The Research and Innovation Office facilitates high-quality academic research through leading the development of research strategy and policy, ensuring compliance with research governance requirements, supporting researchers to access funding and form new collaborations, engaging with the development of research information systems and advising on the contracting process.

It oversees key strategic research partnerships with both public and private sector corporate clients to maximise their effectiveness and works with a range of stakeholders to identify and bring to fruition new research opportunities.

Our services are targeted in the following areas: 

Research Funding

Our specialist Research Support Service helps researchers: identify appropriate public sector funding opportunities (e.g. Research Council, European Commission, charities, government); match individual project ideas to funding sources; connect researchers with other researchers within the University and beyond; provide guidance on preparing grant and bid applications; and supports bid review and approval prior to submission for quality purposes.

Industrial Research Relationship Development

The Research and Innovation Office's Business Partnerships Team co-ordinate internal management information on key corporate clients, support the development of academic-commercial relationships through: the exploration of further research and funding opportunities; broadening of existing research projects; and connecting researchers with other potential business partners; and the provision of support for strategic industrial funding bids.

Knowledge Exchange Funding

The Research and Innovation Office hosts knowledgeable advisors who are able to identify appropriate public and private sector funding opportunities for researchers and business to work together, provide support for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) - from initial enquiry through to grant application and recruitment of KTP Associates, and facilitate Knowledge Exchange grants.


Research Excellence Framework

Our expert REF Delivery Team provides researchers with advice and guidance on planning and delivering Cranfield’s REF2020/1 submission, the consideration of research impact in proposed, current and completed research, helping researchers to evidence and track impact, and finally on writing impact case studies.

Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialisation

Professional advice and guidance is available for both staff and students on:

  • IP and improving research opportunities
  • patents and IP rights protection
  • licensing deals/joint ventures/spin-outs
  • incubation services for newly established companies
  • funding opportunities for commercialisation

Researcher Development

Working closely with the Learning & Development Team and Human Resources, Research and Innovation staff provide help and training for researchers across a broad spectrum of activities, such as generating innovative research ideas, sourcing suitable funding, understanding what a quality bid looks like and improving bid writing skills, exploiting research for impact, and working with different stakeholders.

Research Governance and the Research Student Experience

The Research and Innovation Office is responsible for a number of different policies and as such provide authoritative advice and guidance on matters relating to research integrity and governance (including University Law and relevant Senate Handbooks), the University’s online ethics approval systems, CURES, and supporting improvements to the research student experience.

Cranfield University Incubation Centre (CUBIC)

The Research and Innovation Office manage the Incubation Centre working with aspiring entrepreneurs to help them develop their business.

Research and Innovation office team contacts:

Tom Stephenson Tom Stephenson
Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Research and Innovation
Christine Thompson Christine Thompson
Director of Research and Innovation
Jen Fensome Jen Fensome
Head of Research Excellence
Jo Cox Joanna Cox
Head of Business Partnerships
Adrian Cole Adrian Cole
Business Development Manager, Aerospace
Transports Systems and Manufacturing
Gilu George Gilu George
Business Development Manager, Environment and Agrifood,
Energy and Power and Water
Sarah Small Sarah White
Business Development Manager, Defence and Security,
Leadership and Management
Cecilia Fenech Cecilia Fenech Brincat
Research Delivery Executive
Alison Whaley Alison Whaley
Governance and Projects Executive