How the Research Hub will benefit all staff and students


Progress on the University’s Campus Development Programme is perhaps most evident in the impressive James McCune Smith Learning Hub on University Avenue, which is rapidly approaching completion.

However, on the Western site great strides are also being made on the second major building, the Research Hub, due for completion in Summer 2021.

Now over a year into the construction, the scale of the building is clear, standing at six floors high.  When complete, it will be a unique, state-of-the-art facility bringing people together from across the campus in an entirely different way.

The Research Hub is a new kind of building, designed to transform our research culture by bringing researchers from different disciplines together to foster new collaborations and inspire new challenge-led projects.

Alongside delivering excellent research and impact, it will be a dynamic and diverse heart of the new Western campus, providing quality and hi-tech facilities and spaces for use by the wider University community.

Level Two will be open to the general public, providing café facilities and exhibitions to encourage public engagement with research and embed the building within the wider cultural quarter of the city.

Facilities offered by the Research Hub will include:

Virtual/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) Lab

The Research Hub will house one of the largest VR/AR suites in the UK. The layout will be customisable, comprising either three modules of 6x6m, or larger modules of 6x12m, or 6x18m.

Capable of accommodating up to 30 people, and with provision to feed video into meeting rooms or adjacent public areas, it will be a unique facility on the campus to advance understanding about how VR can be incorporated into research and teaching activities.

Post-Graduate Researcher Area

The Research Hub will add to the University’s provision for PGR students with fifty workstations. The PGR area will have a focus on supporting cohort-based research activities as well as individual researchers.

Student Enterprise space

While the University’s Innovation Zone is under development, the Research Hub will provide an initial location with dedicated advisors for Glasgow’s 20-30 annual start-up student enterprises to develop their ideas and build an entrepreneurial community.  

Multi-use space

With room for approximately 30 people to move and interact, this space is a flexible and interpretive area for use in activities, exhibitions and creative practice.

It will accommodate various kinds of research practice not suited to ‘cleaner’ lab or meeting room settings, as well as providing a space tailored for outreach activities.

Maker Lab

The Maker Lab will provide access to equipment necessary to bring ideas to life, supporting activities such as design, development and light prototyping of products.

It will be targeted towards those who have ideas which require development, and those with skills to share. It echoes the holistic aim of the Research Hub, to bring together people from different backgrounds and expertises, from junior researchers to senior academics, to share insights and work together.

Seminar & Meeting Rooms

The Research Hub will provide a step change in the collaboration spaces available to researchers on campus, with around fifty bookable seminar and meeting rooms across the building.  Meeting rooms range from small 2-3 person spaces up to boardroom size and include long-booking project rooms intended to be used during preparation of large collaborative research proposals or when working with external partners.

The Level Two seminar rooms will be particularly aimed at public events and to host international speakers and academic conferences, helping to strengthen our international research partnerships and reputation. This floor houses eight formal meeting spaces of various sizes including a large seminar room with seating for 140 people, sub-dividable into two spaces of 70 and including large screens and AV/IT facilities. There will also be a smaller seminar room with 60 seats, which can be subdivided into two 30-seater rooms, in addition to informal seating and smaller breakout spaces.  In addition to the Café, Level Two will have a separate kitchen to support light catered events.

Atrium and Exhibition Space

The centrepiece of the building is its large, full height atrium together with a public exhibition space.  These areas will showcase the University’s research and provide facilities to accompany events and conferences taking place in the large seminar rooms.

Please see the Level 2 floor plan for more information on the location of spaces.

First published: 4 November 2019