Research into the relationship between research and teaching in higher education has flourished over several decades, and the most recent research phase has focused particularly on how the research-teaching nexus can enhance the quality and outcomes of the learning experience for both students and academics. On the basis of bibliographic review, this article concludes that progress in answering the fundamental questions posed by researchers in the early 1990s and earlier has been limited. Diverse practice has been categorised, shared and evaluated against broad criteria, while questions about the inherent nature and value of the nexus in higher education remain as yet unanswered within the research theme and within the broader consideration of higher education policy and practice. Recent research provides an enriched evidence base on which earlier questions of principle and policy might usefully be reconsidered.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Altbach, P. (2013). Advancing the national and global knowledge economy: The role of research universities in developing countries. Studies in Higher Education, 38(3), 316–330.
Bamber, V., Trowler, P., Saunders, M., & Knight, P. (2009). Enhancing learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum in higher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Barnett, R. (1992). Linking teaching and research: A critical enquiry. Journal of Higher Education, 63(6), 619–636.
Barnett, R. (2000). Realising the university in an age of supercomplexity. Buckingham: SRHE Press/Open University Press.
Barnett, R. (2005). Re-shaping the university: New relationships between research, scholarship and teaching. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill.
Barnett, R., & Coate, K. (2005). Engaging the curriculum in higher education. Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press.
Barrie, S. (2004). A research-based approach to generic graduate attributes policy. Higher Education Research and Development, 23(3), 261–275.
Baxter Magolda, M. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students’ intellectual development. New York: International Publishing Group.
Bazeley, P. (2010). Conceptualising research performance. Studies in Higher Education, 35(8), 889–903.
Bennett, D., Wright, D., & Blom, D. (2010). The artistic practice-research-teaching (ART) nexus: Translating the information flow. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 7(2), 3.
Biggs, J. (1999). Teaching for quality learning at university. Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press.
Biggs, J., & Tariq, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does (4th ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Blackmore, P., & Kandiko, C. (2012). Strategic curriculum change: Global trends. London: Routledge.
Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities for the professoriate. Princeton NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, University of Princeton.
Braxton, J., & Hargens, L. (1996). Variation Among Academic Disciplines: Analytical Frameworks and Research. In C. Smart (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. XI, pp. 1–46). New York: Agathon Press.
Breen, R., & Lindsay, R. (1999). Academic research and student motivation. Studies in Higher Education, 24(1), 75–93.
Brew, A. (2003). Teaching and research: New relationships and their implications for inquiry-based teaching and learning in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 22(1), 3–18.
Brew, A. (2006a). Research and teaching: Beyond the divide. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Brew, A. (2006b). Learning to develop the relationship between research and teaching at an institutional level. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 107, 13–22.
Brew, A. (2010). Imperatives and challenges in integrating teaching and research. Higher Education Research and Development, 29(2), 139–150.
Brew, A., & Boud, D. (1995). Teaching and research: Establishing the vital link with learning. Higher Education, 29(3), 261–273.
Buckley, C. (2011). Student and staff perceptions of the research-teaching nexus. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 48(3), 313–322.
Centra, J. (1983). Research productivity and teaching effectiveness. Research in Higher Education, 18(4), 379–390.
Clark, B. R. (1997). The modern integration of research activities with teaching and learning. Journal of Higher Education, 68(3), 241–255.
Colbeck, C. (1998). Merging in a seamless blend. The Journal of Higher Education, 69(6), 647–671.
Cuthbert, D., Arunachalam, D., & Licina, D. (2012). It feels more important than other classes I have done: An “authentic” undergraduate research experience in sociology. Studies in Higher Education, 37(2), 129–142.
Delanty, G. (1998). The idea of a university in the global era: From knowledge as an end to the end of knowledge? Social Epistemology, 2(1), 3–25.
Elton, L. (1992). Research, teaching and scholarship in an expanding higher education system. Higher Education Quarterly, 46(3), 252–268.
