In the challenge to create a better tomorrow, our research clusters are taking that commitment to the next level - for the community, the region and the planet.

Research at Southern Cross University

Researcher looking through microscope

Research for a better world

The protection of our planet in the future requires transformative research today. At Southern Cross University, our research impact clusters identify four areas of urgent need –  

Our researchers are already making an impact locally, regionally and globally. We believe these clusters will make that impact even greater – by optimising ideas, projects, facilities and resources; targeting existing and potential areas of need; and enabling interconnected and multidisciplinary relationships. 

They represent a targeted approach to a common goal – a better, safer, more sustainable world. 

There is a simple reason for the research we do at Southern Cross University – the future.

To protect and enhance that future, you will find our researchers hard at work in a multitude of settings. On our precious reefs, oceans and waterways. From the middle of the desert to the heart of the rainforest. On farms and in factories, in hospitals and health facilities, in the laboratory and the lecture theatre. From our local communities to the world.

Serving our region is at the core of our research agenda, but we are also delivering positive outcomes on climate change, biodiversity and mental health and resilience that have global impact.

With researchers on our campuses in Coffs Harbour, Lismore and the Gold Coast, we are working closely with partners, stakeholders, government, communities and other universities, in Australia and abroad.

Great research translates to better teaching, helping us to prepare future generations for wherever their careers may take them.

I am proud to lead Southern Cross University’s engaged and exciting research program and to celebrate those researchers working so diligently for a better, wiser and sustainable future.

Professor Mary Spongberg - Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Academic Capability)

Professor Mary Spongberg  
Deputy Vice Chancellor
(Research and Academic Capability)

World standard or above in 23 key research areas

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) (2018)

Top 200 Young Universities

Times Higher Education World University ranking (2022)

Top 350 Agriculture and Forestry

QS World University Rankings (2021)

Research impact clusters

At Southern Cross University, we are committed to producing a positive impact on our region and on the lives of people in our community. We do this through our interconnected and multidisciplinary research enabling clusters, in the following areas of impact:

National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine PHD student Nicole Hannan in science lab
Harvest to Health

We conduct fundamental and applied research to enhance the sustainable production of functional foods and natural products to assess their potential to optimise human health and reduce the risk of disease.

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Waste Management in the Circular Economy - image shows plastic waste in gloved hand

Bringing together research expertise in geochemistry, environmental science, engineering, business and education to develop solutions for our global waste problem.

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Coral at Lizard Island
Reefs and Oceans

Working with industry, government and communities, our Reefs and Oceans research is helping to leverage the ecological, environmental, economic, and cultural value of our precious marine environments. 

Launching soon

Coffs Harbour rocky beach
Catchments, Coasts and Communities

With deeper understanding of catchment processes and their response to environmental changes, we are driving new and critical strategies around land and water management. 

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Research Services

Accelerate your research with support services that make transformation possible.

researcher examining plastics in beaker
Research News

See the latest research news articles.

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Dr Couper Schouten holding bee frame
Our Researchers

Read, watch and be inspired by the stories of impact.

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Researcher Andrew Colefax working on drone
Graduate School

Study a PhD, Masters by Research or Professional Doctorate.