Our work on Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

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Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 3.


Using AI to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges

A Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Manchester has been working with an international team of colleagues to create a pioneering research platform called ‘Virtual Labs’, which uses autonomous AI to retrieve and share relevant knowledge with research teams around the world who are now in a race to mitigate the impact of climate change. The technology will also help fast-track new research and innovation to support breakthroughs in diverse areas of study, from the development of new advanced materials to the design of new drugs.

Innovative solutions to GM public food procurement

A researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute has co-published a report entitled ‘Being Brave: Innovative Solutions to Public Food Procurement.’ The report highlights how to improve food systems and the resilience of food procurement while also reducing its impact on the climate. The report also finds that there is a pressing need to improve school food provision and that adopting a more sustainable approach to school meals could facilitate substantial benefits in children’s nutrition and health, as well as reduced carbon emissions.


Learning and students

DentMan conference

We have an annual, student-led DentMan conference which seeks to encourage students in dentistry to explore our pioneering humanising dentistry concept and give them freedom and space to engage with the community and the wider global society through outreach and volunteering programmes. It also provides a platform for dental students to demonstrate and recognise how they have made a difference to dental health inequalities across Greater Manchester and beyond. In recent years, the conference has reached a global audience, with over 200 staff, students, and oral healthcare professionals from both the University of Manchester and University of Ghana in attendance.

Student Volunteering Week

Each year our University organises the Student Volunteering Week which aims to encourage students to take part in various volunteering opportunities to help society and the environment. For example, in 2022, students took part in ‘cleaning and greening’ the Fallowfield Brow area which elevated the space for local wildlife and residents.


Public engagement

Cultural venues and nature

The Whitworth created the UK’s first dedicated post of Cultural Park Keeper.

This has led to the creation of a Natural and Cultural Health Service programme of outdoor activities to raise awareness, educate and inspire our diverse visitors to connect with and protect life in our park.

At Jodrell Bank we work with community and voluntary groups, including the RSPB and the Cheshire Beekeepers Association, to protect and enhance our natural environment.

UK rivers and microplastics

Life below water, in rivers and at sea, is threatened by waste flowing from urban river channels into the oceans.

We’ve been highlighting the effect of microplastics – very small pieces of plastic debris including microbeads, microfibres and plastic fragments – on river systems and marine life through a range of pro-active media coverage, engagement with water companies and input into UK legislation on water management.



Making a Difference Awards

Each year, we host the Making a Difference Awards to celebrate the incredible and inspiring work of our University community. The awards highlight the extensive range of social responsibility initiatives of our staff, students, alumni and external partners, and covers categories such as benefit to research; widening participation; environmental sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Health Inequalities

Policy@Manchester is our University’s policy engagement institute that connects researchers with policymakers and influencers, nurtures long-term policy engagement relationships and seeks to enhance stakeholder understanding of pressing policy challenges. One of the institutes online collections, Health Inequalities draws on research from across the University, and offers evidence-led insight and policy recommendations on the causes, effects, and solutions to heath inequalities.