The Research Lifecycle Programme (RLP) is a series of investments of over £15 million. The overarching goal of the programme is to uplift research support in the University, to help researchers focus more on their research and remove administrative and technological barriers from their way.

The programme, which is 18 months into its 5 year journey, focuses on three areas of work:

  1. Research information – How researchers find and manage information.
  2. Research processes – How we enable better research support at The University of Manchester.
  3. e-Research infrastructure – A combination of digitally-based technology and the people and organisational structures needed to support modern, internationally leading, collaborative research.


What’s happened so far?

The RLP has had a number of key successes and investments over the past 18 months, including:

  • A £1 million investment into High Performance Computing, allowing researchers to do larger scale computational problems and take on research projects that previously exceeded our resources.
  • The launch of the Manchester Digital Collections viewer, an online platform to increase exposure of our research collections and cultural assets to the world.
  • BlackDackel were nominated as the supplier to develop the new Research Costing Tool which will allow greater transparency and visibility of the costing process, which aims to be live by July 2020.
  • A new framework has been developed for researchers to purchase and manage cloud resources in Amazon Web Services which enables researchers to avail of better priced cloud resources and technical advice and support. The service also allows cloud resources to be charged to a research account, meaning researchers no longer have to use their personal or departmental credit card.
  • Six technology themed Innovation Communities have been created to enable people who are interested in innovative technology to find potential research collaborators and learn from others across different faculties and schools in the University.
  • Over £550,000 has been invested in onsite hardware, including Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), and very high memory compute resources so far, with plans to invest more this year. £84,000 is also due to be invested this year in cloud resources for researchers.


The year ahead

2020 is a key year for the research community to provide their ideas and feedback on a number of aspects of the research lifecycle. A number of new projects have started within the programme, which means the RLP team will be holding activities to gain input to scope what the desired change should look like. This includes projects such as:

This year will also see the launch of the Highly Restricted Data Service which will allow researchers to better manage projects that use confidential or sensitive data. And by April 2020, a supplier will be nominated to provide a research data repository for the University.



How can you get involved?
  • Visit the Projects page on our website to learn more about projects that interest you
  • Sign up to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with news and calls to get involved (we keep it short)
  • Register to attend the Lunch with the RLP Event to speak to the team and find out more about key projects (Thursday 19 March – 12:30 – 2pm)


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