Research improvement

Find out what the University is doing to develop research improvement initiatives and view the tools available to you to support your research practice.

Research improvement initiatives seek to optimise research study design, conduct, analysis and reporting to minimise errors and maximise confidence in results.

Leading Research Improvement

In January 2020, the University appointed an Academic Lead for Research Integrity and Improvement, Professor Malcolm Macleod from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences. With responsibility across the University, Professor Macleod works with colleagues to recognise best practice, identify areas which might be further improved, and support improvement initiatives.

The University is part of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), which is a peer-led consortium. UKRN seeks to understand the issues which give rise to poor research reproducibility and replicability , and how these can be addressed in order to improve the quality and usefulness of research.

The University's Software Sustainability Institute has also recently become a partner of UKRN, aiming to work jointly on a range of initiatives including training on software development and data management skills.

Find out more about the UK Reproducibility Network


Digital Research Services & Tools

The University has a single point of access for all digital research services.  This includes support for finding, gathering, analysing and sharing data and resources, enabling reproducible and open research by design. 

Go to Digital Research Services 


Research Culture Virtual Suggestions Box

As part of our wider efforts to support a vibrant research culture, we would like to hear about examples of good or innovative practice in research practice or improvement that could be  rolled out more widely, and likewise any areas that need improvement.  Please use our  virtual 'suggestions box' to help us.

Submit a suggestion to our Research Culture Virtual Suggestions Box (University staff only)

Examples of current projects



An example of a major research project in this area at the University is EQIPD, which aims to "enable a smoother, faster and safer transition from preclinical to clinical testing and drug approval by establishing common guidelines to strengthen the robustness, rigor and validity of research data".

EQIPD Reproducibility E-Learning 



The University hosts EvidenceBase (eBase), a project which works across disciplines to investigate and understand the current culture that supports the, at present, exclusive “Big Grant Club” in Engineering and Physical Sciences. Interventions designed as a result of the project will be integrated and embedded through partnerships with learned societies (Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics and Royal Academy of Engineering) and the Knowledge Transfer Network with a view to contributing to more broad cultural change.

Growing the Big Grant Club - Evidence Base


Software Sustainability Institute

The Software Sustainability Institute is hosted by the University, and aims to become the world-leading hub for research software practice.

Software Sustainability Institute


For further information, please get in touch directly with Edinburgh Research Office.