VMU research institutes
Research institutes are the University’s scientific research academic units, which carry out interdisciplinary scientific research, providing a scientific base and research infrastructure for the University’s students to study, training scientists and conducting scientific research. The creation of new institutes is complementary to organisation of research. This is done for the purpose of recognition, visibility and greater funding opportunities for best researchers/scientific groups/scientific schools, as well as to create better and more socially secure conditions for researchers with potential and desire to create top-level science, to coordinate and carry out projects at international level, and participate in international networks and infrastructures.
The university has 5 research institutes:
- Bioeconomy Research Institute
- Research Institute of Natural and Technological Sciences
- Educational research institute
- Institute of Digital Resources and Interdisciplinary research
- Vytautas Kavolis interdisciplinary research institute
Bioeconomy Research Institute
Bioeconomy Research Institute mission is to become a leader in the field of bioeconomy in national and international level creating an environment for the interdisciplinary research and experimental, social and cultural development.
Main research areas:
- Climate Smart and Digital Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management
- Renewable Energy Resources
- Development and Implementation of Business Innovations in the Bioeconomy
- Sustainable Food Systems
Research Institute of Natural and Technological Sciences
Research Institute of Natural and Technological Sciences is a scientific research academic unit of Vytautas Magnus University, which performs interdisciplinary research on sustainable energy, climate change and anthropogenic impact on biodiversity and human health, data analysis, modeling and forecasting of systems and processes, cell and tissue biotechnology, genetic engineering, as well as scientific research on functional biomaterials, environmental/biodiversity protection and applied biology, providing a scientific base and research infrastructure for University students’ studies, training of scientists and conducting scientific research.
The mission of Research institute is to initiate and carry out national and international fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research in natural and technological sciences that meet the needs of science, Lithuanian society and the state; to strengthen the role of natural and technological sciences in society, to promote the creation of open academic culture.
Scientific research carried out and developed by Research institute includes (but is not limited to) the following complex areas of interdisciplinary research:
- interdisciplinary application of knowledge and methods of technological sciences, microorganisms, biotechnology, nanotechnology and natural sciences in the field of plant biology and agriculture;
- changes in genetic structure of plant and animal genomes and populations;
- assessment of consequences of biodiversity changes in conditions of anthropogenic influence and climate change;
- research on the impact of environmental factors on living organisms, ecosystems and human health in the context of environmental protection and sustainable development, with the aim of reducing negative impact on the environment and human health, efficiently and sustainably using natural resources, as well as managing waste and mitigating effects of climate change;
- complex studies of dispersion of harmful (agrochemical) substances, pathogenic (micro) organisms and unfavorable factors in the environment, in order to achieve new fundamental knowledge for justification of environmental quality preservation in conditions of global change and anthropogenic impact;
- research on preservation, formation and sustainable use of ecosystems against the backdrop of climate change;
- reliability and risk analysis, modeling and forecasting of various systems (biological, ecological, technical, etc.) and processes;
- application of artificial intelligence and statistical knowledge and methods in biology, genetics, medicine, agriculture, etc.
Educational research institute
The Educational Research Institute (ERI) is an institution that carries out educational research and evidence-based education and consultation activities in the education sector, covering all levels of learning and lifelong learning. The ERI conducts multidisciplinary educational research based on the most advanced methodologies, which serves as the basis for the preparation of educational programmes and seminars intended for the development of research competences, and provides innovative consultation services on research in the field of education.
Doctoral studies are a value promoted by the ERI, which is developed, nurtured, and sustained by the research and expertise of the researchers of the Education Academy (EA). Researchers of the EA are doctoral students’ scientific supervisors and/or formal research consultants. Doctoral students are fully-fledged researchers at the ERI, initiating research projects and working as full members of the research team. Topics of dissertation research carried out by doctoral students tie in with one of the topics of the research groups operating at the ERI, so doctoral students have the opportunity to participate in the multifaceted activities organised by the ERI, acting as researchers and within groups of specific research topics.
Research at the Institute is organised around groups of researchers working on research topics. These groups bring together research workers from the Institute and researchers with similar interests from the EA, other units of VMU, and other institutions, organisations, and companies outside VMU, focusing on specific areas of educational research, developing projects, carrying out joint activities, and sharing experiences.
Groups of research topics at the ERI are as follows:
- Big data in education, STEM, and media.