Elton, L. (2001). Research and teaching: Conditions for a positive link. Teaching in Higher Education, 6(1), 43–56.
Elton, L. (2005). Scholarship and the research and teaching nexus. In R. Barnett (Ed.), Reshaping the university: New relationships between research, scholarship and teaching (pp. 108–118). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Elton, L. (2006). The nature of effective or exemplary teaching in an environment that emphasises strong research and teaching links. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 107, 35–43.
Fanghanel, J. (2012). Being an academic. London: Routledge.
Feldman, K. (1987). Research productivity and scholarly accomplishment of college teachers as related to their instructional effectiveness: A review and exploration. Research in Higher Education, 26(3), 227–298.
Fox, M. F. (1992). Research, teaching and publication productivity: Mutuality versus competition in academia. Sociology of Education, 65(4), 293–305.
Galbraith, C., & Merrill, G. (2012). Faculty research productivity and standardised student learning outcomes in a University teaching environment: A Bayesian analysis of relationships. Studies in Higher Education, 37(4), 469–480.
Gellert, C. (1990). Academic enquiry and advanced training, international perspectives of a changing paradigm. In C. Gellert, E. Leitner, & J. Schramm (Eds.), Research and teaching at universities: International and comparative perspectives (pp. 28–64). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research-teaching nexus: The case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education, 29(6), 709–726.
Halse, C., Deane, E., Hobson, J., & Jones, G. (2007). The research-teaching nexus: What do national teaching awards tell us? Studies in Higher Education, 32(6), 727–746.
Harland, T. (2012). University teaching: An introductory guide. London: Routledge.
Harland, T., & Pickering, N. (2011). Values in higher education. London: Routledge.
Hattie, J., & Marsh, H. W. (1996). The relationship between research and teaching: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 66(4), 507–542.
Hazelkorn, E. (2005). Institutional mission vs policy constraint?: Unlocking potential. Higher Education Management and Policy, 17(2), 43–60.
Hazelkorn, E. (2011). Rankings and the reshaping of higher education: The battle for world-class excellence. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Healey, M. (2005). Linking research and teaching to benefit student learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(2), 183–201.
Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2006). Strengthening the teaching-research linkage in undergraduate courses and programs. New Directions For Teaching And Learning, 107, 45–55.
HEFCE. (1997). The impact of the 1992 research assessment exercise on higher education institutions in England: Report M6/97. London: Higher Education Funding Council for England.
HEFCE (2011). Summative evaluation of the CETL programme: Final report by SQW to HEFCE and DEL. www.hefce.ac.uk/media/hefce/content/pubs/indirreports/2011/re1111evalofcetl/rd11_11.pdf. Accessed 25 May 2013.
Holbrook, N., & Devonshire, E. (2005). Simulating scientific thinking online: An example of research-led teaching. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(3), 201–213.
Hughes, M. (2005). The mythology of research and teaching relationships in universities. In R. Barnett (Ed.), Reshaping the university: New relationships between research, scholarship and teaching (pp. 14–26). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Hunter, A., Laursen, S., & Seymour, E. (2006). Becoming a scientist: The role of undergraduate research in students’ cognitive, personal, and professional development. Science Education, 10(1), 36–74.
Jenkins, A. (2004). Guide to the research evidence on teaching-research relations. York: The Higher Education Academy.
Jenkins, A. (2009). Research-teaching linkages: Enhancing graduate attributes. Overview: The aims, achievements and challenges from the enhancement theme.. Mansfield: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Jenkins, A., Blackman, T., Lindsay, R., & Paton-Salzburg, R. (1998). Teaching and research: Student perceptions and policy implications. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2), 127–141.
Jenkins, A., Breen, R., & Lindsay, R. (2003). Reshaping teaching in higher education: Linking teaching with research. Oxford: Routledge.
Jensen, J.-J. (1988). Research and teaching in the Universities of Denmark: Does such an interplay really exist? Higher Education, 17(1), 17–26.
