Prosperity & Resilience

What are the institutions and practices that help people and society to prosper? How do they help us build resilience against economic, social, political or environmental shocks? Research in our Prosperity & Resilience theme addresses these key questions and spans a host of challenges facing modern society. These include four beacon research areas: housing and cities, UN and global order, climate policy and justice, and inequality. Our researchers work with many external partners, including schools, businesses, government and NGOs, and across boundaries to respond to pressing social problems.

Helping multilingual children find their voices

US and Reading teacher educators have joined forces with UK multilingual primary schools to improve teaching for children whose home languages are not English. By coaching teachers to talk less,...Read More >

Teachers share skills with hospital staff

Teaching specialists have teamed up with the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) to create a unique Healthcare Education programme for all staff who teach: doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists....Read More >

Serving and protecting, everyone

A fresh, evidence-based take on police diversity and inclusion training is tackling prejudice at its root, exploring what motivates staff to change their views and prompting open conversations and understanding....Read More >

Shaping thought on flexible working

Henley Business School research on how the pandemic has changed uptake of the four-day working week has reached around 82.5 million people through a hugely successful media campaign, establishing Reading...Read More >

Discovering land for housing migrant workers in Kochi, India

By working with public policymakers in the Indian city of Kochi, researchers at Reading are improving access to affordable housing for the city’s migrant workers. Kochi is the most densely...Read More >

Reducing missed outpatient appointments and health inequalities through AI

An artificial intelligence (AI) system developed by a team of Reading researchers is being used by the NHS to tackle health inequalities by reducing the number of missed hospital appointments....Read More >

Uncovering hidden stories from Oxford Road

Reading researchers are working with local communities and artists to reveal and celebrate the heritage of one of the town’s most diverse and multicultural streets. With more than 70 languages...Read More >

Safeguarding children in conflict and crisis

An approach developed at the University of Reading is being used by international peacekeeping organisations to facilitate the protection and safeguarding of children in conflict and crisis zones around the...Read More >

Empowering smallholder farmers to overcome climate challenges

An approach developed by a team of researchers at the University of Reading is being used to help farmers in the developing world adapt to and cope with climate change....Read More >

Influencing communications to influence behaviour

Research from the Henley Business School is being applied to help government departments in the UK to communicate more effectively and more efficiently. Whether it’s convincing people to do something...Read More >

Sustainable development through natural resource management

In resource-rich emerging economies, local content policy could offer a mechanism for governments to drive long-term, sustainable development across the whole economy. Research at Henley Business School, University of Reading,…Read More >

Secretarial superpowers: the key to business success

The role of company secretary is often undervalued and misunderstood. But this has begun to change in recent years, thanks to research at the Henley Business School, University of Reading,...Read More >

Ensuring fair developer contributions for the community

Research at the University of Reading has led to important changes in planning policy and practice, preventing housing developers from ‘gaming the system’ to increase their own profits at the...Read More >

Dodging disaster: breaking the link between commercial real estate lending and global financial crises

Research from the University of Reading is being used to assess and improve property market valuations, to avoid a repeat of the cycle of over-lending on commercial real estate that...Read More >

‘Exceptional’ benefits for healthcare funding

Research from the University of Reading is being used to create a fairer, more consistent and transparent system for assessing healthcare funding requests. As we know, demand for healthcare exceeds…Read More >

Greener building design helps China stay cool

Researchers at the University of Reading have developed a new model to improve the design and sustainability of buildings in China, with a view to optimising ambient temperature control while...Read More >

Power to the people: facilitating neighbourhood planning

By influencing national neighbourhood planning policy and informing best practice, research from the University of Reading is facilitating the involvement of citizens in the development of their own communities. Neighbourhood…Read More >

The acceptable face of European extremism

Research by the University of Reading is helping to tackle the rise in European political extremism, by revealing the dangers hidden within the seemingly benign nationalistic rhetoric of far-right parties....Read More >

The case against guilt by association

By informing the correction of a legal rule that had been misinterpreted by courts for over 30 years, research conducted at the University of Reading is profoundly affecting the application…Read More >

Modern laws for modern wars

Research at the University of Reading is being used to promote human rights and to prevent abuses of power in some of the world’s most controversial military operations. For as…Read More >

Teaching literacy: As easy as ABC?

