Research at UNAK

The University of Akureyri is a growing research university, as evidenced, for example, by the considerable increase in the number of publications and citations in recent years.

The Master's studies are largely research based and the University promotes them both as a goal in themselves and as a precursor to Doctoral studies.

Research projects at UNAK

School of Business and Science

Research within the School is diverse, reflecting its interdisciplinary nature, and can take the form of commissioned consultation work as well as investigator-driven, competitively funded basic research.

The following broad areas are among those currently active within the School:

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Family businesses and entrepreneurism
  • Fisheries
  • Food science
  • Human habitation studies
  • Marine biology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Sustainable exploitation and conservation of natural resources
  • Transport infrastructure effects on the community and settlements of the country

School of Health Sciences

Most research conducted in the School of Health Sciences is carried out in interdisciplinary teams.

Research pertaining to development and localisation of assessment tools has been prominent within the field. Some of those tools have proved their worth under Icelandic conditions and are used nationally in information registration. Among these are assessment tools for the following:

  • Motion
  • Physical skills
  • Activities and participation of the elderly
  • Participation and quality of life of children and teenagers
  • Empowerment, self care and stress of diabetics

Examples of other research conducted within the School:

  • Support for cancer patients
  • Experience and integration of women after breast cancer
  • Rate of chronic pain
  • Rate of caesarean sections and perinatal mortality
  • Knowledge and intake of folic acid amongst pregnant women
  • Cardiac arrest outside of hospitals
  • Research projects among people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or emphysema and children with reduced mobility
  • Experience of users of health care services
  • Satisfaction of users of health care services
  • Communication and connection between users/patients and professionals
  • Research relating to care and lack thereof
  • Seasickness and seasickness susceptibility
  • Perinatal distress, high risk pregnancy
  • Research on the knowledge, experience and perspective of healthcare providers towards telehealth
  • Services, systems and policies shaping opportunities of disabled people for participation in society

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The research topics in humanities and social sciences pertain, for example, to the following:

  • Icelandic history
  • International economic development and ideology
  • Media and communication of different social groups
  • Ethics
  • Regional and structural development in Iceland
  • Immigration

Furthermore, active research in education and pedagogy is carried out in connection with the following topics:

  • School development and leadership
  • Philosophy of education
  • Inclusion, literacy, social environment and equality
  • Icelandic studies, pedagogy and educational theory
  • Environmental education, sustainability, culture, and history
  • Information technology in schooling

In addition, the Faculty of Law houses research, for example, in the following areas:

  • Human rights, both international and domestic
  • Rights of minorities and indigenous people
  • International and Constitutional law
  • General legal theory, jurisprudence and philosophy of law
  • Criminal law, procedure and sociology
  • Comparative law and legal systems
  • Legal argumentation and litigation

The following research areas are the current major specializations within the Faculty of Psychology:

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensation & Perception
  • Neuropsychology
  • Quantitative Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sports & Performance Psychology
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

Assessment and quality of research

The University maintains an overview of performance, outcome, publications, and other items that measure quality and activity in research. The outcomes and results are shared with the community, for example, through:

  • Open seminars
  • Information to the media
  • Publication of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Information on research work is regularly examined and discussed in the Quality Council. The performance of employees is evaluated in accordance with the Evaluation System for Public Universities.

Research by students

Students carry out a Master’s research project under the supervision of a primary instructor and the specialists of the University. Consulting specialists from outside of the University are often called upon to ensure that the research fulfils international quality standards.

Research can be carried out independently, in cooperation with research institutions at the University, other partner institutions or companies.

The research project concludes with the submission of a Master’s thesis. Information on students’ theses can be seen in Skemman (online institutional repository of Icelandic university libraries).