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The Lund Strategic Research Areas looking into the future

Photo of Lund University with ginkgo tree in autumn colors.
Implementing the strategy will make Lund University stronger and more visible, says Heiner Linke. Photo: Kennet Ruona

The complex challenges in our society require new solutions. We need high-quality, challenge-relevant research brought together in collective efforts over subject and sector boundaries, combined with strong curiosity-driven research. With this need in mind, the Strategic Research Areas (SRAs) were initiated about ten years ago. Lund University has now launched a new strategy for its SRAs.

NanoLund is one of the eight Strategic Research Areas (SRAs) that Lund University is the principal for. The university participates in a further three. In order to continue developing new, risk-taking, curiosity-oriented and challenge-relevant research of the highest international quality, a strategy for Lund University’s SRAs has been launched.

The strategic research areas are key activities for Lund University to realize its vision to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition so that scientific and artistic knowledge gain significance in the ambition to achieve sustainable development. The new strategy defines clear roles for the SRAs: 

  • conduct research of the highest quality, both basic research and applied research, with continual renewal at the forefront of international research,
  • contribute new knowledge relevant to society that renews and develops the education of students at all levels.
  • are involved in external engagement on a regional, national and international basis. This makes it possible to develop sustainable, relevant and effective solutions to society’s current and future challenges in dialogue with the actors concerned,
  • are highly visible and provide attractive environments that promote international recruitment at the highest level,
  • have a critical mass that enables them to develop and run research infrastructure that also benefits the University as a whole, and
  • have a collective strategic focus with joint goals for research, education and external engagement, enabled by basic funding that is markedly boosted by external funding, often relating to excellence.

In the strategy, the University expresses a long-term commitment to run and develop its SRAs as collective knowledge environments, and defines rolls and responsibilities for their continued work. Lund University takes on a responsibility to continue developing existing strategic research areas and to develop new areas based on this model and which meet the same exacting requirements. This is to ensure quality and renewal in which science, artistic knowledge and society are developed.

The strategy was developed in collaboration between the vice-chancellor for research Stacey Sörensen, and coordinators of Lund’s SRAs, who have formed the SFO Kollegium as formal, cross-faculty entity within Lund University.

– The launch of this strategy is a hugely important step that I am very happy about. It defines a mutual, long term commitment between SRAs and Lund University, and identifies a number of important areas where SRAs and the faculties can work closer together to maximize the SRAs’ benefit for the University as a whole. This includes visibility and communication, scientific renewal, leadership and equality, recruitment of key staff, the enrichment of education by excellent research, and the development of infrastructure, to name a few. Implementing the strategy will make Lund University stronger and more visible, says Heiner Linke.