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 results, where in 2012 CSU research was ranked at world standard or better in the broad Fields of Research 05 Environmental Sciences, 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, 13 Education and 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies;  as well as in the narrow fields of 0502 Environmental Science and Management,  0607 Plant Biology, 0702 Animal Production, 1301 Education Systems, 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1303 Specialist Studies in Education, 1602 Criminology, 2201 Applied Ethics and 2203 Philosophy.

The 2013-2015 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.

Objectives for research at CSU include:

CSU has established designated Research Centres representing concentrations of research expertise that align with CSU’s 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 CSU Council

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.

The Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

The Centre has established itself as a Centre of Excellence for mixed farming research. The Graham Centre is an alliance between CSU and NSW DPI, and integrates the research undertaken by both organisations, thereby increasing the productivity of agricultural industries, whilst reducing the risks of natural resource degradation and addressing the challenges of climate change, creating efficient and profitable food and fibre production, biosecurity and the skills shortage. Capacity building, students (under and post-graduate), extension and post-doctorate researchers are an integral part of the Centre. The Centre’s location and close linkages with farmers and industry ensures strong collaboration and agricultural innovation that underpins the viability and profitability of our agricultural systems.

Institute for Land, Water and Society

The Institute has established a substantial research capacity and commitment to partnership building to support community, industry and government efforts to safeguard our biodiversity, land and water assets, and to ensure a dynamic and sustainable future for our region communities. An internationally recognised provider of integrated research, it  combines the expertise of over 200 environmental scientists, social researchers, economists, and post-graduate students to address critical sustainability issues mainly in inland Australia, and in particular the Murray- Darling Basin,  but also in other countries. The Institute’s research is focused on key Strategic Research Areas covering a range of topics including climate change adaptation, environmental justice and governance, natural resource management, woody regrowth, sustainable water use, improving livelihoods and environments, regional business development and biodiversity.

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre

The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) undertakes and integrates scientific research with education and extension to promote the sustainability and profitability 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. The Centre’s key research themes represent the areas identified by the Australian wine industry in its analysis of research and development needs.

Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education

The Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education is a multi-disciplinary research centre that conducts high-quality applied research and consultation in the field of professional practice and implications for professional learning and education.
Through its research and development work, the Institute enhances practice in a range of professions and fields including education and health by influencing practice and practice education.

Faculty Research Centres   

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 cover a range of themes, from fundamental analysis of cellular automata and agent based modelling to virtual environments and computer games.

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 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. CSU’s focus will be on the development of novel feeding strategies to boost the growth performance of piglets through to weaning.