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Northumbria's Interdisciplinary Research Themes bring together expertise from across the University to address the pressing regional, societal and global challenges of this century and beyond. IDRT Themes tend to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and provide a unique platform for collaboration to deliver cutting-edge, impactful research. IDRTs are funded for a maximum of six years.

Northumbria’s Interdisciplinary Research Themes (IDRTs) are central to the research landscape of Northumbria University and deliver a wide range of research activities and outcomes. IDRTs facilitate and generate world leading research programmes and activities to tackle global issues, pulling together interdisciplinary research spanning the breadth of departments to develop new communities of research. IDRTs operate at the intersections between departments and include more than one discipline to provide additionality to the high quality research being undertaken in departments and research groups.

Previous IDRTs: Energy Futures Network | IC3 | Integrated Health and Social Care

View our 2024 IDRT Brochure




  • Support, facilitate and generate world leading research programmes and activities to tackle global issues and turn interdisciplinary research into real-world solutions, often aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Provide additionality to research that is conducted routinely in departments

  • Raise the international, national and regional profile of these areas of research faster than would otherwise be possible, through the research environment of the IDRT, but also by working in collaboration with GM&B when appropriate

  • Attract external income in support of research, including large research grants, and the work of the IDRT

  • Facilitate strategic partnerships with individuals and organisations outside the university at regional, national and international levels

  • Deliver career development opportunities for staff and postgraduate researchers in line with the mission of the IDRTs and the concordat to support the career development of researchers


IDRTs are specifically designed to create communities of practice which work across disciplines, enabling rich, collaborative discussions about research from a range of diverse perspectives to generate high quality research. 

Our Peaks of Research Excellence are more focused and cohesive areas of outstanding research, led by smaller groups who are leading research worldwide. Some have developed from IDRTs, others have grown from departmental research. The Peaks are areas that organically emerge from the high quality research that we do, we may support these strategically but mostly they are funded by external income.



  • Find out more about each IDRT via their webpages linked below
  • Contact the IDRT lead(s) to express your interest in getting involved
  • Join IDRT mailing lists to receive updates


More events

Upcoming events

EcoMat Conference 2024
DynaSun 2024
TaPRA Conference 2024

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