Research Profile


State-of-the-art equipment at the Irish Centre for Composites Research, UL


Research at UL

The University of Limerick has an established reputation for being Ireland's leading university in industry-led research. This has resulted in significant research commercialisation activities and collaboration between our leading researchers and industry. All of our key research indicators are showing strong growth, with increases in research applications, research income, postgraduate numbers and commercialisation activities complementing the strong gains in research outputs.

The University of Limerick places a premium on the independent pursuit of knowledge through critical inquiry and the advancement of new ideas. We expect our academic staff to engage in high-quality research and knowledge transfer activities. Accordingly, we value and support the research efforts of all members of the campus community. At the same time, we recognise that research areas need to be prioritised so that an effective research infrastructure, supported by appropriate human and physical resources, can be developed. In line with our ambition to strengthen our connections with external stakeholders and partners, our research ethos creates a focus on convergent translational research. In this context, convergence refers to the synergistic combination of different disciplines through which fertile new fields of knowledge emerge. Translational research transcends the traditional dichotomy between basic and applied research by accelerating the application of basic research outputs to benefit the economy and society.

The following priority research areas have been identified where the University has internationally recognised strengths.

University of Limerick Key Research Strengths

  • Materials & Surface Science: composite materials; nano-materials; solid-state pharmaceutical materials; catalysis and clean technologies; and bio-mimetic materials.
  • Information and Communication Technologies: Software engineering; telecommunications and networks; and energy efficiency and thermal energy systems.
  • Bioengineering & Biosciences: Micro-fluidics and biomedical engineering
  • Culture, Diversity and Social Change: Social identities; class, ethnicity and gender inequalities; historical processes; comparative literatures; law-in-action; and public policy and democratic performance.
  • Energy: Biomass and biofuels; materials for energy; energy storage and generation; and evaluation and support of energy systems.
  • Applied Mathematical Sciences: Mathematical modelling of fundamental problems in science, engineering and industry; and financial mathematics.

On the basis of their potential for convergence and translation and their capacity to develop critical mass, other areas identified as strong candidates for future prioritisation in the period 2011-2015 include

  • Organisation Science and Public Policy (potentially including work, knowledge and employment; services economy and tourism; entrepreneurship, innovation and marketing; and public policy, enterprise, governance and sustainability) and

  • Food, Health, Sport and Human Performance (potentially including food; behaviour change and health; sport performance; clinical therapies; arts performance and health; and medicine).