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 Donaldson and Andrew Collins

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 throughout 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: To undertake world-leading research to enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific and beyond through the generation of robust evidence to inform practice and policy around the understanding, prevention, and treatment of addiction.

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

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: The Centre for Computational Evolution (CCE) uses computational tools and evolutionary theory to tackle 21st-century challenges such as health, linguistics, and conservation. The Centre’s research themes include phylodynamics, life system modelling, and conservation genomics. The Centre fosters transdisciplinary research to create new translational research. 

Website: Centre for Computational Evolution 

Green Energy Engineering Centre (GEEC)

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors: Andy Philpott, Brent Young, Mike O’Sullivan, Rajnish Sharma, Nirmal Nair, Andrea Raith

Website: TBC

Mission: The purpose of the Green Energy Engineering Centre (GEEC) is to support research which will help New Zealand reach a zero-carbon economy through increased investment in renewable energy. Current energy research within the Faculty of Engineering encompasses geothermal, wind, solar, and marine energy, green hydrogen, electricity optimization, as well as energy storage, efficiency, and conservation. The GEEC will promote collaboration across these areas and provide better visibility of this research to the outside world. The establishment of the GEEC will provide a platform to seek external research funding and will foster collaboration with industry partners and other research groups.  

The Energy Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Business and Economics

Director: Emilson Silva

Website: Energy Centre

Mission: The Energy Centre’s mission is to provide research policy analysis and educational programmes to help business and government confront energy issues of national significance to New Zealand.

Medical Imaging Research Centre

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).

Website: Centre for Pūtaiao 

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

Mission: The Future Food Research Centre aims to improve food and nutrition security sustainably through education, research, and innovation. The Centre brings together multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral expertise to find solutions for problems related to food security, systems efficiencies, waste, sovereignty, and innovation. 

Website: Future Food Research Centre 

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

Interim Director: Susan Watson  

Mission: Governments, organisations, communities and individuals all over the world are exploring how capitalism can evolve to enhance the well-being of our people and our planet. Juncture: Dialogues on Inclusive Capitalism creates a platform to lead this evolution locally, bringing together the rigorous research, key resources and strategic collaboration opportunities necessary to build momentum and enable long-term transformation. The first endeavour of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand, this Centre brings our nation’s diverse perspectives and unique insights to the global movement towards a more sustainable and equitable world. Three key pillars—research, education and collaboration—form the foundation of the Centre, inspiring and empowering all those committed to driving change within their industries and communities.

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 

Centre for Translational Health Research: Informing Policy and Practice (TRANSFORM)

Hosted by: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Directors:  Chris Bullen and Natalie Walker

Mission: The Centre for Translational Health Research: Informing Policy and Practice (TRANSFORM) exists to achieve better health, health equity, and wellbeing through innovative research informing practice and policy - translating, where applicable, into accessible services.

Website: Translational Health Research: Informing Policy and Practice (TRANSFORM)


Natural, Artificial and Organisational Intelligence Institute (The NAOInstitute)

Hosted by: Faculty of Science

Directors:  Michael Witbrock and Gill Dobbie

Mission: The NAOInstitute researches natural, artificial, and organizational intelligence and its impact on humanity's future. The Centre collaborates with global institutions, follows a collaborative innovation approach, and incorporates tikanga Māori. The Centre is transdisciplinary and aims to build strong relationships with hapū for inter-generational well-being.

Website: NAOInstitute

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)

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

Hosted by: Faculty of Education and Social Work

Directors:  Jay Marlowe and Rêz Gardî 

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

Mission: Te Ao Mārama’s current cross-disciplinary initiative focuses on life and the universe, with an emphasis on space science and astrophysics. The initiative aims to facilitate research, develop STEM work force, foster engagement with the public, and partner with hapū interested in transdisciplinary approaches. Te Ao Mārama’s  focus areas include cross-disciplinary teaching, Mātauranga Māori, and solar system exploration. 

Website: Te Ao Marama - Centre for Fundamental Inquiry

Te Pūnaha Ātea – Space Institute

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors:  Guglielmo Aglietti and Roberto Armellin

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

Transportation Research Centre

Hosted by: Faculty of Engineering

Directors:  Doug Wilson and Kim Dirks

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