The Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 describes Utrecht University's ambition to invest in specific research focus areas in addition to the four strategic themes. These research focus areas should help Utrecht University create a more focused institutional profile.

Based on the foundation provided by its research focus areas and strategic themes, Utrecht University is working to develop an integrated approach to scientific and social questions. The university has opted for a more focused research profile and is linking academic excellence and fundamental research to a social mission.