About RENU




RENU member universities can send up to four delegates for free to our events.

NEXT EVENT will be held in spring 2022, details to follow soon.


Who are we?RENU is a voluntary network of university managers and practitioners who have a role in research, enterprise and innovation. We are currently from 27 universities, but are keen to grow. We are not a private company; any profit we make goes back to RENU events and activities; we do not lobby. We are run by a voluntary, elected Executive Committee drawn from across our network with support from an administrator.

What do we do?

We meet for regular focused events to learn from decision-makers and experts about new R&E challenges and opportunities facing our sector, we share ideas, we capture best practice and we build our working partnerships. We are a nominating body for the REF. We focus on both policy developments (eg the Knowledge Exchange Framework) and operational challenges. If you want to share your experiences with a supportive network of colleagues engaged in similar roles and facing similar challenges, then our events are for you.

Why do we do it?

We come together to explore solutions collectively to help us all to do our jobs better and to enable ourselves to establish excellent practice in our own institutions. If your university is not already a RENU member, you can join us for the annual institutional fee of £400. For more details,
please see www.renu.ac.uk/join-renu

View RENU newsletters and latest news updates on the research landscape here

View presentations from our previous events here


Our members form part of the UK’s dynamic university sector.  The research performed at our member universities is usually highly applied, is very diverse and often:

* supports local businesses to develop and grow;

* supports social regeneration;

* informs policy at local and national level;

* collaborates with industry to perform research into sustainable energy

* investigates how global warming will affect the lives of people in the UK

* is allied to applied solutions in the healthcare system

* is  funded by the EU

Our members’ research is wide-ranging, innovative and enterprising, see below for a taste of that research:

Medicine, health and life sciences

University of Sunderland: Implementing online evidence-based care pathways: A mixed-methods study across primary and secondary care

University of West of Scotland: Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice

Teesside University: Advanced sensor-based design and development of wearable prosthetic socket for amputees

Northumbria University: A new diagnostic test for childhood brain tumour offers hope for other cancers

Leeds Beckett University: Whole Systems Obesity

Kingston University London: Designing sensory enriched environments for people living with dementia

Huddersfield University: Telling the story of how early man moved across the globe

University of Hertfordshire: Studies of mass casualty decontamination and revised incident response procedures WINNER OF RESEARCH PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STEM 2018 TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION AWARDS

Edinburgh Napier University: Challenging existing classifications of traumatic stress disorders.  

Chester University: Psychological flexibility as a moderator for known predictors of suicidality

University of Bedfordshire: PARKINSON’s disease is “one step closer to a cure” thanks to stem cell research

Anglia Ruskin University: Breakthrough for treatment of fibrotic diseases

Physical sciences, engineering and mathematics

University of Central Lancashire: Recycling Lives project in collaboration with HSBC to reuse the estimated 1.2 million tonnes of residue from shredding cars and other vehicles and turning the residue  into a saleable product and electrical energy. WINNER Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration, 2018 TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION AWARDS

Robert Gordon University: Civitas PORTIS designs, demonstrates and evaluates integrated sets of sustainable mobility measures in 5 major port cities

Oxford Brookes University: Net Energy Analysis research

Middlesex University: Flood Hazard Research, Improving policy making to reduce the risk of natural hazards

University of Lincoln: New AI Research to Develop Self-Learning Robots for Nuclear Sites

Cumbria University: The South Cumbria Species Restoration Project: Back On Our Map

Bucks New University: Paniwater, solar disinfection water-treatments in India

Social sciences

University East of London: Developing national and international policy on early childhood education and care

University of South Wales: A new hybrid model of the justice system  in Afghanistan

Middlesex University & Greenwich University: A national festival to widen participation and increase diversity in science and arts disciplines, targeting primarily ethnic minorities, disadvantaged communities and girls. WINNER OF THE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AWARD, 2018 TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION AWARDS

Canterbury Christ Church University:  blended recognised international practice with local contextual knowledge to overhaul teacher education degree programmes and align them with Palestinian needs (in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education). WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL IMPACT AWARD, 2018 TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION AWARDS

De Montfort University: The short-term imprisonment of mothers is unjust, DMU research finds

Arts and humanities

University of Central Lancashire: Uclan Publishing is the world’s only student-run, not-for-profit trade publishing house. Established eight years ago, alongside an MA in publishing, it has now produced about 150 titles, many of them retailing through Waterstones, WHSmith and Amazon. WINNER EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN THE ARTS AWARD 2018, TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

University of West London: The commercialisation of interactive music

University of West of England: AHRC funded ‘Solid free-form fabrication in fired ceramic as a design aid for concept modelling in the ceramic industry’

Sheffield Hallam University: War and Medicine

Manchester Metropolitan University: The visual culture of social conflict in the public eye

Canterbury Christ Church University: Art, Commodification and Refusal

Bournemouth University: Emerge – Operation Integratus

Birmingham City University: Crafting replicas of the Staffordshire Hoard

Renu's Structure

RENU is run as a not for profit organisation for its members. It retains the same structure as it did under its previous name of the Modern Universities Research Group (MURG). It is fully constituted and has an executive committee which coordinates the running of the organisation. The membership votes the executive committee members to office. Each member university pays an annual subscription fee of £400 and these fees are used for the general administration of the organisation. All our events cover their costs. 

