Ambitious research for transformative impact

Whai mātauranga—we nurture intellectual curiosity that pushes the boundaries of new knowledge and enhances the world around us.

Victoria University of Wellington pursues ambitious research designed to challenge the status quo. We leverage our research strengths, and the distinctive advantages and opportunities that Wellington provides, to enrich the learning of our students and to deliver transformative outcomes for our city, our nation, and the world. Our research vigour, distinctiveness, and quality are recognised internationally.

Our distinctive approach builds on our location in Aotearoa New Zealand’s political and cultural capital, on our proximity to internationally respected centres of creativity, and on the significant value that we gain from bringing mātauranga Māori to bear on both basic and applied research activity across the disciplines. Our research is perfectly positioned to share Aotearoa’s distinctiveness within the Asia–Pacific region and beyond.

We support our people to ask bold questions, pursue innovative solutions, and to imagine different ways of understanding the human condition. We recognise that research without risk seldom results in the kind of transformational outcomes needed to meet the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow. We attract global scholars, from postgraduate researchers and early career academics to senior research leaders, to develop the diversity and scale required to deliver high-impact research across the breadth of scholarship at the University.

We recognise that major challenges require deep collaboration across traditional academic disciplines and with partners outside academia. Our strategic focus, therefore, supports and leverages existing and emerging areas of excellence from across the University to form a suite of multidisciplinary research programmes at a scale and intensity to deliver fundamental and transformative impact. We also strengthen existing international collaborations and develop selected deep, global partnerships to create dynamic and diverse environments that sustain transformative research initiatives over the long term.

By 2025, our ongoing commitment to ambitious research will have:

  • prepared the University to once again lead the national research quality rankings with the highest proportion of academics conducting high-quality research
  • improved external research income to $100 million per annum, with 60 percent derived from public and private sources outside the New Zealand Government contestable funding schemes
  • increased co-authorship or co-creation of research outputs with colleagues external to the University to 70 percent of research outputs
  • resulted in 60 percent of our Scopus-indexed publications being in the top 25 percent of journals 1
  • lifted new invention disclosures to 75 per annum
  • doubled the number of research postgraduate students.

1 Journal percentiles according to Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP).