Research Institutes

The University has established a number of world-class research institutes in partnership with government and industry. The Institutes, comprising a research community of approximately 1200 staff and students, bring together worldleading researchers, supported by modern infrastructure and an innovative culture, to tackle State and National research priorities.

The Institutes

The University of Adelaide has established the Environment Institute to tackle some of the most serious environmental challenges facing Australia and the world. Research undertaken within the Institute delivers know-how and understanding that will underpin a step change improvement in the management of natural resources such as water, soil, land and native flora and fauna, particularly under changing climate and economic conditions.

The Institute brings together leading research groups at the University of Adelaide in the fields of science, engineering and economics relating to the management and use of natural resources and infrastructure.


Management of natural resources under changing climate and economic conditions.

Key Research Centres

  • Australian Centre for  Ancient DNA
  • Australian Centre for Evolutionary
  • Biology and Biodiversity
  • Water Research Centre
  • Marine Biology Program
  • Landscape Futures Program
  • Climate & Ecology


The Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER) is one of Australia’s first interdisciplinary research institutes specifically designed to address one of the biggest challenges facing Australia – to continue to grow the economically critical mineral and energy resources industries in a technically, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

IMER addresses the complex research challenges faced by the mineral and energy sectors by providing integrated research, education, professional development and consulting services across all aspects of the mineral and energy resources industries, from exploration through processing to international trade. The University of Adelaide is unique within Australia in having strong research and teaching groups in geology, petroleum engineering, mining engineering, petroleum and minerals, geoscience and geothermal energy and energy technologies.

Key Research Centres


The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS ) has been founded on the success of the Centre of Excellence in Photonics, a joint centre of the University of Adelaide and DSTO, and the recognition of the importance that new forms of Advanced  Sensing will play in the world.

IPAS brings together physicists, chemists and biologists to pursue a new transdisciplinary approach to science. The Institute is developing novel photonic, sensing and measurement technologies that will change the way science is done within traditional discipline areas, stimulating the creation of new industries, and inspiring a new generation of scientists to be engaged in solving real-world problems. IPAS research targets applications in four key market areas: defence and national security, environmental monitoring, preventative health, and food and wine with a key focus on Optical fibres, lasers, luminescence, surface chemistry, proteomics and virology.


The Robinson Institute brings together over 300 research staff and students and four leading research centres at the University of Adelaide.

By focusing on the earliest stages of life, the Robinson Institute is looking at preventing disease and promoting health in children and adults across generations. The Institute bridges the gap between research discoveries and medical practice, with many of the Institute’s senior researchers also being leading clinicians in their fields. This enables a strong translation of research discoveries which provides immeasurable benefits to society and for future generations.

In 2010, the University of Adelaide launched the Robinson Foundation to support the life-giving research of the Robinson Institute.

Key Research Centres

The Waite Research Institute brings together researchers from a range of disciplines including plant biology, genetics, soil sciences, agronomy and agricultural economics. Research undertaken with the Institute aims to find solutions to global problems including the challenge of ensuring global food security, and ensuring Australia’s agricultural, wine and food industries remain competitive by providing innovative research-led developments.


Plant and animal sciences, viticulture and oenology, agronomy, soil science and agricultural economics, food and nutrition.

Key Research Centres

  • Centre for Soil Plant Interactions
  • Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics
  • FOODplus

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