Research Themes and Clusters

Thematic priorities 

UNE is dedicated to identifying and delivering innovations of value to society and industry, in Australia and internationally, with a particular emphasis on inter-disciplinary research. We seek solutions to complex problems in rural and regional Australia. Our research involves interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaborations and is underpinned by five thematic research priorities:

  • Australia's future food and water security: smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies
  • Health and wellbeing in rural communities: social exclusion, health inequity, mental health, social policy
  • Our communities, our neighbours: regional and rural development, sustainability, prosperity and peace
  • Our past, present and future: documentation, protection and promotion of cultural heritage, history, memory and identity in Australia and internationally.

Research clusters

Agricultural Sciences

Agricultural landscape 

As a multi-disciplinary field, Agricultural Science research at UNE encompasses areas including Agronomy, Biological Science, Agricultural productivity, Law, Economics, and Social Sciences.

UNE's SMART Farm serves as a test-site for researching new technologies, including broadband connectivity in an effort to improve productivity, environmental sustainability, safety, workflow and social/business support networks on Australian farms.

Thematic priorities

  • Australia's future food and water security; smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies
  • Our communities, our neighbours: regional and rural development, sustainability, prosperity and peace.

Current activities

Biological Sciences

UNE's research into Biological Science integrates interdisciplinary projects within the fields of biology, bio-ethics, zoology, micro organisms, plant and human fields of science.

Thematic priorities

  • Australia's future food and water security: smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies.

Current activities

Earth Sciences

Environmental science research 

UNE researchers are conducting multi-disciplinary research into the sciences that include investigations in soil study, geochemistry and climate change.

Thematic priorities

  • Australia's future food and water security; smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability; protecting biodiversity, effective policies.

Current activities

Education and Human Society

Regional & Rural Innovations

Education and humanities research

UNE's interdisciplinary research into Education explores innovative ways of teaching with a focus on online communication technologies. Our objective is to enable the up-skilling of people from a broad range of backgrounds. Our researchers collaborate with national and international colleagues.

Thematic priorities

  • Australia's future food and water security: smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies
  • Health and wellbeing in rural communities: social exclusion, health inequity, mental health, social policy
  • Our past, present and future; Australia's regional history, regional memory, regional identity; protection and promotion of cultural heritage
  • Our communities, our neighbours; regional and rural development, sustainability, prosperity and peace.

Current activities

Environmental Sciences

Environmental science research 

Our Environmental Science research focuses on diversity and fosters partnerships with agencies, businesses and community groups.

Thematic priorities

  • Australia's future food and water security: smart science, smart technology
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies
  • Health and wellbeing in rural communities: social exclusion, health inequity, mental health, social policy.

Current activities

Humanities and Creative Arts

UNE researchers are exploring our cultural heritage with focus on the following:

  • Australia's regional history; memory and identity; promotion and protection of cultural heritage
  • Contemporary Australian literature, theatre and performance; twentieth century Australian literature, theatre and performance; writing for television; British modernism.

Thematic priorities

Our communities, our neighbours: international, national, regional and rural development, cultural capital, sustainability, prosperity and peace.

See more about our Humanities and Creative Arts research.

Mathematical and Computational Sciences

UNE researchers are developing theoretical techniques through analytical, topological and algebraic tools and applying the results to seek solutions to problems arising from a wide range of areas including — geometry and natural sciences (biology, chemistry, ecology, physics and rural sciences). 

Thematic priority

  • Climate change and environmental sustainability: protecting biodiversity, effective policies
  • Our communities, our neighbours: regional and rural development, sustainability, prosperity and peace.

Current activities

Medical and Health Sciences

Medical and health researchers

Our interdisciplinary health and medical research represents a range of disciplines: biomedical sciences; stress and depression; social work; mental health; clinical and health psychology.

Thematic priorities

  • Health and wellbeing in rural communities: social exclusion, health inequity, mental health, social policy
  • Our communities, our neighbours: regional and rural development, sustainability, prosperity and peace.

Current research priorities