UCT’s research spans the depth and breadth of academe from blue-sky, curiosity-driven scientific endeavours through to applied research that seeks to address some of Africa’s most pressing problems. UCT supports a research agenda without restriction because it believes that the consequences of today’s research on future discoveries and solutions cannot be predicted. At the same time, the University has identified several interdisciplinary research themes with particular relevance to the challenges facing the planet around which to mobilise and focus research activity.

All the themes have taproots into the curricula and serve as mechanisms to build critical mass in areas of need in order to increase the impact and relevance of UCT’s research. The themes undergo regular reviews to assess how well they are achieving their goals.

In addition to its six Signature Themes and SARChI Research Chairs outlined below, UCT has recently created new focus around climate change and development with the establishment of the African Climate and Development Initiative and revitalising clinical research in South Africa.

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