Research on Global Issues

Oxford has a strong commitment to research on topics related to globalisation and global challenges. Oxford staff and student researchers address many of the major challenges that face our society, from language conservation to new vaccines, ageing to obesity, new energy sources to biodiversity. They use innovative research techniques and modern technology, both to examine problems of the modern world and to understand better the ancient world.

Global challenges

Oxford Martin School: A unique, interdisciplinary research community of over 300 scholars working to address the most pressing global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. From the governance of geoengineering and the possibilities of quantum physics, to the future of food and the implications of our ageing population, the Martin School supports over 30 individual research teams from across the University of Oxford to consider some of the biggest questions that concern our future.

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Global governance

Centre for International Studies: CIS serves as a focal point for advanced research in International Relations at Oxford, whose Department of Politics & International Relations is ranked among the world’s finest. Research themes include Global Order and International Institutions, Global Economic Governance, the Changing Character of War, International Normative Theory, and the International Relations of Major Regions of the World.

Global Economic Governance Programme: The Global Economic Governance Programme fosters research and debate into how global markets and institutions can better serve the needs of people in developing countries. Current research investigations include study of trade, aid, health, migration, finance, intellectual property, and climate change.

Global health

Tropical Medicine: Tropical Medicine is a collection of research groups focused on infectious diseases and permanently based in Africa and Asia. Our research in tropical medicine ranges from clinical studies to behavioural sciences, with capacity building integral to all of our activities. Learn about some of the innovative collaborations Oxford is pursuing with colleagues around the world: Oxford Global Health

Clinical Trial Service Unit: CTSU’s work chiefly involves studies of the causes and treatment of “chronic” diseases such as cancer, heart attack or stroke (which, collectively, account for most adult deaths worldwide). Much of the work is carried out abroad, in collaboration with local partners.

Department of Public Health (DPH) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence specialising in areas of population health that are of increasing importance in the 21st century, from health economics to bioethics to the societal costs of cancer.

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MigrationOxford: Oxford is a world-leader in terms of innovative research into the causes and effects of all kinds of migration, forced and voluntary. The MigrationOxford initiative has been developed to signpost, highlight and bring together the numerous academics conducting research and teaching on migration within the University of Oxford, including the International Migration Institute, the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, and the Refugee Studies Centre.

The Oxford Institute of Population Ageing: The Institute is a multi-disciplinary group focused on understanding the economic, social, political, and other implications of societal ageing.

The Developing World

Department of International Development: The Department is the focus at Oxford for teaching and research on international development, the understanding of change and inequality in developing countries, and the interaction of these countries with the rest of the world.

School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies: The School is devoted to research and graduate teaching in academic disciplines which attempt to understand the complexity and the interrelatedness of society through anthropology, economics, politics, history, sociology and culture. Members include the Centres of African Studies, Latin American Studies (including the Brazilian Studies Programme), Japanese Studies, Contemporary China Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and Contemporary South Asia Studies.


Oxford Internet Institute: OII is a leading academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet.

e-Research Centre: The Oxford e-Research Centre works with research units across the university to enable the use and development of innovative computational and information technology in multidisciplinary collaborations.

Energy and the Environment

EnvironmentEnvironmental Change Institute: The ECI is Oxford's interdisciplinary institute for research on the complex processes of global environmental change, the exploration of sustainable solutions, and the promotion of change for the better through partnership and education.

Oxford Institute for Energy Studies: The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies focuses on advanced research into the economics and politics of global energy.

Oxford Future Energy: Oxford Future Energy brings together researchers from across the sciences undertaking research into how to provide a clean, safe, secure, and sustainable global energy supply.

Global History

Oxford Centre for Global History: The Centre is focused on the global movement of people, goods and ideas and the consequences that flow from them.