James Cook University has established an institute for advanced studies in the social sciences and humanities. It adds a vital human, social and cultural dimension to other internationally renowned JCU research centres whose work impacts on the lives of communities in the region. Established in 2009, The Cairns Institute brings together the expertise and intellectual resources of more than 20 academic disciplines, creating a uniquely robust and relevant research, consulting, training and teaching hub for Northern Australia, South and South-East Asia and the Pacific.
This Institute gives concrete expression to the University’s aim to become one of the world’s leading research universities in the tropics. As a repository of regional knowledge and research capacity, it is perfectly positioned to make a significant contribution to the development of a sustainable quality of life for tropical communities.
Around half of the world’s population – some three billion people – and 80 per cent of the planet’s animal and plant species live in the tropics.From economic and educational deprivation to disease, loss of culture and the impacts of climate change, the social, economic and environmental challenges facing the tropical zones of northern Australia and the world are immense.
The Institute is dedicated to providing innovative, solution-orientated research with local, national and global tropical application. Its location in north Queensland provides a real-world context and tropical research opportunities unparalleled in Australia.
Led by the Foundation Director, Professor Hurriyet Babacan, from 2009–2012 and Acting Director, Professor Sue McGinty from November 2012 the Institute appointed leading national and international scholars including six Tropical Leaders, Visiting Scholars, and Senior Fellows and Fellows. Along with Higher Degree research students and Post-doctoral researchers, the Institute has expansive capacity for working across the tropics.
The Institute also warmly welcomes national and international scholars, policy specialists, consultants and trainees providing facilities and infrastructure for excellence and innovation
• Applied research of excellence
• Consulting and contract research
• Training and professional development
• Conferences and seminars
• Education and scholarship