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Research impact

Our researchers are working across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and the environment.

We rank 2nd in the UK for the impact of our research as measured in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, an outstanding achievement. With breakthroughs in areas such as Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, nuclear waste disposal, school food reform and the tales of The Mabinogion, our research is making a positive and lasting impact around the world.

These case studies highlight just some of the areas we are delivering positive research impact:

Broadcasting and behind the scenes

Reflecting post-devolution politics in broadcasting

Our researchers found citizens were being routinely misinformed about major areas of policy.

Whizz kids Lola's story

Improving HIV/AIDS education and support through comics writing

Workshops in comics drawing at the Whizzkids United academy in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa helped teenagers to express their feelings.

125 Anniversary concert

More than Messiaen

Reinterpreting 20th-Century French musical traditions for UK audiences.

Data security

Meeting the challenges of data security

Our research has significantly improved the security of printing and network environments.

Supermarket aisle

Understanding consumer behaviour

We have developed important statistical and mathematical models for forecasting consumer buying behaviour.

Vulnerable woman sitting alone

Improving the response to victims of violence

Our research has contributed to significant changes in the services afforded to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Medical staff in corridor

Improving end of life decision making

Our research stimulated debate about the treatment of people in vegetative and minimally conscious states.

Two houses completely flooded

Saving lives and safeguarding water

We are developing accurate and reliable models to safeguard people against global water risks.

Welsh flag painted on face

The changing identity of Welsh emigrants

Research reveals how the identity of Welsh migrants changed as they adapted to new cultures.

Image of person smoking

Cannabis use and schizophrenia

Is cannabis use linked to schizophrenia?

Kangia - Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland

Prompting action on climate change

Research has revealed a 'governance trap' hindering action on climate change.

Down's Syndrome Vision Research Unit

A clearer view for children with Down's Syndrome

Improving educational opportunities and eye care for children with Down’s syndrome.

Two police officers

Reducing violent crime

We are reducing violence through research, new use of data and original collaborations between medicine and criminal justice.

Mabinogion book cover

Transforming the Mabinogion

Improving the understanding of Welsh myths and legends from the Mabinogion.

French nuclear power plant.

Research rethinks disposal of nuclear waste

Our pioneering computer simulations are helping engineer safer ways to store nuclear waste.

Dubai skyline.

Cities and buildings of the future

We have developed advanced computational numerical models that are used in the design of major buildings and urban developments.

Scientists in lab

Influencing debate in genetics research

Defining a new bioethics that promises real world solutions to real world problems.

Welsh books

Reframing language law in Wales

A need for clarity, consistency and compliance in Welsh Language regulation.

Claire Holden and Robin Stowell playing violin

Precision performance

Revitalising the techniques and performance style of music from the 'long 18th century'.

UK Currency

After the crash: influencing economic policy

Developing new economic models to stimulate international recovery from the 2007 crash.

School dinners

Reforming school food

Helping to visualise a healthier, more sustainable school food service.

Doctors moving a patient

Using maths to save lives

Our new mathematical models are reducing waiting times in hospitals to save lives.

Herschel space observatory iamge

Seeing the science in space

Bringing stories from the Hershel Space Observatory to UK school children, teachers and international media.

Cancer laboratory

Treating locally advanced prostate cancer

Our researchers reveal the best technique for treating locally advanced prostate cancer.

Oakland Bay Bridge San Francisco

Making bridges safer

Providing solutions for bridge inspection without the need for costly shutdowns.

Student testing a catalyst in a lab

Why gold is the key to a glittering future

Our newly identified catalyst has the potential to save lives, improve health and clean up the environment.

Child abuse

A clinical basis for identifying child abuse

A pioneering research programme for more reliable clinical assessments of child abuse and neglect.


Conserving endangered species

Our data driven conservation strategies are saving the lives of orangutans, elephants and pandas.

Teenager smoking

ASSIST: A stop smoking in schools trial

Our DECIPHer-ASSIST programme is effectively tackling smoking uptake in UK schools.

Workers on a boat at sea

Tackling the challenge of tiredness at sea

How our research into tiredness has helped create better policies and safer systems for mariners.

Steve Ormerod and Ed Milliband

Influencing policy on river conservation and management

Our approaches to analysing and modelling water systems have led to a world-leading discovery showing change on upland river ecosystems.

Snowdon, Snowdonia

Finding the faults in caprocks

Our research has allowed oil and gas companies to understand how faulted caprocks behave under specific geological conditions.

Bees in hive

Indexing the world's species

Using big data to help save flora and fauna from extinction.

Protected hull of ss Great Britain

Saving heritage ironwork from the ravages of rust

Studying effective corrosion cures to help our museums preserve ironwork for posterity.

Town hall sign

Does size matter in local government?

Exploring how local authorities deliver services and whether their size will be relevant in the future.

Church stained glass

A legal framework to unite a faith

Solving the conundrum of greater cooperation and house rules within the church.

Houses of Parliament, London

Understanding Englishness

Examining who we are amid constant political change.

Policewoman in the community

Improving community policing

Pioneering research by the Universities' Police Science Institute (UPSI) has made police more effective at understanding and responding to crime and disorder.

Photo taken by Flickr user epsos.

Improving control over illicit money flows and recovering the proceeds of crime

Research by Professor Mike Levi provides one of the first rigorous empirical analyses of the scale of financial crime.

Illustration by Eleanor Vere Boyle

Valuing Victorians: sharing 19th Century illustrations

Using research-based metadata to entertain a modern audience of millions.

Muslim Chaplaincy Conference

Improving pastoral care for Muslims

The positive effect of involving Muslim religious professionals in providing religious and pastoral care in public institutions.

Welsh countryside

Values research changes focus of charitable campaigns

Our research has fundamentally changed how charities approach environmental-based marketing campaigns

Indian woman drinking water from tap

Fighting the rise of the superbug

Discovery of a new antibiotic resistant gene by Cardiff University researchers changes global attitude and policy to monitoring and prevention.

People walking on Welsh hills

The real economic and environmental impact of tourism in Wales

New research helps us understand the true value of tourism in the country.

Buddhist prayer book

Translation research shapes Buddhist practice in Germany

Our pioneering research into the translation of a sacred Buddhist text has influenced contemporary Buddhist practice in Germany.

Image of a teenager suffering from whiplash following a car accident

Fairer compensation for victims of personal injury accidents

Research from Cardiff Business School highlights under-compensation for injured claimants, and points towards a fairer means of compensation for injury victims.

Mining machinery working in open-pit PGE mine on the Platreef

Strategic metals: Exploring and processing platinum group elements

Our research and analysis is improving the exploration of new Platinum Group Elements (PGE) deposits and developing more efficient processing of PGE ores.

Pills in a bottle image

Discovering the world's most powerful antiviral agent against shingles

FV-100 is a brand new anti-viral drug that aims to bring relief to millions of shingle sufferers from around the world.

Scientist examining liquid in lab

Creating new anti-viral and cancer drugs

ProTide technology is a pro-drug strategy with proven capacity to generate new drug candidates for nucleoside-based antiviral and anti-cancer indications.