The University of Leon (ULE) carries out research activity in most academic fields and in a good number of areas of technology. In terms of volume, the biggest research disciplines are in Life Sciences (Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences) and Health Sciences (Biomedicine, Health Studies, Veterinary Science). Among other disciplines, there is a noteworthy research record in the fields of Food and Agriculture (Agricultural Engineering, Food Science and Technology), Earth and Energy Science and Technology (Climate Studies, Geography, Geotechnical Engineering, New Energies), as also in Industrial Engineering, Computing and Aerospace Engineering (Automation and Manufacturing, Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence). Besides this, ULE can point to notable research in various Arts fields (Literature, Languages, History, History of Art), in Law (Criminal, Labour and Administrative Law) and in Socio-Economic Studies (Education, Economics, Town and Country Planning, Business, Marketing).
This research is carried out by the teaching and research staff of the University, amounting to over 560 academics, 166 trainee researchers either with scholarships or employed as research assistants, 7 technicians holding doctorates and 15 support staff assigned to aiding and managing research. Researchers work in research groups provided for by ULE regulations, currently numbering 124, as well as in Research Institutes. Of the latter, two were set up and recognized as Higher Institutes under the Spanish Law on Universities or LOU, six are the University’s own creation, and one is a joint or mixed institute shared with the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). In addition, there are two Technology Centres associated with ULE, where the University’s research staff undertake work on applied research and technology transfer. This research activity is financed both from the University’s own resources and from external funding, and gives rise to published results.
Within the institutional framework established by the University of Leon for drawing up proposals for higher postgraduate courses governed by Spanish Royal Decree 99/2011 of 28 January 2011, and by the statutory and functional competences assigned to the Research Board and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, a strategy for research and doctoral training and courses in the University of Leon was drawn up for the period 2013 to 2018. This document contained an analysis of the context in which such activities take place in the University, a report on the current situation, a mission statement and strategic goals for both areas, and action plans to work towards these.
The strategy document was reviewed by the Research Board in a meeting on 14 December 2012. It was then submitted to public consideration by all who are involved in research or higher postgraduate courses at the University of Leon, and approved by the Governing Body in a meeting held on 31 January 2013.