Research does not take place in a vacuum. AU is firmly situated in the Bahraini community and so pledges to share its scholarly expertise through research in partnership with the community to find solutions to local problems. In other words, AU is committed to undertaking socially responsible research that has a positive impact on local challenges.
The Mission of the University with respect to research is to carry out research in partnership with business, industry and the local community to provide innovative solutions to identified needs; and furthermore, to disseminate the findings of research in order to make a difference to the prosperity of the Bahraini community and the wider Gulf region. Goal 8 of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 expresses AU’s determination to make a positive contribution to the development and prosperity of its communities. We work with faculty members, students and external partners in both industry and community to support world-class research and enterprise and to develop a sustainable portfolio of activities that strengthen and underpin the University’s research base.
A rich diversity of research is conducted at AU where both basic and problem-oriented research is valued to generate knowledge and contribute to society. Recognizing the interconnected nature of complex local, regional and global issues, our researchers collaborate across disciplines to inform and advance solutions to contemporary problems. AU is fully aware of and responsible for the environmental, economic and social implications of its research.
Taking into account AU’s teaching and learning programmes and staff profile, as well as the needs of the Bahraini community, Economic Vision 2030, and the Bahrain National Strategy for Research, AU decided that it can make a strong contribution in the four niche areas of Entrepreneurship, Islamic Banking and Finance, Information and Communication Technology as well as a community-based research project. These encompass the goals, strategic objectives and KPIs of the AU Strategic Plan 2016-2020. They also demonstrate AU’s commitment to providing support for research to be undertaken in four niche (focus) areas, which will have strong outputs, and will have a positive impact on industry, business, and/or society. In particular, AU is committed to undertake socially responsible research with a particular emphasis on ICT that has a positive impact on local challenges and which meets national needs.
Sample list of faculty research
Sample of faculty research on Sustainability:
AU students have the opportunity to bridge the gap between theories taught in the classroom and their practical application. Through the applied learning process, the students explore their ideas and live out their research within their studying environment.
Many student projects are designed to find solutions to real-life challenges to balance the environmental, social, and economic dimensions where actionable recommendations are then implemented to create a sustainable impact in the community. These may involve a lack of resources, negative environmental practices, or obstacles in reaching common goals. Collaboration is key throughout such research where usually students find interesting real-life issues that they want to tackle, they reach out to community partners and clients, they find a supervisor, they do the research, and they make a recommendation that can be directly implemented in the community. The cycle can repeat itself again, with students asking more questions, in different orders, and building upon further recommendations.
Students are expected to take ownership over the development of their research strategy and oversee the realization of their project. Their work must adhere to academic standards of quality and add value to the pursuits and endeavors of their community client. Supervisors are responsible for overseeing the work of the student. They help develop a research strategy, give feedback, provide academic resources, ensure the adherence to academic standards, and evaluate the final product.
Sustainability research teaches students how to make real-world impacts. It creates opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom. It provides a testing ground for sustainable ideas, concepts and solutions. The University is big enough to test out widely applicable solutions, while it is small enough to control and measure impacts. It uses already-available resources to help solve real problems on campus. Students spend countless hours working on their assignments and papers for courses. It builds networks between students, supervisors and stakeholders. Sustainability research projects provide opportunity that benefits the whole community and demands collaboration and communication between multiple stakeholders.
Sample of PhD students related activity: