Science and IT Research

The Faculty of Science and IT's research strengths lie in the key areas of industry and infrastructure, sustainability and the environment, health and wellbeing as well as communication and information technology.

Research in our Schools

University Institutes and Centres

Hunter Creative Industries and TechnologyHunter Creative Industries and Technology

The Hunter Creative Industries and Technology Centre (HCIT) provides a gateway into the University's  knowledge community of creative thinkers and innovators.  Working collaboratively with national and international business and knowledge communities,  the Centre will address the creative, research and business opportunities of future. The Mission of the Hunter Creative Industries and Technology centre is to develop research knowledge and innovation within national and international scholarly communities.

 Faculty Groups

Informatics is the study of Information Technology and its uses. Applied Informatics emphasises its application to real world problems.

Many of the professions linked to communication and media are in a state of flux globally. We are facing a period of sustained digital change that is already providing fertile ground for research opportunities. Our researchers work in the School of Creative Industries.

The Natural History Illustration Research Group is focused on the visual documentation and interpretation of the natural world. Using a range of traditional and digital-media techniques, our research is integral to the scientific and artistic communication of ideas and information in a contemporary transdisciplinary framework.


In 2012 the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching awarded over $200,000 in funding to the University of Newcastle to undertake an investigation into plagiarism and related issues in assessments not involving text.

 Priority Research Centres

Chemical Biology and Clinical PharmacologyChemical Biology and Clinical Pharmacology

The Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology and Clinical Pharmacology seeks to unravel the causes of disease by identifying crucial biological targets and pioneering the rapid development of novel drugs for the fight against disease.

Reproductive ScienceReproductive Science

The Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science creates new knowledge in how successful reproduction occurs in humans and animals.  Key areas include Aboriginal health and the male and female factors that lead to birth of a healthy baby.  Through close collaboration with industry, the Centre develops diagnostics and therapeutics in these areas.

 University Institutes and Centres

Australia-China Research Centre for Crop ImprovementAustralia-China Research Centre for Crop Improvement

Professor Yong-Ling Ruan from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences is Director of the Australia-China Research Centre for Crop Improvement (ACRCCI) .  ACRCCI focuses on discovering key genes and biological processes controlling plant development and stress tolerance for innovative applications to improve food security and agricultural sustainability by bringing together research teams of international excellence in plant biology and breeding.

Frontier Geoscience (IFG)Frontier Geoscience (IFG)

The NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience (NSW IFG) is focused on research and teaching in Earth Sciences at the University of Newcastle. The Institute is a partnership of the University of Newcastle with the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services and NuCoal Resources Ltd and provides teaching, research leadership, and research facilities to contribute to the sustainability and viability of the minerals and mining sectors in NSW.

Plant SciencePlant Science

The Centre for Plant Science (CPS) enjoys long standing national and international recognition in discovering physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating nutrient transport in higher plants and the development of specialised transport cells.

Tom Farrell Institute for the EnvironmentTom Farrell Institute for the Environment

The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment (TFI) is the gateway to environmental research and teaching at the University of Newcastle. The Centre's vision is to help develop regional solutions for a sustainable future. We aim to integrate the University's teaching, research and community engagement into those solutions.

Urban and Regional StudiesUrban and Regional Studies

The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) engages in research focused on the complex political, economic, social, cultural and environmental processes and relations that are transforming cities and regions.

Water, Climate and Land-useWater, Climate and Land-use

The Centre for Water, Climate and Land-use aims to conduct internationally relevant research in "the critical zone", and develop the scientific insights related to climate, water and soil, so that these can address industry needs and guide policy development in sustainable resource management.

Faculty Groups

The Advanced Chemistry Group (ACG) is the major research grouping in Chemistry at the University of Newcastle.

The Environmental Biology and Biotechnology Research Group brings together research scientists interested in establishing impact monitoring, conservation and management tools for Australia's unique fauna and ecosystems.