Karagiannis, S. (2009). The conflicts between science research and teaching in higher education: An academic’s perspective. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21(1), 75–83.
Katkin, W. (2003). The boyer commission report and its impact on undergraduate research. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 93, 19–38.
Krause, K., Arkoudis, S., James, R., McCulloch, R., Jennings, C & Green, A. (2008). The academic’s and policy-maker’s guides to the teaching-research nexus: A suite of resources for enhancing reflective practice. www.trnexus.edu.au Accessed 2 June 2013.
Kreber, C. (2006). Exploring research-based teaching. New directions for teaching and learning, 107. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Kyvik, S. (2013). The academic researcher role: Enhancing expectations and improved performance. Higher Education, 65(4), 525–538.
Lambert, C., Parker, A., & Neary, M. (2007). Entrepreneurialism and critical pedagogy: Reinventing the higher Education curriculum. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(4), 525–537.
Land, R. (2008). Research-teaching linkages: Enhancing graduate attributes. Sector-wide discussions, volume 1. Mansfield: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Locke, W. (2004). Integrating research and teaching strategies: Implications for institutional management and leadership in the United Kingdom. Higher Education Management and Policy, 16(3), 101–120.
Mariken, E., Visser-Wijnveen, G., Vvan der Rijst, R., & van Driel, J. (2009). How to strengthen the connection between research and teaching in undergraduate university education. Higher Education Quarterly, 63(1), 64–85.
Mayson, S., & Schapper, J. (2012). Constructing teaching and research relations from the top: An analysis of senior manager discourses on research-led teaching. Higher Education, 64(4), 473–488.
Mclean, M., & Barker, H. (2004). Students making progress and the ‘research-teaching nexus’ debate. Teaching in Higher Education, 9(4), 407–419.
Moses, I. (1990). Teaching, research and scholarship in different disciplines. Higher Education, 19(3), 351–375.
Neary, M., & Winn, J. (2009). The student as producer: Reinventing the student experience in higher education. In L. Bell, H. Stevenson, & M. Neary (Eds.), The future of higher education: Policy, pedagogy and the student experience (pp. 126–138). New York: Continuum.
Neave, G. (2006). On time and fragmentation: Sundry observations on research, the university and politics from a waveringly historical perspective. In G. Neave, K. Blückert & T. Nybom (Eds.), The European research university: An historical parenthesis (pp. 63–76). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Neumann, R. (1992). Perceptions of the teaching-research nexus: A framework for analysis. Higher Education, 23(2), 159–171.
Neumann, R. (1994). The teaching-research nexus: Applying a framework to university students’ learning experiences. European Journal of Education, 29(3), 323–338.
Newby, H. (2008). The challenge to European Universities in the emerging global marketplace. In L. Weber & J. Duderstadt (Eds.), The globalization of higher education.. London: Economica.
O’Rourke, K., Goldring, L., & Goldring, L. (2011). Students as essential partners. In T. Barrett & S. Moore (Eds.), New approaches to problem-based learning: Revitalizing your practice in higher education (pp. 50–62). New York: Routledge.
Ottinga, H., Zwaal, W., Tempelaar, D., & Gijselaers, W. (2010). The structural relationship between students’ epistemological beliefs and conceptions of teaching and learning. Studies in Higher Education, 35(7), 741–760.
Page, C. F. (1972). Teaching and research: Happy symbiosis or hidden warfare? Universities Quarterly, 27, 102–118.
Pelikan, J. (1992). The idea of a university: A reexamination. Yale: Yale University.
Prosser, M., Martin, E., Trigwell, K., Ramsden, P., & Lueckenhausen, G. (2005). Academics’ experiences of understanding of their subject matter and the relationship of this to their experiences of teaching and learning. Instructional Science, 33(2), 137–157.
Prosser, M., Martin, E., Trigwell, K., Ramsden, P., & Middleton, H. (2008). University academics’ experience of research and its relationship to their experience of teaching. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 36(1), 3–16.
