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Global Challenges Program

UOW's Global Challenges Program is a strategic research initiative designed to harness the diverse expertise of researchers to address real-world problems. We are driven by our values of adventure, collegiality, inclusivity and support. As a program, we aim to cultivate research excellence while improving equality & diversity to support the next generation of research leaders.

Research with impact

Global Challenges research teams address problems beyond the scope of a single discipline, in collaboration with industry, government and wider community. We have 100 external investigators across all projects. Over half of our teams in 2020 are led by women and 41% are led by Early Career Researchers.

The University of Wollongong’s Global Challenges Program is a strategic research initiative addressing real-world problems.

The program harnesses the expertise of world-class researchers, to solve problems beyond the scope of a single discipline. Interdisciplinary research is fundamental to ensuring that every project and problem is investigated from a variety of perspectives to find a holistic solution.

The magic happens when unlikely collaborators find a focus, and work toward a shared challenge. The Global Challenges Program supports research projects under four challenge areas, including:

‘Building Resilient Communities’, targeting inequality, vulnerable populations, and disaster resilience.

‘Living Well, Longer’, with a focus on ageing and dementia, mental illness, and therapeutic and personal recovery;

‘Making Future Industries’, investigating emerging technologies, new product development and the future of work.


Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones’, investigating climate change, protecting coastal and marine habitats and resource security.’

Global Challenges funds unconventional projects, with teams who work across different fields of research.

With a focus on diversity and gender equality, and the development of Early Career Researchers, the program invests in the next generation of research leaders.

Global Challenges supports research project teams to grow into self-reliant and sustainable initiatives, through brokering connections with industry, government and communities.

As a result, researchers produce both scholarly outcomes, and make real-world impact, transforming lives and regions.

Our latest projects

This year, our region has seen terrible drought and bushfires, and now the world is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. We've brought together teams of researchers from UOW and the broader community to investigate disaster and crisis resilience in our region.

View the projects

Our challenges

Global Challenges brings together diverse groups of specialists stretching beyond disciplines. The magic happens when these unlikely collaborators find a shared focus for their passions. Global Challenges research teams work toward at least one of our four challenge areas.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provide a shared global framework of development priorities. The UOW Global Challenges Program has almost one hundred interdisciplinary projects working toward the goals.


Our keystone projects

Antimicrobial Resistance
Blue Futures
Connections for Life with Dementia
Future Makers

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