At UNSW Sydney we generate new knowledge and transform research discoveries into successful innovations to benefit society, the economy and future generations. We conduct research across a wide range of areas and invest considerable resources where we believe we can make the biggest difference, such as:

  • Solar power (photovoltaics): We hold the world record for the conversion efficiency of a silicon solar cell, and we are home to one of the world’s fastest solar-powered cars.
  • Clean drinking water: We created membrane filtration technology to filter water that is now used in taps around the world.
  • Population ageing: We are developing economic and health policy frameworks for government and industry to sustainably manage this global challenge.
  • HIV/AIDS: Since diagnosing Australia’s first case of HIV, we have been involved in the development of every existing antiretroviral HIV drug.
  • The world’s first quantum computer: Using silicon, we are one of the global leaders in the race to build a quantum computer.

Key Research Areas

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Water, Climate, Environment and Sustainability
  • Next Generation Materials and Technologies
  • Social Policy, Government and Health Policy
  • ICT, Robotics and Devices
  • Law, Business and Economics
  • Fundamental and Enabling Sciences
  • Contemporary Humanities and Creative Arts
  • Defence and Security

Top 5 Research Centres

  • Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics
  • The Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society
  • Social Policy Research Centre
  • Climate Change Research Centre
  • Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology


Top 5 Research Achievements

  • UNSW is one of the world’s leading research and technology hubs for clean energy innovation across a range of transformational areas including clean fuels, renewables, grid decarbonisation, transport electrification, energy storage and policy. An example is our development of environmentally friendly thin-film solar cells made from non-toxic and abundant raw materials.
  • UNSW is a world leader in coordinating the best responses to infectious diseases and blood-borne viruses. From the lab to the streets, our research has led to major breakthroughs in the quest to invent practical and meaningful solutions to defeat epidemics and ensure that the basic human right to good health is experienced by all.
  • UNSW is using creativity and inclusion to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges and shape a better future for all. Our current research is uncovering the gender specific impacts of COVID-19.
  • UNSW is developing better models for understanding climatic processes and dynamics to improve weather and climate prediction and support communities around the globe in the face of climate change. Our researchers are developing an understanding of the physics of storms and clouds, and how they interact with climate, atmosphere-ocean dynamics and teleconnections to regional rainfall variability and change associated with climate patterns particularly in Australia.
  • UNSW is leading the world in the race to build a quantum computer in silicon and undertakes world-class research in optical quantum computing and quantum information technologies.


  • Over 100 Research Centres
  • Approximately 4000 Research candidates
  • Approximately 2000 Academic Researchers/Supervisors


  • The GOstralia! Research Centre in cooperation with UNSW award exclusive PhD full tution fee scholarships open to all faculties. More information
  • More funding information and application deadline available here.
  • Prospective students can apply for scholarships for research study, or competitive grants as a professional researcher. More information

Interviews & Testimonials

"There are many reasons why I would definitely recommend anyone to come and study here at UNSW. You’ll be well resourced, there’s care put into ensuring students are supported and there’s a whole ethos of collaboration. Come here if you want to be in an environment that is nurturing, that is serious about high quality scholarship, and also very serious about engaging communities ethically."
Sujith Kumar, UNSW Scientia PhD Candidate from Arts and Social Sciences.

"For me, the biggest strength of doing a PhD degree here is the opportunity to facilitate cross disciplinary research and knowledge translation… When you know that your research can have a direct impact, that makes a difference." Snow Li, PhD Candidate from Medicine."I have the world-class expert in my field as my supervisor and that’s not uncommon whatever your area of research."
Simon Lloyd, PhD Candidate from Built Environment

Schau dir auf Instagram unser Interview mit Dr. Peter Wich, Professor an der UNSW in Sydney, an.

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