Strategy and themes

Goldsmiths’ mission is to stimulate creative, radical and intellectually rigorous thinking and practice.

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We attract talented, insightful and diverse researchers and provides a rich environment that nurtures the next generation.

Knowledge creation and exchange – from curiosity-driven research to real-world problem-solving – underpins the intellectual and creative culture of the entire Goldsmiths’ community.

We are committed to building and sustaining our research capacity, addressing challenges that face humanity and laying the foundations for societal, economic and cultural benefit.


Goldsmiths’ research strategy has been developed with three core strategic priorities:

  • Supporting and enabling research innovation and leadership locally, nationally and internationally
  • Facilitating research that crosses and breaks boundaries, leading to novel methodologies, new sites of investigation and ground-breaking insight
  • Collaborating with, but also reaching out to, partners, communities and publics in the mutual creation of beneficial, impactful and transformative knowledge

At the heart of our strategy is the vibrancy and inventiveness of our academic research community.

At an institutional level, the work is led by the Pro-Warden for Research, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange, but it is embedded in, coordinated and shaped through key structures and responsibilities, including Academic Board, Research and Enterprise Committee (REC), Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee, Human Resources and Equalities Committee, External Relations Committee and the Public Engagement Advisory Committee.

We have Academic Leads in Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange who develop that work across Goldsmiths. Our academic departments, each with a Director of Research, construct discipline-specific research strategies, which are reported to REC and understood with regard to institutional priorities. Annual planning rounds with academic departments and central teams provide points of operational and strategic deliberation and change.

Addressing global challenges

We have themes to help group research, support fundamental insight and impact, and align our work with core societal challenges:

  • Bodies, Minds, Society – addressing health and wellbeing
  • Invention, Creativity and Experience – addressing creative production and immersive technology and experience
  • Social and Economic Justice – addressing urban living, inequalities, displacement and migration
  • Technologies, Worlds, Politics – addressing digital and environmental futures and human

Achievements include:

  • The development of a new field of research on the racialisation of climate change and the ground-breaking work of PGR students in leading workshops and public fora on Critical Ecologies
  • The ERC award (€2M) for Professor Henriques on sonic street technologies and establishing the Centre for Sound, Technology and Culture, with Professor Tanaka and colleagues from Computing, Media and Communications and Cultural Studies, and Music
  • Professor Clayton’s collaboration with colleagues from the University of London in Paris, on new forms of activism and her associated book on The New Internationalists: Activist Volunteers in the European Refugee Crisis (Goldsmiths Press, 2020)
  • ESRC/GCRF Award (£555K) for Dr Philogene Heron (Anthropology) on Caribbean Cyclone Cartography

Centres and Units

Our Research Units were developed to frame emergent or small-scale research clusters housed within academic departments.

Our Research Centres are larger, primarily multidisciplinary, propositions sitting across academic departments.

Centres include the Centre for Feminist Research, the Centre for Queer History and the Decadence Research Centre. Postgraduate research and postdoctoral members of the Centre for Feminist Research exposed internal concerns and established the 1752 Group that campaigns and engages in policy work regarding gender inequalities and violence in the higher education sector.

Centres provide the ground for research leadership. Professor Knowles, a previous Director of the Centre for Urban and Community Research, was appointed as Director for the Cities and Infrastructure Programme (British Academy in 2017) and as Director for the Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being Programme (in 2019; funded by BEIS and delivered through the British Academy).

Centres are important for our international strategy, developing researcher-led collaborations with other research and non-academic partners. Forensic Architecture has partners on the ground in Argentina, Cameroon, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan and the USA, among many others. Research centres are enablers of research grant awards, notably from the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships.