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Global Impact

The work of staff and students across the University, as well as our international alumni community continues to have significant impact on a global level.

Explore the articles below to find out more about recent projects and research with international scope.

Light-bending gravity reveals one of the biggest black holes ever found

A team of astronomers, led by Dr James Nightingale (Department of Physics), has discovered one of the biggest black holes ever found.
biggest black hole ever found

Durham University theologian seconded to process that will shape future of Catholic Church

A leading Durham University theologian is to help shape the Catholic Church for years to come.
Professor Anna Rowlands

Durham Professor takes research to Hollywood

Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández, from our School of Modern Language and Cultures, will showcase his specialist research on Bigas Luna in Los Angeles.
A photo of Penelope Cruz and Javier from Jamon, Jamon

Fearmongering about people fleeing disasters is a dangerous and faulty narrative

Dr Corey Robinson from our School of Government and International Affairs and Dr Yvonne Su from York University, Canada, on why fearmongering about migrants is dangerous.
A migrant fleeing

Oldest fossils of mysterious animal group are actually seaweeds

A leading Durham scientist has collaborated with researchers in China to reveal that a group of prehistoric sea creatures is not as ancient as we thought.
Fossils seaweed

Robotic bees to support real-life ecosystem

A leading scientist from Durham has collaborated with international researchers to build robotic bee replicants that will affect the entire ecosystem.
A bee

Nadia Siddiqui named among Top 75 Notable Academics

Dr Nadia Siddiqui, who is a British Pakistani academic, has been recognised for her global expertise in education research and equity in education.
Dr Nadia Siddiqui

Evidence suggests Vikings brought animals to Britain

Our archaeologists have found what they say is the first solid scientific evidence suggesting that Vikings crossed the North Sea to Britain with dogs and horses.
Archaeological excavation of a Viking burial mound

Pinpointing carbon-free helium gas fields to avert global supply crisis

Our Durham Energy Institute researchers are part of an international team that has identified critically important carbon-free sources of natural helium gas.
Helium gas glowing when in contact with a plasma ball

Solving problems across boundaries

Our researchers have been working with colleagues at the Chinese of Academy of Sciences (CAS) for over 30 years on areas ranging from climate change to astronomy.
Abstract picture of a globe with lines illustrating connections.

Supporting teacher training in India

In association with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, our School of Education has undertaken a unique training programme for teachers in India.

Global Lecture Series

Starting in London in 2019, our Global Lecture Series features inspiring speakers with global impact to encourage discussion and debate on an international platform.
Image of world with lecturn

Forging partnerships in Malaysia

Durham’s global reach has seen us forge new partnerships in Malaysia, with a Memorandum of Understanding with Universiti Malaya. .
Signing of a memorandum of understanding between Durham University and Universiti of Malaya.

Working with Zimbabwean farmers to rebuild soils

Dr Steve Chivasa from our Department of Biosciences discusses his project to help Zimbabwean farmers overcome challenges caused by soil degradation.
Image showing soil in cupped hands with a plant out of focus in background

Durham University receives prestigious Leverhulme International Professorship award

Professor Jonathan Heddle is set to join Durham University thanks to a £4.8 million Leverhulme International Professorship award.
Professor Jonathan Heddle

Traded species have distinctive life histories with extended reproductive lifecycles

A new study shows that vertebrate species involved in the live wildlife trade have distinct life history traits that determine the frequency and timing of reproduction.

Understanding surface melting around the world’s largest ice sheet

A first-of-its-kind study led by our Department of Geography has investigated the formation of surface meltwater lakes around the world’s largest ice sheet.

Developing new gene variants to breed climate resilient chickpeas

Working in a global team, scientists from our top-rated Biosciences Department have discovered that chickpea flowering time is influenced by one to three major genes.

Durham climate expert chosen for prestigious panel

Durham University expert on climate change, Professor Harriet Bulkeley, has been appointed to the governing body of the European Research Council.

Researchers launch new book on improving school systems worldwide

Pioneering academics from our top-rated School of Education have published a new book on how poverty affects student opportunities and underachievement in schools.

