Faculty Research Centres (FRCs)

Cancer research and software innovation are just some of the topics covered by faculty centres conducting research at the University.

Aotearoa-New Zealand National Eye Centre (ANZ-NEC)

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Charles McGhee,  Paul DonaldsonSteven Dakin, Andrew Collins, Ilva Rupenthal and Julie Lim

Website: New Zealand National Eye Centre - The University of Auckland

Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC)

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Michael Hay and Mark McKeage

Mission: The Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre is a world leading
drug discovery centre with the mission to improve treatment outcomes for cancer
patients in New Zealand and globally. We conduct and publish international-quality research on all aspects of cancer; from basic discovery to cancer prevention, focusing on cancer types common in New Zealand patients or where disparities exist for Māori. We work to discover and develop new drugs for cancer therapy, including kinase inhibitors, radiosensitisers, immune modulators, and hypoxia-activated prodrugs. We train future cancer researchers and health professionals throughour participation in post-graduate student supervision and research-led teaching. 

Website: Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre 

Centre for Addiction Research

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Antonia LyonsPeter Adams, David Newcombe and Natalie Walker

Mission: The Centre for Addiction Research is committed to undertaking the highest quality research and disseminating findings within and beyond the academic community to inform policy, practice and debate in the prevention and treatment of addiction.  It is committed to improving the quality of life and well-being of individuals, families/whānau, and communities whose lives are affected by addictive consumptions in New Zealand. We will do this by providing timely and relevant evidence that can inform policy and practice.

Website: Centre for Addiction Research

Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing and Design

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors: Simon Bickerton, Johan Verbeek and Olaf Diegel

Mission: Our purpose is to address the global challenges of energy efficiency, low emissions and sustainability in manufactured products through increasing innovation and productivity within the knowledge-intensive, advanced manufacturing sector.

Centre for Automation and Robotic Engineering Science (CARES)

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors: Bruce MacDonald

Mission: Our mission is to create robotic, automation, and sensing (RAS) technologies that improve societal wellbeing and inspire and train the next generations of RAS researchers. We aim to continue establishing the University of Auckland as New Zealand’s leading university in RAS, and place CARES at the global frontier.

Website: Centre for Automation and Robotic Engineering Science 

Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences (COMPASS)

Hosted by: Faculty of Arts

Directors:  Barry Milne and Stephanie D’Souza

Mission: COMPASS uses quantitative methodologies to answer policy-relevant questions aimed at improving health, wellbeing, and equity in Aotearoa.  COMPASS uses several methodological approaches in its research, including analysis of whole population administrative data to understand the drivers of health and wellbeing, undertaking surveys to understand how New Zealanders’ attitudes and wellbeing are changing, and quantifying the impact of policies using ‘micro-simulation’.

Website: COMPASS

Centre for Computational Evolution

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors:  Simon GreenhillSimone Linz and Anna Santure

Mission: Evolution is a process that shapes all living systems. Recent years have seen the development of a new branch of biology that draws insights from evolutionary theory and combines them with powerful computational tools. This Computational Evolutionary approach has mathematics, statistics and computing at its heart, and enables deep integrative connections to biology, linguistics, psychology, and anthropology. The aim of the Centre for Computational Evolution (CCE) is to build cutting-edge computational evolution tools and apply them to tackle major challenges of the 21st century. The Centre brings together and fosters growth in world leading research in computational evolutionary biology and is a natural meeting place for transdisciplinary research that fundamentally meshes these disciplines into new translational research. Our Centre focuses on 5 themes:

  1. computational evolution methods,
  2. phylodynamics for health,
  3. life system modelling,
  4. cultural and linguistic evolution and
  5. conservation genomics.

These themes are crucially interlinked with models providing insight into and being informed by research questions spanning health, linguistics and conservation of our taonga species.  

