Strategic investment in research at CSU over many years has established   research concentrations that reflect a mix of traditional strengths in working with industry end-users (agriculture, food, water), collaboration with other quality institutions (applied ethics, theology), and strategic alignment with key professions (health, education and IT). These foci were apparent in the national  Excellence in Research for Australia assessment (ERA2010) results, where CSU research was ranked at world standard or better in the broad Fields of Research 03 Chemical Sciences, 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences, 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences and 13 Education, as well as in the narrow fields of 0301 Analytical Chemistry, 0502 Environmental Science and Management,  0607 Plant Biology, 0703 Crop and Pasture Production, 1301 Education Systems, 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1506 Tourism, 2201 Applied Ethics, 2203 Philosophy.

The 2011-2015 CSU Research Plan builds on these foundations and emphasises the continuing need for focus, coupled to investing in capacity building that will lead to increased overall performance.  The University commits to establishing itself as an internationally recognised teaching and research university, creating new knowledge and practice.

CSU will continue to achieve international recognition for its research addressing key challenges faced by the regions and the global society. CSU’s emphasis on strategic and problem-based research will continue to produce outcomes published in high-quality academic publications. The impact of the research outcomes will be evidenced through advances in the disciplines, the changing practices of those implementing the solutions, and improvements in the quality of life, economic viability, agricultural production and the environment of the national and international constituencies CSU serves.

The research profile will focus strengths in areas that are world class or better and which:

Research at CSU will produce new knowledge and practice through research that:

CSU will enhance research culture that:

CSU has established designated Research Centres representing concentrations of research expertise that align with CSUs mission. Within each Centre, research activities are arranged around a number of theme areas under which collaboration and interdisciplinary research is encouraged.  In addition, CSU leads one federally funded Collaborative Research Network and is a key partner in a second, in addition to being active collaborators in a range of national Cooperative Research Centres.   


Research Centres Accredited by the Australian Research Council (ARC)

Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics

The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics constitutes the largest concentration of philosophers working on applied philosophy and public ethics in Australia, and one of the largest such concentrations internationally. The   Centre is an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre that brings together the strengths of Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne Core research areas are in technologies, poverty, health, ecology, the economy and security.

Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security was established in 2007 and aims to boost policing and security research capacity in Australia, drive local and global policy and practice amid the growing complexity and internationalisation of transnational crime in the post 9/11 environment.

CEPS is a complex research enterprise consisting of multiple, collaborating researchers and university and partner organisations.   CEPS also aims to play a key role in developing the next generation of policing and security scholars.  The Centre provides research and training opportunities and facilitates multiple opportunities to engage with industry and practitioner environments.


Centres of Research Excellence Accredited by the CSU Council

Institute for Land, Water and Society

The Institute is an internationally recognised provider of integrated research that contributes to enhanced social and environmental sustainability in rural and regional areas. The Institute combines the expertise of over 200 environmental scientists, social researchers, economists, and PhD students to address critical sustainability issues mainly in inland Australia but also overseas. The Institute’s research is focused on key Strategic Research Areas where its research expertise, breadth of knowledge and interest allows its researchers to tackle challenges faced by rural and regional communities.  Research themes cover a range of topics including biodiversity, climate change, energy use, natural resource management, sustainable water use, regional development, rural social issues, Indigenous business and cultural heritage.

EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

The Centre is developing new technologies for profitable and sustainable agricultural systems through integrated and collaborative research, development, extension and training. The Centre has strong collaborative links with grower groups and advisers to ensure that key industry problems in the grains and livestock industries are addressed, speeding up the delivery of new information to land managers. The Centre undertakes systems integration and multi-disciplinary research in mixed farming systems to ensure resilient rural landscapes and communities.

Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education

The Centre focuses on understanding and developing professional practice in a range of professions including education, occupational therapy, speech pathology, nursing, accountancy, management and other professions. Researchers are working on problems including attracting and retaining professionals in rural and regional Australia and responding to increased diversity in the professions through initial and continuing education and research.


Strategic Research Centres Accredited by the CSU Council

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre undertakes and integrates  scientific research with education and extension to the promote the sustainability of grape and wine production across regional Australia. The NWGIC is a CSU alliance with NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Wine Industry Association. Its key research themes represent the areas identified by the Australian wine industry in its analysis of research and development needs.