The Environmental and Climate Change Research Group (ECCRG) conduct internationally significant research in hydrology, climatology, palaeoclimatology and landscape modelling.

Water is a basic component of human existence and the support system on which people and ecosystems depend. The academics in this research group study its importance to ecosystems and humans, its use and management as a resource, and its modification through contamination and pollution.

Research within Exercise & Sport Science is diverse and project populations range from elite athletes to low back pain patients.

Marine Natural Products Chemistry is the study of the structure and chemistry of compounds produced by marine plants and animals such as algae and sponges.

The Metabolic Research Group comprises academics within the School of Environmental and Life Sciences who have interests in studying metabolism at the cellular, tissue and body levels. Research focuses on measuring alterations to homeostasis at the cellular level in the case of bacteria and the whole body in relation to responding to external stimuli.

Research into nutrition, food and health at the University of Newcastle's Ourimbah Campus makes a significant contribution to the Faculty of Science research portfolio. The scope of research encompasses both novel and traditional areas of food, nutrition and biologically active natural products.

The Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments Research Group undertakes research to support the sustainable use and conservation of the living resources and environments of coasts and catchments, the preservation of their related social values, and the development of innovative techniques, management and conservation strategies with a particular emphasis on marine conservation.

In broadest terms, our research examines the lithospheric processes that form the physical environment in which we live. This research is achieved within a plate tectonic framework that focuses on the formation and dispersal of continents.

Priority Research Centres

Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its ApplicationsComputer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications

The Priority Research Centre for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA) explores the development of techniques and tools for computer-assisted discovery and data-mining including mathematical visualization.

Frontier Energy Technologies & UtilisationFrontier Energy Technologies & Utilisation

The Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Frontier Energy Technologies & Utilisation conducts cutting edge research on emerging energy technologies, with particular focus on the abatement of greenhouse gases and clean and sustainable energy production.

Organic ElectronicsOrganic Electronics

The Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics is focused on the scientific challenges in the development of organic photovoltaics for the next generation of environmentally friendly energy sources, photonics and biosensors.

University Institutes and Centres

Optimal Planning and OperationsOptimal Planning and Operations

The Centre for Optimal Planning and Operations (C-OPT) brings together researchers with expertise and experience in using quantitative methods to develop innovative, customised solutions that help businesses streamline their processes and enhance their decision making, to reduce costs, increase productivity, and positively impact their triple bottom line.

Space PhysicsSpace Physics

The Centre for Space physics examines space weather to better understand its impact on billions of dollars worth of spacecraft and related infrastructure.

Faculty Groups

The Medical Physics Research Group comprises physicists based within the Radiation Oncology Department, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital. We are a member of the Centre for Information Based Medicine, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute. We are closely aligned with the Prostate Cancer Trials Group and the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) which organise and conduct clinical trials throughout Australasia.

Quantitative modelling of complex systems is integral to all areas of business, industry and government in which decisions are made on the basis of data. Improved methods and models for understanding, predicting and improving systems in areas such as Health, Science, Finance, Engineering and the Environment are of central, national importance.

 Our primary research focus is on the modelling and analysis of the structure of the surface of solids from the surface atomic layer through to the bulk.

Priority Research Centres

Brain and Mental Health ResearchBrain and Mental Health Research

The Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research (CBMHR) is focused on increasing our understanding of the brain and mind across the lifespan, in the absence and presence of disease. The Centre hosts three platforms for research: Preclinical Neurobiology, Psychological Processes and Mental and Physical Health.

Faculty Groups

Cognitive Psychology takes a broad and integrative approach to understanding mental processes.

The Health and Clinical Psychology Research Group conducts fundamental and applied research into factors associated with psychological well-being and physical health across the lifespan.

Neuroscience in the School of Psychology embraces contemporary questions in sensory, cognitive and affective function in human and animal models of brain and behaviour.

Social and Organisational PsychologySocial and Organisational Psychology

The Social and Organisational Psychology research group is a multidisciplinary research group.