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Research Strategy 2018

Our aim to become the world's most research-informed science museum group.


The Science Museum Group (SMG) aimed to become the world’s most research-informed science museum group by 2022. In this page from 2018, find out how it planned to do so by building on core strengths (such as the history and material culture of science, technology, engineering, medicine and the media) while developing expertise in international collaboration, digital innovation and audience experience.



What SMG will do

Achieving this aim is a shared responsibility across SMG, in which the Research Department takes a key role. The department will explicitly become a service department to the Group, supporting research of all kinds and levels with SMG professional groups. Through collaboration, we will enhance research in digital, conservation science, learning and audiences as well as collections and history.

Because research will function across the Group, it will contribute to the creation of a truly coherent and integrated group of museums, in the spirit of One Collection. [1]

To ensure close integration with the museums’ programmes, SMG managers responsible for new cultural programming (including galleries and exhibitions) will hold early discussions with the SMG Research Department to ensure that, where appropriate, research funding applications can be developed in a timely fashion.

Across SMG, managers will support staff in the development of research skills and ambitions, including selective support for study for master’s degrees and doctorates as forms of continuing professional development.

What SMG will do cont'd

What the SMG research department is doing

Over five years, the SMG Research Department has developed a set of research practices that provide the experience and skills to enable greater research activity across all SMG sites:

What the dept is doing cont'd


[1] One Collection is our cross-SMG single-collection ethos, overseen by the collections services department, under which we are shifting towards common collection processes and practices. This is linked to our major collection move to the National Collections Centre at Wroughton and the digitisation strategy.