WUN supports a diverse range of research activities across all disciplines and encourages in particular, research of an interdisciplinary nature.

Through joint research collaboration, WUN members are able to pool their resources and intellectual power to achieve collective international objectives that meet the needs of our global society.

WUN research takes place in one of four thematic fields known as Global Challenges.

 These are:

·         Responding to Climate Change

·         Global Public Health and non-communicable disease

·         Global Higher Education and Research

·         Understanding Cultures

The WUN Global Challenges consist of a number of collaborative research projects, involving leading researchers of similar fields of interest. The Global Challenges comprise more than 90 active initiatives in a portfolio spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, science, health and medicine.

As a comprehensive global research organisation, WUN shares many of the same objectives as UCT, fostering international research collaboration through a developed global support framework that seeks to leverage such collaboration to address issues of global concern, impact decision making at the level of policy, and unlock funding opportunities.