Website: Centre for Computational Evolution

Centre for Medical Imaging

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Maurice Curtis, Miriam Scadeng and Beau Pontre

Centre for Pūtaiao

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors:  Jade Le Grice and Te Kahuratai Painting

Mission: Te Pūtahi o Pūtaiao provides a stronghold for Māori-led science scholarship that aligns with tangata whenua interests and aspirations. Research in our Centre conceptualises Pūtaiao in tertiary science teaching, learning and research by privileging decolonising and Indigenising methodologies to realise the potential of Te Ao Māori and mātauranga in science. Our work harnesses intergenerational wisdom, knowledge, and insight to solve the pernicious challenges of our time. Our Centre activities align with four central pou: Te Reo Pūtaiao (specialised language in science), Te Ako Pūtaiao (Māori pedagogies and curriculum), Te Rangahau Pūtaiao (Māori-led research projects & Tuakana/teina capacity building), and Te Āmio Pūtaiao (satellite centres in Te Tai Tokerau and Te Tai Tonga campuses).

Eisdell Moore Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Peter Thorne, Grant Searchfield and Suzanne Purdy

Mission: Enabling and accelerating a national and transdisciplinary research effort that will deliver innovative solutions to provide hearing and balance health to all communities in Aotearoa so they can thrive.

Values and principles:

  • We are inclusive and value the diverse contributions of all our communities.
  • We will uphold the articles and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • We are committed to achieving equitable hearing and balance health for all peoples in Aotearoa and the Pacific Region.
  • We conduct excellent, innovative, and impactful research that is built on a foundation of fundamental science.

Website: Eisdell Moore Centre

Future Food Research Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors:  Siew-Young Quek, Clare Wall and Meng Wai Woo

He Ara ki Mua (Centre for Longitudinal Research)

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Carin Napier, Clare Wall, Kane Meissel, Karen Waldie and Elizabeth Peterson.

Mission: He Ara ki Mua’s overarching purpose is to engage in transdisciplinary and impactful longitudinal life-course research that provides integrated evidence aimed at improving population wellbeing and reducing inequities within Aotearoa, NZ. The Centre’s mission is to contribute to an Aotearoa where every child and young person is supported to thrive and achieve their full potential. Utilization of appropriate integrated information is required to generate robust scientific evidence, enabling fuller understanding of the complex life course, multidimensional causes of persistent inequalities in wellbeing, and what might contribute to resilience and thriving even in the face of persistent challenges. 

Specifically, the Centre: 

  1. Promotes a life-course epidemiological approach for research with children, young people and their families, in the context of their wider environments. 
  2. Supports national and international research collaborations to advance excellence in transdisciplinary wellbeing (hauora) research. 
  3. Champions partnerships to facilitate translation of robust evidence to inform wellbeing. 

Infrastructure for Community Futures Research Centre (ICFRC)

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors:  Kobus van Zyl and Suzanne Woodward

Mission: The ICFRC seeks to understand the complex interactions between society, infrastructure and the natural environment, and the implications for future infrastructure decision-making. We engage and collaborate across disciplines within the university and with government, industry, institutions, iwi and communities to identify and answer critical research questions. We identify synergies across the university that map onto critical infrastructure-related problems, allowing Waipapa Taumata Rau to produce real and meaningful impacts in these areas.    

Website: Infrastructure for Community Futures Research Centre

Juncture - Dialogues on Inclusive Capitalism

Hosted by: Faculty of Business and Economics

Directors:  Susan Watson

Mission: Global crises have meant the role and contribution of business and its impact on society and the planet have come under increasing scrutiny. Business is increasingly being held accountable for the externalities they create and there are shifts to a more comprehensive approach to value creation, extending beyond financial to social and environmental value. Inclusive Capitalism is an umbrella term for theories, perspectives, and practices that challenge the core assumptions about the purpose of business. It is fundamentally about exploring how to create long-term value and in doing so benefitting shareholders and investors but also constituencies external to the enterprise that may include employees, customers, governments, and communities. In partnership with our communities (business, government, iwi, students) the Centre will critically interrogate the premise on which Inclusive Capitalism and wider shifts in business are based, within a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand context.

Manaaki Manawa – The Centre for Heart Research

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Julian Paton

Mission: In partnership with Māori and Pacific Peoples, create a vibrant world-class centre for heart health research underpinned by evidenced based, internationally recognized multi-disciplinary collaborative research, workforce development, outreach and community engagement to deliver meaningful benefit and equity to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Website: Manaaki Manawa - The Centre for Heart Research 

National Institute for Health Innovation (Research)

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Chris Bullen, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Andrew Jull, Robyn Whittaker and Natalie Walker

Mission: The National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) exists to achieve better health, health equity, and wellbeing through innovative research informing practice and policy - translating, where applicable, into accessible services.