Prosser, M., & Trigwell, K. (1999). Understanding learning and teaching: The experience in higher education. Maidenhead: SRHE/Open University Press.
Ramsden, P., & Moses, I. (1992). Associations between research and teaching in Australian higher education. Higher Education, 23(3), 273–295.
Robertson, J., & Blackler, G. (2006). Students’ experiences of learning in a research environment. Higher Education Research and Development, 25(3), 215–229.
Robertson, J., & Bond, C. (2005a). The research/teaching relation: A view from the edge. Higher Education, 50(3), 509–535.
Robertson, J., & Bond, C. (2005b). Being in the university. In R. Barnett (Ed.), Reshaping the university: New relationships between research, scholarship and teaching (pp. 79–91). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.
Rostan, M., & Vaira, M. (2011). Structuring the field of excellence: A comparatve view on policies, actors, interests and conflicts in four european countries. In M. Rostan & M. Vaira (Eds.), Questioning excellence in higher education: Policies, experiences and challenges in national and comparative perspective. (pp. 57–74). Rotterdam: Sense.
Rowe, C., & Okell, E. (2009). The `research − teaching nexus’ and the learning − teaching relationship: Who’s in charge? Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 8(2), 180–190.
Sayer, A. (1992). Method in social science: A realist approach (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Scott, P. (1998). The globalisation of higher education. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Scott, P. (2006). The research revolution and its impact on the European university. In G. Neave, K. Blückert, & T. Nybom (Eds.), The European research university: An historical parenthesis? (pp. 129–144). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Simons, M., & Ellen, J. (2007). The ‘research–teaching nexus’ and ‘education through research’: An exploration of ambivalences. Studies in Higher Education, 32(5), 617–633.
Smeby, J. (1998). Knowledge production and knowledge transmission: The interaction between research and teaching at universities. Teaching in Higher Education, 3(1), 5–20.
Smith, B., & Brown, S. (1995). Research, teaching and learning in higher education. London: Routledge.
Smith, E., & Smith, A. (2012). Buying out teaching for research: The views of academics and their managers. Higher Education, 63(4), 455–472.
Spronken-Smith, R., Angelo, T., Mattews, H., O’Steen, B., & Robertson, J. (2007). How effective is inquiry-based learning in linking teaching and research? Paper prepared for An International Colloquium on International Policies and Practices for Academic Enquiry, Marwell, Winchester, UK, April 19-21 2007.
Taylor, J. (2008). The teaching-research nexus and the importance of context: A comparative study of England and Sweden. Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, 38(1), 53–70.
Teather, D. (1999). Higher education in a post-binary era : National reforms and institutional responses. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Teichler, U., & Bürger, S. (2008). Student enrolments and graduation trends in the OECD area: What can we learn from international statistics? higher education to 2030 (Vol. 1). France: OECD Publishing.
Tennant, M., McMullen, C., & Kaczynski, D. (2010). Teaching, learning and research in higher education: A critical approach. London: Routledge.
Tight, M. (2012). Researching higher education (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
Trowler, P., & Wareham, T. (2008). Tribes, territories, research and teaching: Enhancing the teaching-research nexus. York: The Higher Education Academy.
Visser-Wijnveena, G., Van Driela, J., Roeland, M., Van der Rijsta, N., & Visser, A. (2010). The ideal research-teaching nexus in the eyes of academics: building profiles. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(2), 195–210.
Weisner, S. G. (1992). Research and teaching: Are they incompatible? Chronicle of Higher Education, June, p. B6.
Whiston, T. G., & Geiger, R. L. (1992). Research and higher education: The United Kingdom and the United States. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Zamorski, B. (2002). Research-led teaching and learning in higher education: A case. Teaching in Higher Education, 7(4), 411–427.
About this article
Cite this article
Malcolm, M. A critical evaluation of recent progress in understanding the role of the research-teaching link in higher education. High Educ 67, 289–301 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-013-9650-8
- Research-teaching link
- Research-informed teaching