It is claimed that by providing a sustainable environment, a university’s research profile can be enhanced. Questions then arise about how universities define sustainability, what criteria are used to judge sustainable quality in research, and how a university can maintain sustainable research quality? This paper places emphasis on sustainable quality of research from the perspective of knowledge sharing. It is argued that effective sharing of knowledge among academics could lead to improved university research performance. It is most important that universities establish credible leadership influences on knowledge sharing. We apply Beer’s Viable System Model to identify those domains of research leadership and knowledge sharing that are necessary for an institution to maintain sustainable quality in research. This paper considers examples of research-knowledge sharing in U.K. research communities, and explores a positive relationship between research leadership and research-knowledge sharing.