Strategic themes

Utrecht University focuses its research on four strategic themes:
Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability.

These four strategic research themes direct Utrecht University towards important contributions to societal issues such as health, governance, climate, environment and upbringing.

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Dynamics of Youth

Dynamics of Youth researches the development of young people in a rapidly changing society. Who is at risk and how can we ensure the optimal conditions for individual and social development?

Find out more about the theme Dynamics of Youth.

Institutions for Open Societies

Institutions for Open Societies

How do institutions – the formal and informal rules of human action – contribute to long-term prosperity, equality and democracy? 

Find out more about the theme Institutions for Open Societies.

Petrischaaltje dat symbool staat voor de maatschappelijke hubs van Life Sciences.

Life Sciences

Life Sciences research in Utrecht is diverse and reflects the long and rich history of Utrecht University, its strategic partners and collaborators. Together, we're striving to create sustainable solutions for our constantly changing world, and to ensure a healthy future for subsequent generations. 

Find out more about the theme Life Sciences.

Pathways to Sustainability

Pathways to Sustainability

What is needed to enable the transition towards a more sustainable society? Pathways to Sustainability contributes to a sustainable future by means of transdisciplinary research. Excellent researchers from the humanities, social and natural sciences work together with external partners to develop a more sustainable society.

Find out more about the theme Pathways to Sustainability.

Collaboration within hubs

The strategic research themes harbour fourteen hubs, which focus on tackling key societal challenges. These hubs facilitate and initiate collaboration between the university and societal partners, such as other knowledge institutions, businesses, government authorities, NGOs and lobby groups.

Hubs are the ultimate representation of a new way of thinking: one that is not based on the application or 'valorisation' of previously acquired academic knowledge but on joining forces with others to ponder research questions and strategies.