By helping teachers to understand how different children learn to read, researchers at the University of Reading are equipping them to better meet the needs of their pupils – including...Read More >

Don’t quit! Motivating foreign language students

By helping teachers make modern foreign language education more interesting, enjoyable and effective for their students, research from the University of Reading is improving classroom practice and learning outcomes in…Read More >

Fixing Britain’s broken housing market

Research from the University of Reading is being used by policymakers to help tackle the housing crisis and to expand access to the UK property market. Housing unaffordability is a...Read More >

AI healthcare for an ageing China

A new digital healthcare tool, developed at the University of Reading using artificial intelligence technology, is being used to inform hospital practice and improve patient experience for a large and…Read More >

Sustainable investment, sustainable growth

By informing the policies that enable countries to successfully balance their own sustainable development needs with an increasing demand for foreign investment, research from Henley Business School at the University...Read More >

Building better relationships for organisations

A tool developed by researchers at Henley Business School, the University of Reading using principles from social and behavioural psychology is helping organisations to meet their goals, by informing and...Read More >

Taking the right amount of risk: Using psychology to inform investment choices

A tool developed by researchers at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School is transforming investment outcomes, by employing psychological principles to enable independent financial advisors to assess their clients’...Read More >

Finding peace in a fragile world

Research by the University of Reading has been instrumental in the development of a new UK policy framework for building stability in fragile and conflict-affected states. With the steady rise...Read More >

The value of stability

Neil Crosby’s work with colleagues in the Department of Real Estate and Planning has raised UK and international standards in property valuation. It has influenced global monetary policy towards improving…Read More >

Intelligent solutions to a costly issue

Missed appointments cost the NHS millions every year. Weizi Li and her team developed a computer model to predict which patients might miss their next check up, prompting a reminder….Read More >

Marvellous Mums (2020)

Marvellous Mums has brought together researchers and community partners to support disadvantaged women from local communities to recognise their own skills and strengths.  Armed with new confidence and aspirations, many…Read More >

Learning maths through storytelling

Dr Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai’s ‘Maths Through Stories’ initiative has made it easier for teachers and parents worldwide to harness the power of storytelling to make maths learning more accessible and…Read More >

Priority setting in the NHS

For patients who are chronically or terminally ill, access to ‘last chance’ treatments can seem like a lottery. Professor Newdick’s advice as member of an independent inquiry committee has helped…Read More >

Marvellous mums, marvellous me (2019)

The ‘Marvellous Mums, Marvellous Me’ programme supports local, less socially advantaged women, many of whom have been out of work for some time. It’s building women’s confidence and self-esteem and…Read More >

Safeguarding children in conflict and crisis (2018)

Children in conflict zones are safer thanks to robust guidelines developed by Professor Rosa Freedman in partnership with the specialist organisation, Keeping Children Safe. The guidelines are transforming the way…Read More >

Reading 2050 vision

How can we ensure the cities and towns where our children will live in 30 years’ time are fit for purpose? In 2013 Professor Tim Dixon, in collaboration with local…Read More >

Whitley for Real (2018)

Reading, like many towns, appears prosperous, but some communities at its heart live with a legacy of social inequality. Since 2014, Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans has worked alongside residents in Whitley…Read More >

Development viability within planning (2018)

Successive governments have struggled to meet the demand for new homes in the UK. While developers need to build more homes overall, they are also required to deliver affordable housing…Read More >

Death to hanging

For the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the death penalty is a “cruel punishment [that] has no place in the 21st century.” By April 2017, more than two-thirds of the…Read More >

Working better with Whitley (2017)

In 2012, Whitley in South Reading secured £1 million Big Local National Lottery Funding for community development over 10 years, as part of a national initiative that would benefit 150…Read More >

Value to the Valuers

Around the world, central banks continue to wrestle with the aftershocks of the global financial crisis of 2007–08. Crashes in property markets were isolated as a major cause and Professor…Read More >

Educational outsiders

Some projects are discrete, lasting a finite amount of time. Others are a work in progress. In the latter category is the continuing work of Dr Helen Bilton to promote…Read More >

Keeping children safe

In 2018 Professor Rosa Freedman launched a safeguarding toolkit in partnership with the NGO Keeping Children Safe.

Winning hearts and minds

The work of Professor Hilary Footitt, from the Department of Languages and Cultures, has highlighted the need for the military to see foreign languages as a vital part of their operation...Read More >

Understanding language learning

Suzanne Graham is exploring how the use of literature and different teaching approaches influences second language learning.

People-powered planning

Professor Gavin Parker’s research focuses on developing practical tools to support community Neighbourhood Planning Groups.