Research Focus Areas (RFAs)

Research lab

Our mission at La Trobe is to lead the way in developing creative and innovative responses to the fundamental challenges facing the world today.

Addressing the questions for future human societies and environments

To support this mission, we have identified five cross-disciplinary Research Focus Areas (RFAs) that build on our strengths and address some of the most pressing questions affecting the future of human societies and their environments. The RFAs are led by recognised research leaders responsible for engaging researchers across disciplinary boundaries to work on key research questions. The critical mass of expertise and capability in the RFAs broadens the opportunities for collaboration and game-changing partnerships. These flagship RFA programs are:

An overarching and coordinating lens

The RFAs act as an overarching and coordinating lens for La Trobe research activities, and inform our investment and research choices including graduate research degree scholarship priorities (up to 200 scholarships per year). The RFAs are emblematic of La Trobe's modern interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching and our ambition to be at the centre of important social, economic, political and scientific developments.

To gain an insight into the interdisciplinary nature of our RFAs, and the way they focus on contributing to solutions for real-world problems, listen to Professor Michael Clarke talk about some of the work being pursued in our Securing, Food, Water and the Environment RFA.

Fostering cross-disciplinary interactions

The RFAs foster cross-disciplinary interactions through funding incentives, conferences, workshops, seminars and visiting scholars. Our focus on developing partnerships with industry, local advocacy groups, government organisations and international development agencies will give graduate researchers the opportunity to collaborate with industry and beyond, further developing their employability and increasing the scope of their research impact.

Benefits for graduate researchers

As members of an RFA, graduate researchers will also have access to: workshops to assist with publication preparation and grant writing; funding through scholarship top-ups; as well as cross-disciplinary seminars and workshops.