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Case Studies

Improving the identification of human remains

Our Department of Archaeology’s innovative research is helping the world’s forensic scientists to better identify human remains.
Bodies of evidence

Making Durham a centre for Spanish art

From rediscovering lost paintings to organising exhibitions, supporting museums and securing thousands of pounds in funding, we’re helping turn Durham into a centre for Spanish art and cultural heritage.
Spanish art

Shedding light on medieval arts and science through modern eyes

We’re leading the international research project ‘Ordered Universe’ bringing new perspectives to medieval science. The project has worked with over 150 scholars in different fields of study from all over the world, from both humanities and natural sciences, and the team is sharing its research in new and interactive ways.
Ordered Universe

Inspiring cities to respond to climate change

We’re playing a pioneering role in helping cities respond to the challenges of climate change. Professor Harriet Bulkeley, in our Department of Geography, looks at the role nature plays in urban sustainability and how cities are experimenting with nature to address climate change. This includes innovative ways of introducing more plants and trees into towns and cities to capture carbon dioxide and improve well-being.
Plants outside of old building

Rethinking value creation for sustainable business

Research by Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting in our Business School, has looked at the need to rethink value and the way companies generate wealth through economic activity. Her work emphasises how integrating sustainable development into corporate reporting can lead to greater overall value creation for the organisation, society and the environment.
Cityscape at sunrise

3D cell tech improves drug testing and reduces animal research

Our award-winning bioscientists have developed innovative 3D cell culture technology so scientists can grow realistic human tissues for more effective drug testing while reducing the need for animal research. Alvetex® is a highly porous polystyrene scaffold designed to support the growth of human tissues from cells cultured in the laboratory – such as skin and intestinal tissue - that closely resemble those found in the body.
Scientist in lab coat using a pipette on Durham underlay

Bringing the music of great composers back to life

Our extraordinary music research has helped to bring back the forgotten music of two great classical composers to modern audiences. Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir Hubert Parry were major figures of the British musical world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of their works had been lost to time, but Professor Jeremy Dibble in our Department of Music, has used his research to give them new life.
Musical score on a backboard

Pioneering research in infant sleep safety

Our Anthropologists have revolutionised research into infant sleep safety and helped reduce rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The evidence-based advice they have provided to health professionals and parents has made a global impact, including in the official infant sleep safety guidance in the UK. Their research has substantially influenced the policy around co-sleeping national guidelines on infant sleep safety by demonstrating the close link to bed-sharing and breastfeeding.
Parents lying next to babies in bed with durham underlay

Supporting voice-hearers and changing perceptions

We’re changing the way people think about voice-hearing. Up to one in ten people hear voices no-one else can and one in 50 hear voices on a regular basis. It’s an experience commonly associated with distress, mental illness, and shame linked to social stigma.
Laptop displaying hearing the voice website with cathedral background underlay

Helping the rehabilitation of people with partial visual loss

Award-winning research by our psychologists has led to the development of an app to help with the rehabilitation of people with partial visual loss following brain injury. Called DREX - Durham Reading and Exploration - the free app increases general vision-related functioning and thereby confidence, independence, and quality of life.
Brain illustration in red and blue

Islamic Finance in sustainable development

Research by our Business School recognises the importance of Islamic Finance’s contribution to economic development and the role it can play in sustainable development. Led by Professor Habib Ahmed, Sharjah Chair in Islamic Law & Finance, this resulted in the production of policy working papers and recommendations that have been used to inform draft Islamic finance policy.
Modern city with trees and blue sky

Inspiring changes to criminal laws on rape pornography and online abuse

World-leading experts from our Law School are shaping and influencing new laws on extreme pornography and sexual violence. Working closely with victim organisations, Professor Clare McGlynn and colleagues’ research inspired campaigns and legal changes that are now providing greater protection and justice for victims.
Hands typing on dark keyboard