources" tab for reference. Links to funders' data management requirements are also provided.

About RDM

In recent years there has been rapid growth in research data produced by Higher Education institutions across the world. The EU, the UK and Scottish government recognise the need to better manage these data in order to make the best possible use of them.

Key funders of research at the University have also acknowledged this change and are now incorporating requirements for research data management into funding criteria. The University is required to comply with these expectations and develop and implement an institutional research data management (RDM) policy and plan by 2015.

Funders increasingly require that in addition to the finished product or research in the form of published articles, the underlying datasets be made available as primary research outputs for reuse by other researchers.

Good data management incorporates management of data at every stage of the data lifecycle, covering data capture; storage; preservation; access; reuse; and where appropriate, disposal.

Compliance with the expectations of funders will be vital in ensuring researchers continue to secure funding for future research projects. The University will provide the necessary guidance in this process and a consultation process is underway to ensure staff have the opportunity to communicate their needs and concerns with research data management to inform policy development and plan for implementation.

Making research data available to users is core to the remit of the Research Councils UK, supporting the development of institutional and project specific data management policies and plans in accordance with relevant standards and community best practice.

Support for Researchers

The University‘s Research Governance Framework provides guidance for good research conduct, including the security of research data and retention of research records.  

The University of Aberdeen is a subscriber to the UK Research Integrity Office, and complies with the UKRIO standards of research integrity and governance, including the security and accessibility of research data. Access the UKRIO’s requirements on data retention and storage


The University is developing a policy on research data management which has been agreed in principle by senior management. Policy and practice in this area is evolving, and we are working towards compliance with various research integrity and governance standards and funders’ mandates for sharing research data.


 The focus will be on 

  1. Identifying processes and structures to support this activity
  2. Development of a University of Aberdeen research data catalogue
  3. Development of processes to monitor compliance
  4. General advocacy around research data management plans, 

With a view to comply with the EPSRC by 1 May 2015 and a wider roll out of the policy thereafter.

We have identified a large, multidisciplinary project as the pilot area for the implementation.  We will be working with administrators and researchers towards compliance with the EPSRC mandate.  This will allow an opportunity to identify and address practical and procedural issues, and to develop a programme for training and advocacy which will then be rolled out to other EPSRC grant holders and eventually across the University.


Research data management plans

Most research councils and other major funders require a data management plan as part of the funding application. The Business Development Officers in Research and Innovation and the Data Management team within IT Services can provide support and advice in the completion of these.

The Digital Curation Centre has developed an online research data management plan tool, DMP Online to assist researchers to develop research data management plans. We are currently working on customising this tool for research council applications with a view to rolling this out to staff towards the end of 2014.  Once in place for research council applications DMP Online will be rolled out for projects supported by other funders.

Costs for data management are an eligible cost from many grant funders, including the research councils. Costs can be requested for data storage and archiving as well as data management costs such as data co-ordinators, database costs and safe haven costs, providing these costs are incurred within the duration of the grant.

Institutional dataset catalogue

We are planning to use our research information system, Pure, as our dataset catalogue.  Pure allows for the recording of basic metadata and the storage of data within our institutional repository.  For data stored in external (subject) repositories, Pure can record metadata and link to the dataset via DOI or weblink.  The datasets can be linked to research publications and grants numbers on our grants database.  They can be marked visible to public and will then appear in the research portal, where they are fully discoverable. 


  • Guidance on how to add datasets to Pure - The dataset functionality in Pure is evolving, and the next versions of the system will add further items and workflows to the metadata. 
  • The RDM draft policy
RDM Guidance

If you do have any questions or need advice, please contact one of the key support services for assistance.

Creating Data

  • Bid Process
  • Funder Requirements
  • Data Management Planning
  • File Formats & Software
  • Freedom of Information and Data Protection
  • Intellectual Property

Organising Data

  • File & Folder Naming Conventions
  • Organising files and email
  • Version Control

Keeping and Storing Data

  • Data Security
  • Confidentiality
  • Backup Your Data
  • Selection, Retention & Destruction
  • Long Term Storage & Preservation

Finding and Sharing Data

  • Benefits of sharing data
  • How to make data accessible
  • How to share data
  • Open Access

Training and Skills Development

  • Internal training and development opportunities
  • External resources
Essential Links
Research Computing

Visit the IT Services website for a current list of Services for Researchers.

Services are listed under the following categories to reflect the life of a research project:

You'll find links to a short service description together with details such as service features, level of support, eligibility, costs, etc.

Research Management Information - Integrated Research Reporting (IRR)

To request access to IRR please complete an online authorisation form.

About IRR

Integrated Research Reporting (IRR) presents reports containing current and historical management information about different aspects of the University’s research activity. Because IRR gathers its data from University operational systems, the information shown in IRR reports is up-to-date, with any changes to operational systems being reflected in IRR in up to 48 hours. The reports show information at University, School, and/or Discipline level.

For information about IRR and how to use the system, download the crib sheet above.

If you have any general questions about IRR or the information shown in its reports, email Anne Buckle in Policy, Planning and Governance at

Related Links

  • The Discoverer Portal provides high level statistical information about the University and its twelve Schools. For further information about Discoverer, email Anne Buckle in Policy, Planning and Governance at
  • Pure, the University’s Research Information System, stores information about individuals’ research, including research outputs, professional activities and awards, and research grants