Durham University start-up named as a finalist in Earthshot Prize 2022

Low Carbon Materials announced as one of three international finalists in the Fix Our Climate category in the prestigious environmental Earthshot Prize 2022.

Durham students invited to ceremony at Canadian High Commission

In a ceremony in October, Risako Takamura (Law) & Hannah Moore (Geography with Year Abroad) were invited to London to give short speeches at the Canadian High Commission.

Durham start-up accepted onto world-leading TechStars space programme

Graduate start-up, Charter, has become the first British space company to be accepted onto the world-leading TechStars Space Accelerator programme.

Fate of the world’s biggest ice sheet is in our hands, researchers show

A new study led by our Department of Geography shows that the worst effects of global warming on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) could be avoided.

New study indicates worrying levels of glacial ice loss in West Antarctica

A study involving Dr Pippa Whitehouse (Department of Geography) shows two major West Antarctica glaciers may be losing ice faster than they have in the last 5,000 years.

Influencing elections and governance in Africa

Pioneering research by Professor Justin Willis & Professor Cherry Leonardi (Department of History) is bringing a change in the political landscape in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stopping the spread of malaria with the World Health Organization

Our Department of Biosciences has shaped World Health Organization policy on global mosquito control to fight the spread of lethal diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

Ash blanketing Tonga after volcano eruption creates health concerns

Professor Claire Horwell, (Department of Earth Sciences) explores the health risks of ash following underwater volcano Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai's eruption near Tonga.

Law School Professor co-organises major global conference in Geneva

Professor Deirdre McCann has co-organised a global labour conference with the UN International Labour Organisation and a wide range of international partners.

Prof Nancy Cartwright awarded Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize

Philosopher Nancy Cartwright selected as winner of the Barcelona Hypatia European Science Prize for her outstanding contributions to philosophical research.

Tackling global childhood obesity with ground-breaking research

Research by our Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences has made a positive impact on policy and practice addressing the global problem of childhood obesity.

Toolkit supports better learning for disadvantaged pupils

Our highly-rated School of Education has developed a pioneering toolkit to ensure funding for schools in the UK and around the world is spent effectively.

Empowering youth voices in the Mediterranean

Our academics are solving sensitive issues through their pioneering and impactful research, working with international partners to re-frame youth policy narratives.

New study foresees threat of invasive species in UK’s Overseas Territories

A research collaboration focused on predicting which invasive species could pose a future threat to the UK’s ecologically unique Overseas Territories.
St Helena

Unravelling the mystery of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies

Our astronomers have solved an outstanding problem that challenged our understanding of how the Universe evolved.
Image of galaxy

Scientists decrypt the ‘mechanical code’ of DNA

Our highly-rated Department of Biosciences has helped to decipher the mechanical code of DNA.
Image showing model of DNA code

Durham graduate named new generation astronaut

We’re exceptionally proud to say that Durham graduate Dr Rosemary Coogan has been named as a new generation astronaut.
Astronaut Rosemary Coogan

A world leader in sustainability

We’ve been recognised as one of the top universities in the world for taking action to address the most pressing challenges facing society today.
Student taking notes

Does loving your country hinder international collaboration?

New research suggests having a positive attitude towards your home country is more likely to stop you from collaborating internationally.
Group of business people working together

Capping energy costs will damage climate change progress in developing countries

According to new research developing countries will fail to make any significant contribution to global sustainability efforts, unless governments stop capping prices.
Image of city in Bangladesh

High air pollution in cities contributes to firms being less efficient at investing

Study finds that firms based in a city with high levels of air pollution have much lower efficiency when it comes to corporate investments.
Image of Wuhan

Majority of customers have a positive experience with customer services robots

Research finds 60% of customers experience the feeling of ‘Joy’ when dealing with robots in a customer service role.
Image of a robot

Global Culture

Interested in how the cultural activities of Durham's staff and student bodies enrich life worldwide? Head to the Global Culture page to find out.