Website: National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI)

Natural, Artificial and Organisational Intelligence Institute (The NAOInstitute)

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors:  Michael WitbrockGill Dobbie, Patrice Delmas, Quentin Atkinson, Kane Meissel, Sarah Reo and Mitchell Rogers

Mission: The NAOInstitute investigates intelligence in its many forms, how it evolves and is shaped, and how we as humans relate and interact with and within these forms. We research what the future of being human and part of human civilisation will be, now that we are integrating our natural and organisational intelligences ever more closely with one another and with artificial intelligence. Our research ranges from fundamental philosophical inquiries into the nature of intelligence and the possible forms it may take in the future, to empirical research to characterise aspects of animal intelligence in individuals, groups, and ecological communities, to the applied sciences like applied computer vision, automated reasoning, natural language understanding, and AI-assisted science, to organisational and societal issues of policy and ethics.

New Zealand Asia Institute (NZAI)

Hosted by: Faculty of Business and Economics

Directors:  Natasha Hamilton-Hart

Mission: The New Zealand Asia Institute aims to enhance New Zealand’s understanding of and engagement with Asia. The NZAI undertakes research focusing on contemporary Asia and New Zealand engagement with Asia. We provide a forum for informed debate and offer a bridge to Asia-related expertise and research within the University of Auckland.

Website: New Zealand Asia Institute (NZAI)

Surgical and Translational Research (STaR) Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  John Windsor and Anthony Phillips

Mission: Our tirohanga whānui is to be a national and global leader in the delivery of surgical research and researcher training to reduce the impact of surgical diseases across Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.   By bringing together expertise in Medicine, Science and Bioengineering, and through excellent research and partnerships we will (1) improve societal well-being by reducing the burden of surgical diseases and their treatment, (2) reduce health inequities in access and outcomes from surgical diseases, especially for Māori and Pacific peoples, and (3) inspire and train a culturally safe workforce of surgeons and surgical researchers that reflects Aotearoa New Zealand diversity.

Tāwharau Whakaumu - Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS)

Hosted by: Faculty of Education and Social Work

Directors:  Jay Marlowe and Gül İnanç

Mission: The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies aims to respond to contemporary challenges of conflict and climate-induced displacement. We are driven by a transformative agenda that places social justice and human rights as core aspects of our work that will empower refugee voices and build local capacities. Through a commitment to multidisciplinary scholarship, the Centre is committed to bringing together people from academia, refugee communities, government, civil society and the private sector to collaboratively work on meaningful and tangible projects on current and future forced displacement situations. 

Website: The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies - Tāwharau Whakaumu

Te Ao Mārama - Centre for Fundamental Inquiry

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors: Kathleen Campbell and Richard Easther

Website: Te Ao Marama - Centre for Fundamental Inquiry

Te Pūnaha Ātea – Space Institute

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors:  Guglielmo Aglietti

Mission: Our mission is to create, disseminate and exploit knowledge to support and enhance the development of the country’s space sector.  Te Pūnaha Ātea - Space Institute aims to become a leading centre to enable the safe and sustainable use of space and maximise opportunities which arise from the flourishing local space sector.

Website: Te Pūnaha Ātea - Space Institute

Te Rito Toi – The Centre for Arts and Social Transformation (CAST)

Hosted by: Faculty of Education and Social Work

Directors:  Peter O'Connor

Mission: The Centre researches how the arts have the potential to make a more socially just and equitable world through improving the quality of life of all citizens. The Centre is outwards focused and builds relationships with educators, artists, activists, policy makers and communities to research the power of the arts for social transformation.

Website: Centre for Arts and Social Transformation

Te Whare Marea Tātari Kaupapa Public Policy (Research) Institute

Hosted by: Faculty of Arts

Directors:  Jennifer Curtin and Juan Tauri

Transportation Research Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors:  Doug Wilson

Mission: Our vision is to be an international leader in transportation engineering research
by developing best practice in the planning, design, construction, maintenance
and operation of transport systems. We aim to help lead and accelerate the transition towards a safer and more sustainable transport system that enables improved social, cultural, economic, and environmental outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

Website: Transportation Research Centre