Research Units

The University of Waikato is proud to host eight prestigious research institutes and a large number of innovative research centres and groups. For the full list, please see our University Calendar.

Research Institutes

Environmental Research Institute (ERI): Te Tumu Whakaora Taiao

Takes a collaborative, systems-level approach to environmental research to develop insights and expertise to improve and sustain the quality of the natural and physical environment, focusing on antarctic, coastal and marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems.

Directors: Tim Manukau and Charles Lee

Institute of Professional Learning (IPL): Te Whai Toi Tāngata

Provides research-informed professional learning and development that contribute to improved professional practice in early childhood centres, schools and tertiary institutions, both nationally and internationally.

Director: Sharleen Nathan

Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research

The only national institute of demographic and population-focused research in New Zealand, their research helps inform choices and responses to the demographic, social and economic interactions that are shaping the future.

New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR): Te Pūtahi Rangahau Umanga o Aotearoa

Draws on the research excellence of New Zealand’s top research business school and nearly three decades of leading-edge business consultancy, working with industry, government agencies and other organisations to enhance productivity and contribute to sustainable business.

Director: Professor Eva Collins

Te Ipu o te Mahara: The Artificial Intelligence Institute

Focused on delivering real-time analytics for big data, machine learning and deep learning and have already created some of the world's most popular open source tools. Our goal is to build awareness and expertise across disciplines so we can better leverage AI for the benefit of our communities and NZ as a whole.

Director: Professor Albert Bifet

Te Mata Punenga o Te Kotahi: Te Kotahi Research Institute

Develops research that supports iwi, Māori, indigenous nations, communities, organisations, and works with researchers to engage and focus on building  key research skills related to Māori and  indigenous research methods and practice.

Director: Associate Professor Māui Hudson

New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science (NZISCS): Te Puna Haumaru

Established in 2016, this multidisciplinary institute explores: theories in crime science, modelling and analysis of date on crime and security issues, the use of computer science to assist evidence-based police, and research in psychology relevant to criminal behaviour and police processes.

Director: Professor Devon Polaschek

Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER): Te Pūtahi Rangahau Mātauranga o Wilf Malcolm

Innovative and collaborative research that tackles challenges faced in education at all levels, while also providing advice and support for the design, management and dissemination of educational research projects.

Director: Dr Catherine Buntting

Featured research groups

Cyber Security Research Group

New Zealand's leading cyber security lab aims to return the control of data to those who own it by focusing on research addressing data security from a user-centric perspective.

Together with New Zealand industry partners, multi-national companies and international consortia such as the Cloud Security Alliance, the lab also works on discovering and disclosing vulnerabilities that present dangers to both data systems and networks and aims to create techniques that effectively eradicate the effects of new-generation malicious software.

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Early Years Research Centre

The Centre aims to make a difference for young children, early years teachers, families and whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand, undertaking robust research that influences policy and informs scholars worldwide.

The Early Years Research Centre provides a coordinating and connecting function, creating a platform for ongoing and future research in the areas of pedagogy, policy and community connections.

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Transport Research Group (TRG)

This group is interested in how transport fosters a strong and sustainable economy and healthy environments, and how drivers might respond to changes in vehicle technology.

Their research findings are designed to help inform decision making in government and industry.

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Waikato Artificial Intelligence Initiative

The Waikato AI Initiative (WAI) undertakes multi-disciplinary artificial intelligence research across a range of applications.

The initiative aims to make machine learning technology available to the wider business and government communities, and to create scalable, sustainable Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence systems.

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Medical Research Centre

This joint initiative between the University of Waikato and Waikato District Health Board supports clinical academics to answer research questions that are important to communities in the Waikato region and beyond.

Through this research, it supports improved health outcomes for patients and families.

Learn more

For the full list of research units at the University of Waikato, see our University Calendar