Research centres & institutes

Solving global problems through research with a focus on the greater good.

UNSW Energy Institute

Our research centres and institutes contribute in significant and enduring ways to the advancement of knowledge across diverse fields of study.  

Explore our research. 

Advancing NSW’s status as a major international hub in the RNA ecosystem. 

In 2021, UNSW launched a dedicated Institute for RNA science, therapeutics and translational support. With the high-speed development of mRNA vaccines, RNA products are being developed for a wide array of medical needs spanning cancer, dementia, diagnostics and more. This Institute links multidisciplinary teams in biology, chemistry and medicine, with clinical experts and services, underpinned by a pilot-scale RNA accelerator facility, all of which is positioned to make critical contributions to major advances in human health  

Some of our world-leading initiatives

UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre

UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is a cross-disciplinary team including laboratory sciences, clinical practice and health policy. It is one of the largest dedicated cancer research centres in the Southern Hemisphere and the first in Australia to bring adult and childhood cancer research under one roof.

Indigenous Law Centre (ILC)

The ILC is an integral part of the life of the Faculty of Law & Justice. Established in 1981, the ILC is the only Indigenous law research centre in Australia. It has also been integral to the development of constitutional reform over the past decade under the stewardship of Professor Davis.

Sustainable Materials Research & Technology ( SMaRT) Centre

Technologies developed by the SMaRT Centre can recycle and reform many of the materials from electronic waste. This means waste itself can and should be seen as a resource if we want to electrify the world and be more sustainable. Find out how.

The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

More than 68 million people worldwide are displaced from their homes – the highest number since the Second World War. The Kaldor Centre’s non-partisan, evidence-based research, analysis and engagement bring a crucial, independent dimension to the debate, and its expertise is regularly sought out by the United Nations.

The Global Water Institute

The UNSW Global Water Institute is a world leader in water research and innovation. The Institute is a truly multi-disciplinary venture; by drawing on water expertise from seven faculties and 13 specialist centres across the University we have created the Nation’s most advanced water knowledge hub.

The Kirby Institute

The Kirby Institute is a world-leading health research institute working to eliminate infectious diseases, globally. Its specialisation is in developing health solutions for the most at-risk communities, building a safer, healthier world for everyone. 

The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics

Scientia Professor, Martin Green leads ACAP as they develop clean energy solutions using photovoltaics. Global manufacturing has universally adopted UNSW’s PERC Cell technology to ensure a sustainable future. Follow ACAP’s discoveries.

The Gonski Institute of Education

The Gonski Institute is working to address growing inequality in Australian education as well as improving access for students to high-quality education no matter their background or wherever they may go to school.

The UNSW Defence Research Institute

The Defence Research Institute, headquartered in Canberra, unifies UNSW’s defence-related research capabilities with global academic and industry partnerships to develop and deliver ground-breaking defence and security capabilities and share knowledge with global thought leaders, industry partners and policymakers.

Find out more 

Search by faculty to learn more about UNSW’s network of institutes and centres behind some of our most innovative discoveries and collaborations.