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Applied Research

Guided by strategic research themes—“innovative learning,” “thriving organizations,” and “sustainable communities, livelihoods and the environment”—RRU integrates applied research and student learning, advancing the university’s mandate. Key to the realization of this integrated approach is the production of applied knowledge. This entails a curriculum that is solution oriented and real-world focused, developed and guided by research conducted by faculty, students, and staff. Research is highly interdisciplinary, and often transdisciplinary, involving stakeholders integrally in its design and implementation. Students gain much of their knowledge, practical skills, and experience through applied research and action learning, research projects, case studies, and other learning activities. The tremendous value of these competencies lies not only in their response to global, national and community-based problems, but also in their inherent capacity to transfer seamlessly to organizational settings.


Research at RRU responds to and seeks to address critical issues of our time. Engagement with stakeholders and communities is a defining feature. Social and environmental justice as well as responsiveness guide the university’s research, and its relevance is evident in the mobilization and transfer of knowledge beyond traditional academia into the public sphere.