Centre for Public and Contextual Theology

This research group breaks new ground in the theological scene in Australia. Traditionally, theology has been undertaken within an ecclesiastical environment, which can narrow its scope and not account for wider contexts. The focus of this group is the concern for questions and issues relevant in contemporary society, placed within the Australian setting, itself within the broader Asia-Pacific region and indeed beyond. Public theology needs be concerned with the engagement, via dialogue, of faith tradition with wider social and intellectual concerns of the day. Contextual theology in Australia , within the wider Asia-Pacific region, must take account of our pluralist, multicultural society, in order to remain relevant to our diverse population, across the scope of our wide land and beyond. The context created by Aboriginal settlement, colonisation and progress to nationhood provides a perspective which influences the various strands of theology, to provide a unique resource for the tasks of theology today.

Faculty Research Centres   

Centre for Inland Health

The Centre for Inland Health conducts research on health issues for people living in rural and regional communities. Health services research, a key aspect of the work of Centre, involves researchers working in collaboration with health organisations to undertake research into the planning, delivery and evaluation of health services. The centre also undertakes research into factors influencing the health of people in rural and regional communities with an aim to support communities to improve their health and wellbeing.

Centre for Research in Complex Systems

The Centre for Research in Complex Systems carries out world-class research in complex systems theory and applications in socio-economic systems, business and human cognition. The many projects in the group cover a range of themes, from fundamental analysis of cellular automata and agent based modelling to virtual environments.  CRiCS has a 3D visualisation lab, a computer vision and a mining and robotics lab and supports around 20 PhD students.


Collaborative Research Networks (CRN)

Excellence in research in Early Years Education CRN

Early childhood is a critical period in human development.  Early Years Education (EYE) has life-long impacts on wellbeing, learning and socioeconomic outcomes.  A Collaborative Research Network lead by CSU with partners Queensland University of Technology and Monash University has been established to create one of the largest networks of research-productive EYE academics in the world.  This structured collaboration delivers world-class research capacity and enables the development of the next generation of international level researchers.  The CRN makes possible landmark research on critical areas of childhood learning, establishing a cumulative base of knowledge to drive Australian and international policy and programs. 

Murray-Darling Basin Futures CRN

The Murray-Darling Basin Futures CRN is collaboration between research leaders across four Australian universities and in partnership with key government agencies. This initiative is lead by the University of Canberra in partnership with the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University, the University of Southern Queensland and is supported by partner organisations and government departments: CSIRO, ABARES, MDBA, NWC, SEWPAC, DCCEE, DRARDLG and DAFF. The CRN is delivering a multi-disciplinary research program which spans environmental science, social and economic modelling, public policy, public health and urban and regional planning. The MDBF CRN research is focused around core themes, which help with the critical task of building resilience in the Murray-Darling Basin.


Cooperative Research Centres

Cooperative Research Centre for Future Farm Industries

The Centre is a unique co-investment between meat, grains and wool industry research corporations, the Landmark agribusiness company, and the combined research power of CSIRO, six state agencies and four universities, including Charles Sturt University. The aim of the CRC is to transform agricultural systems across southern Australia by developing Profitable Perennials™, and applying perennial plant technologies to innovative farming systems that increase productivity of existing livestock and grain industries, develop new regional industries through investment, reduce the risk of natural resource degradation, including dryland salinity, and improve conservation of biodiversity and water resources.

Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Biosecurity

The Plant Biosecurity CRC’s vision is to be a world leader in the generation, development and delivery of plant biosecurity science and education. The mission is to provide leadership in the development, execution and delivery of plant biosecurity research to safeguard Australia's plant industries, ensure food security for Australian consumers, and improve market access for agricultural exporters.  CSU is a supporting participant in the CRC.

Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork

Charles Sturt University is a supporting participant in the Pork CRC. The Centre aims to enhance the international competitiveness of the Australian pork industry by providing and adopting new and novel technologies that reduce feed costs, improve herd feed conversion efficiency and increase the range and functionality of pork products. The Centre is focussed on breakthroughs in pig and plant biology to advance knowledge and facilitate the development of technological innovations for the pork industry.

Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre

The Cotton Catchment Communities CRC’s mission is to undertake collaborative research, education and commercialisation activities to provide innovative knowledge that is adopted for the benefit of the Australian Cotton Industry, Regional Communities and the Nation.   CSU is an affiliate institution in the CRC.