The Academic Strategy has been developed to set out immediate areas which are fruitful for new discovery – that open doors to new technologies, enable applications that could have major impact and societal benefit, or offer new educational experiences while improving the environment for learning, in its broadest sense, for our students.

It is based on themes that support the vision of society that we share and reflect the strength of our research in these areas, and on the capabilities that frame Imperial’s distinctive approach to all that we do.

We have identified four themes where both our expertise is particularly strong and where there are clear unanswered questions or societal challenges that require attention. Of these, we have looked for topics where Imperial’s approach can be distinctive – how we deliver our mission will be different than those of other institutions.

These themes build on faculty and department strategies to identify areas of current excellence and emerging intellectual focus in research and education, as well as areas of opportunity to build new strengths. These are the themes in which, right now and in the immediate future, we will seek to accelerate discovery and impact to society through strategic, College-wide investments.

These themes are supported by four capabilities that enable our excellence in all that we do. Together, our four capabilities reflect the strengths that make us unique within the UK and position us to make a distinctive contribution to the strategic themes we have chosen to focus on. While our strategic themes may change over time, our capabilities reflect the areas of excellence that are the enduring bedrock of what we do.

These themes will drive research, education and innovation that responds to new opportunities to discover more about the natural world, and addresses societal challenges that have human, physical and economic impact. They are areas of strategic priority for our immediate attention, while we continue to deliver and invest in core college activities.

Our excellence in the core disciplines is central to our academic vision. It underpins everything we do, allowing us to work together across disciplines and confront societal and global challenges. It helps Imperial to be a great engine of ideas, generating new understanding about the world which underpins advances in technology and drives societal impact.

Our strategic approach

This diagram shows how Imperial’s combined strength in the core disciplines plus our capabilities (transdisciplinary, quantitative, entrepreneurial and engaged) are the foundations upon which we can make new discoveries and applications within the four areas of focus provided by our themes (Sustainable Society, Healthy Society, Smart Society, Resilient Society).