Working with Leeds City Council

The University and Leeds City Council have a long history of working together to address pressing problems in the region.

There was a review of collaboration between the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council in 2020. This identified over 100 collaborations between the partners since 2015 and gave a series of recommendations to enhance and accelerate collaboration.

A significant output of this review has been the development of Leeds City Council’s Areas of Research Interest (ARI). This is outlined in our blog: Partnering with Leeds City Council to identify local knowledge needs.

What are Areas of Research Interest (ARI)?

Leeds City Council’s Areas of Research Interest outline the Council’s knowledge needs. They provide a starting point for conversations with academics by identifying existing research knowledge that would be of interest to the Council. They also highlight where the Council may have an interest in future research collaborations.

Areas of Research Interest for 2024

Read Leeds City Council’s Areas of Research Interest in full

Hosted on the Leeds Observatory website.

The Areas of Research Interest were updated in 2024 but continue to be a live and evolving picture of the Council’s priorities.

An information session was held on 25 April 2024 to give further details and answer questions.

You can also learn about the development of the refreshed ARI in Dr Abi Rowson’s blog, where she reflects on her experience supporting this work whilst seconded to Leeds City Council. 

You can find further information on Leeds City Council’s current work and priorities by looking at its strategies and plans on the following webpages: 

Get involved

There are various avenues for collaboration between University researchers and Leeds City Council, including:

  • research collaborations
  • sharing research that addresses the Council’s knowledge needs 
  • feeding into the work of the scrutiny boards
  • input into expert groups or policy forum meetings
  • undertaking a placement.

The strategic collaboration is supported by colleagues across the University including in the Leeds Social Science Institute, Horizons Institute, Leeds University Business School, and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.

If you’re interested in engaging with Leeds City Council, please email the Policy Leeds team at and we will link you with the appropriate contacts and opportunities.