- Arts education (dance, drama, music) and creativity.
- Neuroscience-based learning and health promotion. The research activities of the groups of the first, second, and third research topics are united by the following research fields: STEAM, learning network analysis, causal learning experiments, and change in learning behaviour.
- Educational support, inclusion, and well-being. The research fields of the group of the fourth research topic concern socio-education, special education, and values education.
- Education systems, management, and policy. The research fields of the group of the fifth research topic include pre-school, pre-primary, and primary school education, vocational education and training, higher education, and lifelong learning.
- Dialogue-based education and intercultural studies. The research fields of the group of the sixth research topic focus on literary education, second language learning, intercultural learning and education as well as international comparative education.
- Modern methodologies in educational research and practice. The research fields of the group of the seventh research topic include integration/coherence of research methodologies, didactics of teaching/learning, and subject education.
- Research evidence-based education and consultation. The eighth group is the research output group, which will coordinate the development, quality, and publication of research output and organise intellectual products, i.e., events. The groups of the seventh and eighth research topics will also coordinate the quality of doctoral studies.
Institute of Digital Resources and Interdisciplinary research
SITTI’s mission is to foster the role of data as the driving force of modern science in Lithuania, to promote a culture of data-driven research, and to advocate and demonstrate the importance of sharing, opening, and reusing digital data, especially in the context of investigating societally relevant research questions, through the collaborative efforts of researchers coming from different disciplines.
SITTI aims to develop and to link the three components of research:
- The Research Infrastructure, i.e., the SITTI empirical database, consisting of data collected and made available by the VMU and integrated into the international CLARIN ERIC language resources research infrastructure.
- The research it supports, covering topics and issues in each of the three main research strands, and collaborative interdisciplinary research between strands within and outside SITTI with partners in Lithuania and abroad.
- Disseminate research results on social media and in the media, advise researchers through the CLARIN LT Knowledge Centre, integrate the basics of data production and management into curricula, promote data-driven research in the public sphere by fostering citizen science, and offer expert services to public authorities.
Vytautas Kavolis interdisciplinary research institute
Vytautas Kavolis interdisciplinary research institute is an institution that conducts fundamental and applied research in humanities, social sciences, and related fields. The institute’s activities are based on the idea of interdisciplinary research, with the aim of expanding the boundaries of scientific fields and developing horizontal and vertical research directions and topics that can combine several research fields.
Institute research activities are aimed to:
- Involve representatives of various scientific fields in joint research projects, combining multiple scientific perspectives, creating holistic approach to analysed phenomenon or problem, and proposing ways to overcome it;
- To carry out scientific research together with society, using and including social partners in the process of obtaining scientific knowledge.
- The institute employs researchers from several fields of science, representing different social, humanitarian, and other directions of science (psychology, sociology, law, management, political science, economics, communication and information, philosophy, art studies, ethnology, history, philology, and others).
- The name of the institute is associated with vytautas martynas kavolis (1930-1999) – a prominent expatriate scientist, sociologist, publicist, public figure, whose ideas and works left a considerable imprint on the restored vytautas magnus university.
Institute mission – to initiate and carry out national and international fundamental and applied research in humanities and social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary research, that corresponds the needs of science, Lithuanian society and the state; to strengthen the role of humanities and social sciences in society, to create an open academic culture, to actively participate in the processes of dissemination of science and research-based knowledge.
The research carried out and developed by the Institute encompasses several cross-cutting areas of interdisciplinary research, underpinned by the following strategic keywords of scientific interest:
- INDIVIDUAL, CULTURE, SOCIOCULTURAL CHANGE – The socio-cultural transformations of society and changing identities (the relationship between the individual, culture, society);
- MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE – Social integration, institutional management and governance (institutions and mechanisms);
- INCLUSION POLICY – Inclusion policy decisions (impact).
The Institute develops the following areas of activity:
- SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND DATA (fundamental and applied research is conducted in thematic areas of social sciences and humanities, additionally the development of competences in data tools and data analysis);
- DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETENCIES (organization of competence development of young and experienced researchers, training activities for young researchers, postdoctoral internships, activities of visiting researchers);
- NETWORKING AND SOCIETY (development of expert activities, public education, information and communication, cooperation with social (local, national, regional and international) partners, organization of scientific events).