The Research Cluster

The research clusters of University of Malaya give broad direction for developing research agenda, each embracing prominent and evolving themes in research area. Each cluster includes interdisciplinary approaches and coordinates research activities from different disciplines. 

The research clusters will be instrumental in focusing the university’s research activities and will aid in galvanizing university research activities in the future. 

The research clusters of University Malaya give broad perspectives for developing the research agenda, each cluster embracing prominent and evolving themes in a research area.

The Terms Of Reference (TOR) of Research Cluster are:

(i) To assist TNC P&I in strategizing research direction and formulating research policies .
(ii) To foster and coordinate  multi-disciplinary research activities in new emerging areas and frontier topics amongst the faculties/centre/academy/UMCOE/HICOE.
(iii) To promote, create and implement transdisciplinary research through research programs and Grand Challenges amongst the faculties/centre/academy/UMCOE/HICOE.
(iv) To forge relationships and interactions between UM  entities & researchers, government/ private agencies, industries and international institutions.
(v) To provide expertise in reviewing and evaluating research proposals for external including international grants.
(vi) To monitor and manage university research grants. 


There are 6 clusters:

Innovative Technology


The Innovative Technology Research Cluster (ITRC), through Research University Grant of the Ministry of Higher Education, supports wide ranging research programmes that have the potential to provide innovative solutions to industrial and societal problems.  ITRC works to create a platform for researchers from different disciplines including physical sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, biotechnology, engineering and information technology to interact among themselves in an effort to explore innovative solutions to a host of contemporary issues. ITRC currently supports research in broad areas including, energy sciences, manufacturing, advanced materials, information and communication technology, biotechnology, construction and transportation.  It also works towards the establishment of strategic R&D alliance with industry.  ITRC is working with relevant agencies and companies in sectors including electrical and electronics, oil and gas, manufacturing, biotechnology and transportation to foster R&D collaboration in areas considered vital to the national economy.


Frontier Science


The Frontier Research Cluster is committed to fostering curiosity driven basic fundamental research towards achieving excellence in research and development in the field of Science and Technology, Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and Economics. It supports vibrant and dynamic cutting edge research in the university that will lead to new discoveries, knowledge and policies that will lay the foundation for applied research which will enhance the capacity of the nation and lead to national wealth creation and well-being.




  • Aims to enhance a research culture that increases collaboration across centers, faculties and universities locally and internationally
  • Addresses crucial issues of surrounding communities
  • Elicits and encourages ways of thinking that focus on understanding meaning, purpose and goals, and explores rich subjective experiences & values
  • Plays a pivotal role in the debates and controversies in society
  • Promotes inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary relationships using various approaches to examine fundamental & applied issues related to humanity
  • Includes disciplines and sub-fields of research such as languages and linguistics, literature, education, philosophy, cultural studies, religion, anthropology, philosophy, area studies, communication studies, law, sociology, visual and performing arts, and history
  • Opens up avenues of collaboration with disciplines in the sciences and medicine
  • Will lead to a richer understanding of the human condition in contemporary societies 
  • Research thrust areas include interaction between Humanities and the Sciences, comparative and cross-national studies, and the translational functions of the humanities.




Wellness Research Cluster (WRC) coordinates multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research activities that promote human well-being encompassing the eight elements of wellness: environmental, emotional, financial, intellectual,  occupational, physical, spiritual, and social. Currently, we are challenging  researchers to demonstrate new ways of thinking that go beyond traditional  frameworks and  disciplines through our current grand challenge program, Active Ageing. WRC aims to secure sustainable support from all  stakeholders in creating new paradigms, partnerships and policies for the betterment of society at large.


Sustainability Science


  • Supports the inherent rights of peoples to achieve full and complete health, and wellness by collaborating in cross-disciplinary research and knowledge building and sharing
  • Harnesses academic, governmental, private and community resources toward innovative, culture relevant, inter- and trans-generational, collaborative social, medical and behavioral research, and education
  • Coordinates multi and trans-disciplinary research activities to promote human well-being encompassing the eight elements of wellness; environmental, emotional, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual and social
  • Promotes, facilitates and enhances collaboration of scholars from widerange of academic institutions (local and international) with expertise in wellness research
  • Translates scientific and clinical findings for the benefit of mankind
  • Provides a platform for researchers from different disciplines and external stakeholders to interact and explore holistic solutions for societal issues related to wellness that are of national and global concerns
  • Organizes and promotes community engagement programs bridging the public and researchers


Equitable Society


-> Focuses on recognizing and promoting a common commitment to opportunity and fairness and a sense of shared destiny among fellow citizens
-> Advances inter- and multi-disciplinary research and policy analysis that seek to overcome pressing social and economic disparities
-> Emphasis on:

  • Globalization and inequality 
  • Globalization and democracy
  • Social capital
  • Breakdown in social cohesion
  • Corporate/other forms of governance
  • Role of government in redistribution and opportunity
  • Effects of deregulation
  • Consumerism
  • Equitable development
  • Equitable access to services
  • Innovative approaches and mechanisms to promote equality