Research and research training activities at the University are organized along the lines of the Divisions within each Department. Research activity follows the classic academic model insofar as it is driven by the initiatives of scholars and scientists in developing their own curiosity-driven or practice-based projects or working in collaboration with other research groups. These collaborations mirror the increasingly multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary character of both basic and applied research which is blurring the boundaries within and between the Scientific, Technological and Medical disciplines and the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. This feature is also reflected in research training, with many of the postgraduate studies programmes offered by the University being multi-or interdisciplinary in character.
Research and research training in Crete currently benefits from an academic and technological environment of international standards which has been built up over the last 30 years through a cluster of research orientated institutions including the University, the Institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), which has its headquarters in Heraklion, the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology & Aquaculture (IMBBC), and the University General Hospital (PagNi), as well as other HEIs in the region – the Technical University (TUC) the Technological Educational Institute (TEI),and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh).
In particular, close collaborations between the University and the Institutes of FORTH create access to excellent complementary facilities for research and research training in highly competitive fields such as molecular biology, the neurosciences, photonics, informatics, and environmental chemistry, as well as in the Humanities. These Research Institutes not only complement the educational mission of the University, but have also promoted strong regional, national and international collaborations in research activity.
Benchmarking with other HEIs indicates that research output is of a high standard.
- According to the CWTS Leiden Ranking for 2016, normalized for size, the University of Crete has the highest percentage of high impact publications of the six major Greek HEIs included and, overall, ranks #227 on this research impact indicator among the total 316 European HEIs listed. In the field ‘Physical Sciences & Engineering’, the University ranks #49 in Europe.
- University of Crete was ranked first in Greece and 301-350 worldwide in the Times Higher Education(THE) 2016-17 World University Rankings, up from the 351-400 ranking for 2015-16). Crete’s position in other THE rankings are determined by the same indicators. For 2015-16 Crete is listed among the European University Top 200 Rankings (171-180 band). Since 2015 Greek universities have also been included in the THE’s BRICS & Emerging Economies Ranking, with University of Crete ranking in the Top 50 in the 2016 and the 2017 ranking. It is worth noting that in terms of research influence, as measured by citations, University of Crete is in a leading position at #2 among the 300 universities included in this ranking.
- The University has been included in the THE’s prestigious ranking of best young universities in the world under 50 years old since the ranking was first published in 2012. This ranking effectively recognizes the ‘halo effect’ favoring old HEIs. With an expanded pool of young universities from 39 countries, the Times Higher Education 150 best young universities in the world 2016 ranks University of Crete =66 (tied with University of Verona). Crete is to date the only Greek University included in this league.
- In the US News Best Global Universities 2017, the latest edition of rankings powered by Thomson Reuters, the University is ranked 200 in Europe and third in Greece. Normalized for size, the UoC ranks first in Greece for research impact as indicated by percentage of most highly cited publications. It is notable, given the significance of international collaborative papers as a marker of quality, that the UoC ranks #59 worldwide on this performance indicator.
- The University has taken part in the new U-MULTIRANK university ranking, which compares and grades HEI performance across five broad dimensions (teaching and learning, regional engagement, knowledge transfer, international orientation and research). The third edition, released in April 2016, again shows that the University’s primary strengths are in research and research linkages, leading the 13 listed Greek HEIs in the ‘Ready Made’ research indicator rankings.
Detailed information is available through the Departmental websites about the research groups in each Division, their associated workshops, laboratories and/or clinics and corresponding networks of collaborating research groups.
Last update 07/12/2016