Research concentrations

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) is in a period of rapid research development and growth, building research productivity and output through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

Research at USC is currently focused on applied genetics in primary production and regional sustainability. 

Collaborative Research Networks (CRN)

In 2011 the University was awarded funding of A$5.4m from the Commonwealth for the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) USC Research Futures Project

CRN funding is designed to support research capacity building at USC through developing collaborative activities with leading researchers and groups at Griffith University and the University of Tasmania in the nominated research strength areas of:

  • Aquaculture
  • Water sciences
  • Sustainability
  • Forestry and forest sciences

CRN funds also support the work of the USC Centre for Leadership in Research Development (CLRD) with advisory input from Professor Paul Burnett, Dean of Research and Research Training, Queensland University of Technology.

Research centres

In keeping with its strategic research mission to build research capacity, the University announced the establishment of new research centres, clusters and themes in late 2012.

Lab workSustainability Research Centre

The reseach focus of the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) is on sustainable communities and sustainable environments. The SRC is committed to research that supports the transformation of society towards sustainability.

The Sustainability Research Centre is a research concentration within the broad range of academic fields and disciplines within the Faculty of Arts and Business.

GeneCology Research Centre

The GeneCology Research Centre operates in the areas of genetics, ecology, genomics and physiology. 

The Centre conducts research in the sustainable production of aquaculture, horticulture and forestry systems, biodiversity conservation and sustainable urban forestry and horticulture and forms one of the research areas of strength within the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.

Forestry operationsForest Industries Research Centre

The new Forest Industries Research Centre (FIRC) will focus on issues relating to the forestry value chain, that is the economic and environmental sustainability of forest industries. 

Research will concentrate on tropical and sub-tropical forestry and the processing of novel commercial species to support a strong value-added processing sector. 

Supporting this is the Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance (AFORA), recently established by USC to continue the collaborative forest supply chain research established by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Forestry.

Research clusters

A further three research clusters have also been established to begin in 2013:

Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster

Easing human suffering and the significant burden of health care costs is the aim of the Inflammation and Healing Research Cluster.

With a team of productive biomedical and public health researchers, the IHRC aims to investigate the molecular, immunological and physiological mechanisms underlying dysfunctional inflammatory responses leading to common chronic and autoimmune diseases.

These currently include asthma, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, arthritis, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.

Engage Research Cluster

The Engage Research Cluster researches and develops interactive technologies such as computer games, smartphones and tablet applications, social media and artworks, where users can become involved, informed and inspired to change the world.

Our team comprise academics from a variety of disciplines, including: mental health, positive psychology, nursing, public health, health promotion, social sciences, counselling, planning, art and design, information technology, game design, eduction, engineering, HR and business, and we build on technologies which are familiar to users such as social networking sites (eg Facebook and Youtube), computer games (eg re-purposed commercial games, in-house developed games and alternate reality scenarios), and smartphone and tablet applications.

We provide an exciting and rewarding research experience for HDR students early career researchers, research fellows and our collaborating partners. Our researchers develop the latest technologies and collaborate with world leaders in their discipline.

Cluster for Health Improvement

The research Cluster for Health Improvement (CHI) will provide a university-based translational health and performance research facility that has an explicit relationship with its major partner, the Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District (SCWBHSD).

Together, they will seek to foster and develop further relationships to services, industry and the community, including the Skills, Academic and Research Centre (SARC), due to begin in 2016 with the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Health Service. 

Research areas include health sustainability, nutrition, quality of life and wellbeing, health care continuum, health and the environment, and health care training and education.

Research themes

The University is developing research in the following emerging themes:

University of the Sunshine Coast Accident Research (USCAR)

Established in 2013, USCAR aims to develop a leading capability in accident and safety-related research with a core focus on understanding and enhancing system performance in order to improve safety and remove threats to public health.

Indigenous Studies Research Theme

Indigenous Studies Research Theme is the first research theme formally endorsed in the Sustainability Research Centre.

Indigenous Studies focuses on the cultures, histories, rights, interests, knowledges and perspectives of Indigenous peoples throughout the world. It also incorporates the intercultural spaces of colonialism, neocolonialism and postcolonialism with particular attention to racism, and the global and national state structures and processes that impact on Indigenous peoples, incorporating a focus on Indigenous peoples’ responses to these. 

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