LSE unveils 'Research for the World'

It is crucial that we are able to effectively support and promote our outstanding research and innovation...
- Professor Susana Mourato, LSE Vice-President and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research)
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LSE has launched a new research blueprint to establish itself as the leading social science institution in the world with the greatest global impact. 

Part of the LSE 2030: Shape the World broader strategy, Research for the World outlines how LSE plans to enable and support world-class research across the social sciences, while having the widest possible impact. It includes how we will use our substantial convening power and influence to represent, demonstrate and strengthen the value of the social sciences to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.  

Leader in social sciences 

LSE is already in an enviable position as an international leader in the social sciences.  

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework showed the School as the top multi-faculty university in the UK based on the proportion of “world-leading” (4*) research produced. The recently published 2023 Knowledge Exchange Framework, meanwhile, positioned LSE as a leading UK university in “Working with the public and third sector”, “Continuing Professional Development and graduate start-ups”, and “Public and Community Engagement”.

We are consistently ranked as one of the most internationally diverse universities in the world, with approximately 70 per cent of our students and 47 per cent of our staff hailing from outside the UK, with a London location that provides a unique opportunity to convene the world for maximum impact and influence.

We are also, by some measures, the most entrepreneurial university in Europe, with astounding alumni successes and award-winning support through LSE Generate.   

Playing to our strengths

Research for the World plays to these strengths and aims to cement our position in what is an increasingly challenging and competitive research landscape. It is built around three areas of activity: World Class Research, Real World Impact and Leading the Social Sciences.  

For ‘World class research’, the aims are to grow research income to power our research, including by enhancing external grant-raising as well as philanthropic and corporate funding; attracting and retaining talent, both in academic and professional services staff, by improving recognition, support and training; and investing in research culture to provide an inspiring, supportive and inclusive research environment to all our staff.   

For ‘Real world Impact’, the School will improve the reward and recognition of impact and knowledge exchange activities. Other key objectives include building new strategic partnerships with policymakers, businesses, civil society and alumni networks to increase the reach of our research and foster interdisciplinarity; and strengthening innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem to enhance the capacity for entrepreneurship, consulting and commercialisation of LSE research.  

As part of ‘Lead the social sciences’, LSE will focus on training and supporting future talent, including PhD students and early career researchers; enhancing civic and community engagement, particularly in London; and investing in open science, including increasing the visibility and reach of LSE research to convene debate and advance the social sciences. This will build on established successful channels such as our renowned public events programme, LSE Research for the World magazine, LSE IQ podcast, the LSE Blogs and the open access publisher LSE Press. 

Creating conditions for success 

An overarching priority in Research for the World is to create the conditions for successful research. We will strengthen the entire research lifecycle by investing in infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities to better support and enhance the capacity of our researchers and to improve engagement with our research. 
Likewise, we will improve our planning, monitoring and evaluation functions to support strategic decision making and enable us to anticipate and respond effectively to opportunities and challenges. 

While Research for the World is focused on research, impact and innovation, the strategy will be delivered collaboratively, with contributions from all areas of the School community, and aligned with the Education for Global Impact strategy, aiming to embed research at all levels of our educational offering. 

Announcing ‘Research for the World’, Professor Susana Mourato LSE Vice-President and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) said, 

“I am excited to launch LSE’s Research for the World strategy, and thankful to all that contributed to its development. While LSE is already a global leader in the social sciences, Research for the World is a blueprint of how everyone, throughout LSE and beyond, can help enhance and grow this leadership.  
“It is crucial that we are able to effectively support and promote our outstanding research and innovation, while fostering partnerships, collaborations and entrepreneurship, to ensure our world-leading research can be applied to the world’s biggest challenges. We invite our staff, students, alumni, benefactors and collaborators from around the world to join us on this journey.” 

Behind the article

Read the full document at Research for the World strategy