Research at the Business School has an applied focus, is policy and practice led, and is of both national and international relevance.

Our research activities focus on three Research Centres and the Smart Cities agenda.

Research Centres

Centre for Scottish Child and Family Law and Policy

In 2019, to reform Scottish family law court cases, Edinburgh Napier published a report funded by and produced for the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee, which critically analysed the Children (Scotland) Bill 2019. 

The report considered the extent to which the proposed legislation at the time was likely to alter the balance of rights in family law court cases and examined various proposals in detail, including the:

  • removal of the presumption that children 12 years of age and older are sufficiently mature to express a view in family cases
  • new duty to explain family court decisions to children
  • new Statutory checklist of factors courts must take into account in family cases
  • creation of additional safeguards for victims of domestic abuse in family cases
  • greater regulation of professionals and professional services involved in family cases
  • new duty to investigate the failure to obey a court order.

  • That report is available here.

    There followed a series of workshops, funded by the RSE, which critically analysed the work of the Scottish Parliament in the field of Child and Family Law. These workshops involved contributions from 21 academics from a range of Scottish Universities, as well as law and policy-makers: The Centre for Child and Family Law and Policy builds upon the success of that workshop series. The Research Network established now aims:

  • facilitate meaningful, research-led collaborations between academics, law and policy-makers and wider professionals working in Child and Family law
  • increase the impact of personal and collaborative research
  • share knowledge/discussions widely and effectively in existing, emerging and novel areas of the field
  • create opportunities for joint research activities and publications for new and emerging academics and post-graduate students.
  • One main focus at Edinburgh Napier in the next two years is to create a pool of supervisors to develop existing staff who have the capacity to supervise cross-disciplinary PG students employing a range of methodologies beyond traditional legal research skills. 

    We will also make regular applications for fully-funded PhD studentships.

    The Centre for Military Research, Education & Public Engagement

    The development of the Centre for Military Transitions supports a UK and Scottish Government policy goal, to make Scotland a destination of choice for veterans and their families.

    It allows for the consolidation of existing knowledge and the development of a collaborative community of practice across nine participating Scottish Universities to impact on areas of need identified as relevant for the armed forces in Scotland.

    Together we work towards large-scale, practice-focused research, actively harnessing the combined knowledge of multiple HEIs with the practical experience of key military personnel. 

    Across the participating institutions, we have working relationships with The Veterans Commissioners Office, Veterans Scotland, Scottish Government Veterans and Armed Forces Personnel Unit, Headquarters 51st Infantry Brigade, Edinburgh Garrison Commander, Royal Caledonian Education Trust, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and the National Transitions Officer for Children and Young People of Armed Forces Families in Scottish Schools.

    ENU is also linked with several military centres nationally including Cranfield, Centre for Defence Management and Leadership, Anglia Ruskin Veterans & Families Institute for Military Social Research, and internationally to Open Door international webinar and working roundtable program on Military, Veterans and Families Wellbeing.

    A £300,000 grant has been awarded by Forces in Mind Trust for a research project entitled ‘You’re in Your Own Time Now’, which will address the current lack of up-to-date and in-depth data on ex-Service personnel in Scotland. Led by Edinburgh Napier, the researchers will examine a range of outcomes for Service leavers including education, housing, employment, health, and finances.

    We assist those transitioning from the armed forces into civilian life through higher education opportunities in The Business School. We aim to support those from lower ranks of the Army and those without many qualifications as these groups tend to have the least amount of opportunities available to them. We work with many education providers and councils to provide an Education Toolkit to help institutions set up armed forces networks.

    We provide work placements to support ex service personnel who have suffered injury or illness and we are an active recruiter of ex-service personnel.

    Our widening participation team work with local primary schools, local Cadet forces, and Forces Children Scotland to identify groups of young people who have family members in the army and to increase their educational aspirations and overall uptake in further education and higher education.

    We have established links with local veterans charities, as well as PoppyScotland and Help for Heroes, to set up events to promote mental health awareness and broadcast opportunities to our graduates.

    Our researchers include:

    • Dr Mandy Winterton, a sociologist within our School of Applied Sciences
    • Prof Thanos Karatzias, a professor of mental health
    • Dr Gerri Matthews-Smith, research lead on the ‘You’re in Your Own Time Now’ study
    • Christine Haddow, a lecturer in Criminology and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Criminology
    We have hosted a number of events surrounding PTSD in recent years, focussing on how the condition affects both those suffering directly and their family members who experience living with them. We also shine a spotlight on those who have suffered physical injuries in war and help to share their stories of recovery. 

    We are currently working to develop a scholarship for those who have served in the army, particularly in the lower ranks, to give them a financial incentive to take up further education after their service.

    Areas of opportunity amongst some of Edinburgh Napier’s school have been identified. For example, the dual degree offered by the School of Applied Sciences to help athletes balance studies could be applied to those in active military service and there is scope for the School of Computing form deeper working relationships with the MoD to deliver more education around cyber.

    Tourism Research Centre

    Tourism - broadly defined as the umbrella term that includes tourism, hospitality and festivals and events - is an area of strength at Edinburgh Napier, which is placed 8th overall in the UK (Times and Sunday Times’ Good University Guide 22).

    The Business School (TBS) currently has Scotland’s largest academic group of tourism, hospitality, festivals and events experts, with approximately 15 research active staff, plus three Early Career Academics. Our research activities focus on themes that enhance business practice and address real world issues and problems. As a department, we have well-established industry links and are actively involved in informing policy and practice at national levels.

    Our teaching is underpinned by an expanding research base involving REF-quality publications; knowledge exchange activities with key market sectors; and commercial activity that includes CPD project delivery in Scotland and internationally.

    The importance of tourism to the economy of Scotland, and internationally, was highlighted in the COVID-19 pandemic, with considerable focus on the sector as part of the economic and social recovery. The Scottish Government provided £25 million for tourism recovery in 2021/2, including support for leadership programmes, tourism skills and destination management activities, and we are actively engaged in helping deliver these recovery activities.

    We see future demand for research that will inform the sustainable, regenerative and balanced development of tourism and the theme of Sustainability will be at the core of the Tourism Research Centre’s activities. COP26 has shone a spotlight on the need for an urgent response to the global climate crisis. More locally, there are concerns of overtourism and over-festivalisation of our capital city, and the impact that tourism has on the environment. Exploring how we can use natural resources sustainably, whilst developing sustainable businesses, is key to solving the climate crisis. Through our engagement with local communities and external stakeholders, the Tourism Research Centre seeks to support good practice in the development of businesses, whilst avoiding environmental damage. We work with communities, both locally and internationally, to engage them in our research and contribute towards sustainable societies, where communities and tourists can exist in harmony.

    The Tourism Research Centre contributes significantly to the achievement of our Mission at The Business School: to deliver high quality education that connects knowledge and skills with industry-related, impactful research and innovation. We seek to aid collaborative, interdisciplinary working and enhance the range of available funding and research opportunities; for example, existing connections with the Mountain Biking Centre in the Scottish Borders will be extended in relation to external funding opportunities, and linking to events such as the Cycling World Championships in 2023, where the School of Applied Sciences already has established links to policy and impacts.

    Featured Report: January 2022

    Unlock & Revive: Involving People Living with Dementia in Online Cultural and Heritage Events

    Study a research degree

    Find out more about studying for a research degree, such as a PhD or DBA. Our research degrees page tells you more about the research degrees we offer, fees, how to apply, and the funding and support you can access.