Spotlight archive

The Leeds International Piano Competition – one of the foremost classical music competitions in the world – has begun. Sixteen cities around the world – including New York, Berlin and Seoul – will host the virtual first round, with 62 pianists from 28 countries competing.

Across the University of Leeds – from arts and humanities to fundamental science and engineering – teams are developing new ideas and redirecting existing research to help the world cope with the pandemic and its impact.

Researchers have been involved in a major study to model the stocks and flows of plastic waste around the world. It reveals how much is being openly burned, discarded on land and ends up in the oceans. Despite the enormous scale of the problem, they say there are achievable solutions.

We explore how our involvement in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme is propelling Leeds onto the international stage.

We reflect on key achievements of our University year and pay tribute to the hard work of our students and staff.

Researchers at the University of Leeds are working closely with industry to transform the UK’s luxury fashion and textiles sector. New ideas and technologies are on show as Future Fashion Factory celebrates its first anniversary.

Fluid dynamics is central to understanding much of the world, from the way gases circulate around planets, to improved manufacturing and modelling of blood flow. So what is fluid dynamics and why is it so important?

We look at Leeds' role in the international fight to stop the rise of superbugs.

Leeds has loads to offer - from ancient abbeys to great gig venues. We've picked 10 things that should be on every student's bucket list.

Scientists at the University of Leeds have created the world’s thinnest gold, which is just two atoms thick. The breakthrough represents a landmark in the development of ultra-thin materials.

The University of Leeds celebrates its role in Yorkshire Sculpture International, an exciting 100 days that will provide a platform for contemporary artists from around the world.

We explore why UKRI, the UK’s biggest public funder of research and innovation, is marking its anniversary event at the University of Leeds.

A meeting 20 years ago between two academics from opposite ends of campus sparked a research programme which is offering new hope to stroke survivors.

This year marks the ten year anniversary of the UK government introducing the Climate Change Act. A national programme of events ‘Green Great Britain Week’ will bring together various companies, charities and communities to promote the scale of the opportunities to reduce emissions, grow the low carbon economy and create a better environment for everyone.

This month 24 of the most talented young pianists in the world will be taking part in the Leeds International Piano Competition. Commonly known as “The Leeds”, the competition takes place every three years in the city and the University has played an important role in its history from the very first competition 55 years ago.

This month, the nation has been sending its birthday wishes to the NHS. Over the last 70 years, it has brought most of us into the world and been at our side during illness and injury. But the monumental achievements of the NHS are due, in part, to the unique partnership it has had with another public institution, the Universities.

It’s not every day that a knight in armour wields a sword in front of you, or an eagle rests proudly on your arm. At Leeds, however, it’s a fixture of the University calendar, as the International Medieval Congress descends on campus in July. In its 25th year, visitors past and present reflect on the International Medieval Congress.

Two Leeds professors have developed a process to wash DNA out of tissue so that it's safer to implant. Now the research has been nominated for a prestigious award.

You could fit ten thousand microbubbles into a single full stop. But now a team of researchers at Leeds is hoping to use these tiny bubbles as a drug delivery device to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

The University of Leeds is known for its concrete architecture and our experts are studying the material from the very bottom up to pave the way for a stronger, more sustainable future.

Two of the most powerful cryo-electron microscopes in the world have been installed in the University’s Astbury BioStructure Laboratory. The microscopes, which operate using a stream of electrons rather than light to display images, will allow researchers from across the University and around the world to view biological systems in unprecedented detail.

While the treatment of most types of cancer has improved over the past 20 years, the prognosis for brain cancer has barely changed. This is in part due to a lack of funding; brain cancer receives just one percent of national cancer research funding – a disproportionately small amount considering the impact of the illness. This has led to growing pressure for greater funding and new research to target this condition. But where do you start with a disease which has no known cause, develops in a matter of weeks and seems impossible to treat?

You step into the driving seat of your car then shut the door. Turning on the engine, you gather your notes for the meeting ahead - a 45-minute drive away. You make a call back to the office, asking for the minutes from last month’s management conference to be emailed over. You sit back and relax, whilst scanning through the notes. “You have arrived at your destination,” announces the on-board computer. You are using a self-driving car. This could be you, much sooner than you think.

Fifteen thousand gifts from alumni and other donors all around the world have taken the University's fundraising campaign beyond its £60m goal.

It must have been a strange moment for Bertram Ratcliffe when he met the king. A telegram arrived – even advising which train he should take – and he was on his way to tell stories of his First World War service to George V himself. His story was unique: he was the first British prisoner of war to escape and make it home.

Unseen footage of major cultural figures of the last 50 years is moving to Leeds. The thousands of video tapes from the 32 year run of The South Bank have been acquired from ITV by the University and feature figures from Harold Pinter to Dolly Parton. The cultural coup has been driven by the University's Chancellor Melvyn Bragg, who conceived, edited and presented the flagship arts show throughout its run. The South Bank Show was a mainstay of British living rooms on Sunday nights from 1978 until 2010 and is widely celebrated for the way it combined high art and popular culture for a mass audience.

World-class research has led to award-winning advancements in terahertz science and technology, with potential real-world applications as diverse as satellite remote sensing, chemical analysis, medical imaging and telecommunications.

Leeds offers state-of-the-art facilities in data analytics and will partner with researchers and organisations to help make the most of the rapidly growing fields of consumer and medical data

The ability to see the molecules that make cells and disease work is being boosted by a £17 million investment in some of the best nuclear magnetic resonance and electron microscopy facilities in the world. They will ensure that the University stays ahead in structural biology – a discipline that has its roots at the University, with the development of X-ray crystallography by Nobel Laureates William and Lawrence Bragg in Leeds in 1912-13.