Cutting edge research

Radboud University is a broad, internationally oriented research university. We value quality, combining excellent education with leading-edge research. Our academic expertise is closely related to important societal issues, both in the public and in the private domain. We play an important role in transferring knowledge to society.

All of the research across Radboud's faculties meets high quality standards. Within Radboud University, we distinguish ten leading areas of academic research. These areas contribute to determining the direction of research policy.

Leading academic research areas at Radboud University are:

  • Astrophysics.Researchers in Astrophysics at Radboud University focus on exploring extreme phenomena like the boundaries of the universe, black holes, red giants, supernovas, neutron stars and gravitational waves. Both observational and theoretical research is conducted to reveal the causes of high-energy astrophysical phenomena and to understand how they influence their surroundings.
  • Business and Law.The research in the field of Business and Law concerns the rules that govern the functioning of enterprises in modern societies, such as the corporate governance of companies, reorganization of companies in financial difficulties and banking supervision. Focal points are property law, corporate law, financial law and insolvency law. Distinctive is the co-operation with law firms, notary offices, banks and multinationals. The Jurisprudence and legal practice join forces in the Business Law Institute.
  • Cognitive Neuroscience.Our brain enables us to be aware, social and creative humans in an increasingly complex environment. It is an enormous task to understand the functioning of this central organ. A task that can only be achieved successfully when excellent researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines join forces. That possibility exists on the Radboud campus, where researchers from Radboud University, Radboud University medical center and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics join forces within the top research area Cognitive Neuroscience. This research mainly takes place in Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.
  • Cyber Security.The Digital Security research group works on a broad range of topics in Cyber security, an increasingly important issue in our society. Topics include applied cryptography, security protocols, smartcards, and the security and correctness of software. Their results are relevant for societal aspects of digital security, such as privacy and e-voting, and interaction with disciplines outside computer science such as cryptography and law.
  • Human Genetics.The genetics research at Radboud University and Radboud University medical center aims to achieve greater insights into the genetic basis of disease. Various departments conduct multidisciplinary research on for example the genes involved in congenital abnormalities, heritable development of tumors, deafness and blindness, and psychiatric conditions such as ADHD, autism and intellectual disability.
  • Infection and Immunology.The interface between micro-organisms and man is where fundamental as well as clinical translational research in infection and immunology takes place at the Radboud University Medical Centre. This top research in the field of Infection and Immunology includes the study of defense mechanisms and inflammation after infection, inflammatory diseases (such as auto-immune diseases), as well as cancer and transplantation.
  • Linguistics.Linguistic research at Radboud University is concerned with how people learn, process, use and develop language. Within the Centre for Language Studies speech and language technology, sign language and language acquisition are key research areas. Researchers at the Donders Institute are concerned with how language is processed in the brain. Brain and language, as well as genes and language, are also studied at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, located on the campus of the Radboud University .
  • Microbiology.Radboud University’s Microbiology research aims to discover anaerobic methane and ammonium oxidizing bacteria and investigate their role in marine and freshwater ecosystems. The research on anammox, bacteria which efficiently degrade ammonium without oxygen, has led to revolutionary insights and a series of world-class publications. In 2013, the Microbiology department received a Gravitation grant of 22.9 million euros. Besides being an impulse for their research, this money was used to establish a specialized Masters programme and a Graduate school in microbiology.
  • Organic Chemistry. The Nijmegen Organic Chemistry department founded a school of chemistry by making new materials that are inspired by nature. The chemists at Radboud University focus on understanding, designing and controlling the functioning of molecules and materials that continually adapt to their environment - think of super gels and nano containers, self-assembling materials and artificial cell structures. Organic chemistry is part of the national Research Centre for Functional Molecular Systems, which was awarded a grant of 26.9 million euros to develop ‘chemistry inspired by life’.
  • Solid State Physics. Solid state physics is one of Radboud University’s strongholds. Excellent labs support the experimental work on lasers, magnetism and magnetic fields. There are the FELIX Laboratory for far infrared spectroscopy, the Scanning Probe Laboratory and the High Field Magnet Laboratory, where Europe's most powerful continuous magnetic fields are used to study the properties of materials. The experimental work is backed up by a strong theoretical group. Focal points are the study of magnetism and new materials like graphene.