Research Areas

European and International Integration

Where do we fit in? The process of integration — local, national, European and International is one by which nations are becoming increasingly interdependent in terms of economic, business, social, cultural and political linkages – and is among the most prominent forces shaping the world today. In addition to the intellectual challenge in understanding this process, it also is centrally important in determining effective policies at local, national, European and global levels of governance.
Trinity College Dublin has established an international reputation for research on European and Global integration.

Trinity's researchers in the social sciences have established world-class reputations in fields such as international macroeconomics, the historical antecedents of globalisation and the political science of how globalisation is affecting party politics at national and cross-national levels. Trinity has established a significant international research profile in international finance, international business and the analysis of global networks, while closer to home a focus on research relevant to national policy issues and social cohesion spans the life course in Ireland.


An important element of our research is to understand the process of European integration. Beyond its intrinsic importance, the European experience also provides important lessons about the prospects for further integration in other regions and at a global level, especially in regard to the construction of cross-national political institutions. Trinity's activities in this domain are having significant international impact.


With the full breadth of social science disciplines underpinning our interdisciplinary Trinity’s research activity is described in our International Integration Theme, International Development Theme, and Inclusive Society Theme among others.

Culture and Creative Arts

What makes us who we are? What contributes to our innovation, creativity, the enigmatic mix of Irish identity born of our unique heritage? Arts and Humanities are a jewel in Trinity's research crown. Trinity's library, the Long Room, is one of the ten great libraries of the world. Its treasures are at the beating heart of a vibrant research community which continues a tradition of celebrating the individual scholar, and of the power of these individuals to change the course of scholarship and the life of the mind itself.

Trinity's research activities in the Arts & Humanities stems from our scholars who are engaged in exploring the human condition - the fundamental questions of humanity – broadening understanding though research and study, while enhancing access to the Trinity's unique collections and materials spanning 6 millennia of human development – embodied in Trinity’s Identities in Transformation Theme.

The application of new technologies through specific and meaningful collaborations in the domain of digital humanities is transforming research methodologies and bringing new understanding to our past, as demonstrated in our Digital Humanities Theme and Cultural Heritage & Arts Theme.  Trinity’s Human & Social Networks Theme and Creative Technologies Theme are bringing new communities together to address contemporary research challenges.

Materials and Intelligent Systems

How do we underpin our country’s economic growth through research? Trinity College Dublin’s research in Materials and Intelligent Systems seeks to understand and control aspects of both the physical world in which we all live and the emerging virtual worlds being created by advances in Information and Communication Technology. Materials research is investigating the building blocks of the material and biological worlds with a view to understanding the fundamental mechanisms that govern their behaviour. This research will underpin advances as diverse as the development of future miniaturized integrated circuits (the foundation of all computer systems) as well as future medical devices and diagnostics and drug delivery systems. Intelligent systems research is investigating the science underpinning the construction of Cloud-based networked computer systems that are capable of understanding and reacting to the world in which they are deployed. Trinity’s strengths in this area can be found in our Next Generation Medical Device Theme, Smart & Sustainable Cities Theme and also overlap with Culture & the Creative Arts, Creative Technologies Theme and Identities in Transformation Theme.  This research will contribute to the development of the future Internet as well as of computer systems that can adapt intelligently to the behaviour of their human users delivering, for example, enhanced visual experiences for users of virtual environments such as games.
Trinity’s approach to Materials and Intelligent Systems research is inherently multi-disciplinary involving collaboration between researchers in Engineering (including Computer Science and Electrical & Electronic Engineering), Mathematics, and Science (including Physics, Chemistry and Biology). Researchers from these disciplines work together in major interdisciplinary research centres including National-scale research institutes;

  • CRANN, Trinity’s Nanoscience Theme where researchers work at the frontiers of nanoscience developing new knowledge of nanoscale materials, with a particular focus on new device and sensor technologies for the ICT, biotechnology and medical technology sectors, with a growing expertise in energy related research  
  • CTVR, a major part of Trinity’s Telecommunications Theme where industry-informed research is carried out in wireless and optical networking. There is particular expertise in the kinds of technologies make networks flexible and evolvable and able to withstand change.

Cognisant of the fact the developments in Materials and Intelligent Systems will underpin the future economic development of Ireland, our strategy ensures that the fundamental advances made by our engineers and scientists are fully exploited for the benefit of Society.

Biosciences and Translational Research

Health matters to us all. Trinity College Dublin's health-related research spans basic and clinical sciences and disciplines ranging from the secrets of brain aging and quality of life assessment to the molecular biology of the parasites of global disease. Our scientists are at the forefront of their disciplines engaged in leading hypothesis driven research and groundbreaking industry-academic partnerships.

Trinity has taken a lead in translational biomedical research on the Island of Ireland, with international collaborators all over the world, pioneering a clinician-scientist partnership model that has yielded significant breakthroughs in infection and immunity, cancer, genetics and neuroscience.

In Trinity College Dublin's Biosciences and Translational Research we focus on four major strategic themes: Ageing Theme, Immunology, Inflammation & Infection Theme,  Neuroscience Theme, Cancer Theme which are supported by Trinity’s Neuroscience Institute and Biomedical Science Institute.  The full breadth of life, health and related science disciplines underpin our interdisciplinary research activity.

Transport, Energy and Environment

The sustainable and efficient management of our resources, infrastructures and our environment is a major concern in Ireland and throughout the world. To address this concern, the underlying science, engineering and socioeconomics of transport, energy and the environment are the focus of a broad spectrum of research activities in Trinity.

International recognition of the quality of our research in the fields of transport, energy and environment has enabled us to meet our commitment to recruiting world class researchers and postgraduate students and maintain outstanding research facilities and infrastructure. In Trinity College Dublin over 60 principal investigators and their research groups are engaged in cutting-edge research, global collaboration and innovative interaction with industrial partners and other groups.

This major research area includes the following themes; Telecommunications Theme, Smart & Sustainable Cities Theme, Sustainable Environment Theme