Executive Committee

Office Bearers


Professor John Senior was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Hertfordshire in 2006. In this capacity he:

  • leads University research.
  • chairs the University Research Committee.
  • has overall responsibility for the delivery of research degrees in the Institution.

Between 2003 and 2006 Professor John Senior was University Director of Enterprise and  Knowledge Transfer. In 2009 he lead the merger of the Faculty of  Engineering and Information Sciences with the Faculty of Creative and  Cultural Industries to create a new Faculty of Science, Technology and  Creative Arts. Professor Senior  was previously Head of Department of Electrical and Electronic  Engineering at the Manchester Metropolitan University, prior to which he  had worked in the Telecommunications Industry. He has an  international research profile in the field of optical fibre  communications and networking and he was awarded a DSc degree for these  activities in 2002. Professor Senior is a Fellow of the  Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a member of its  Academic Accreditation Committee.

Professor Zulf Ali, Director of Academic Research and Innovation Partnerships, Teesside University

Treasurer – Professor Zulfiqur Ali is Professor at the Centre for Digital Innovation and the Centre for Rehabilitation at the University of Teesside. He is also director of Anasyst which a spin-out company from Teesside University. Anasyst is focussed on commercialising Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectrometry for liquid based sensing, optical ammonia sensing and microfluidics based point-of-care diagnostics. www.anasyst.com . His research interests are in micro and nanofabrication approaches for creating devices that are high density and are more functional. Much of this work has focussed on microfluidics for point-of-care diagnostic devices and for complex chemical and biological processing on a chip. Related work includes transducer development, particularly electrochemical and optical sensing, and soft computing for primarily pattern recognition. Zulfiqur is currently Chief Executive Officer for Anasyst a start-up company that arose from collaborative work with colleague Dr Meez Islam. Anasyst is focussed on commercialising Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectrometry for liquid based sensing, optical ammonia sensing and microfluidics based point-of-care diagnostics. www.anasyst.com

Other Committee Members

Professor Mike Weed Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

Professor Mike Weed is Professor of Applied Policy Sciences and Head of the School of Human and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University.  Drawing on a wide range of social science disciplines, including social psychology, sociology, economics, geography and policy science, his work has focussed on informing, improving and interrogating policy in the applied domains of public health, physical activity, physical education, sport, tourism, transport, urban development and major events.

Professor Sue Baxter, Director of Innovation and Business Partnerships, University of Sussex

Sue is the University’s lead for the new Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and all activities across the University attributed to the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). She represents the University in areas such as the government’s Industrial Strategy and local economic growth.

Professor Glen McHale,

Professor Glen McHale Chair of Interfacial Science & Engineering and Director of Discipline University of Edinburgh

Professor Glen McHale is Professor of Interfacial Science & Engineering and Director of Chemical Engineering in Edinburgh in 2020 after eight years at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle where he was first Executive Dean of the Faculty of  Engineering & Environment and then Pro Vice-Chancellor (REF). Prior to that Glen spent twenty two years as as an academic at Nottingham Trent University where he was a Professor and Head of the Research & Graduate School (Science & Technology) in the College of Arts & Science and formerly Head of Physics & Mathematics. In my earlier career I held a Royal Society European Fellowship at the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie) and both gained a PhD in Applied Mathematics and was awarded a BSc (Hons) First Class in Mathematical Physics by the University of Nottingham.

Professor McHale is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the RSA, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academic. His research has attracted over forty funding awards including ca. twenty RCUK grants, mainly as Principal Investigator, and including an EPSRC Platform Grant awarded only to world-leading groups and an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training. He has published over 170 refereed journal papers, which are cited ca. 700 times annually, and has been awarded seven patents. He is an editorial board member of Advances in Colloid & Interface Science, a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, has been a UK Management Committee representative on COST Actions, was a member of sub-panel 13 for “Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials” for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) and was a founding Director of Times Higher Education award-winning BIM Academy Enterprises Ltd.

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Previous Chair – Alison McCleery is Professor of Cultural Geography in the Business School at Edinburgh Napier University and leads the ENrich (Edinburgh Napier Research in Cultural Heritage) team there. She combines longstanding academic expertise in the social, economic and cultural development of peripheral regions of the North Atlantic with a more recent specialism in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), especially in respect of the challenges of using ICH as a driver of development in economically marginal communities. In addition to leading her ENrich team, Alison is also currently Joint Director of Research for the Business School and was previously seconded as Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science/UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centre hosted by the University of Edinburgh.

View RENU GDPR Policy: RENU GDPR policy Sept2018

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