The university has identified different thematic research areas in consultation with the stakeholders that can benefit the country in line with priority needs of the regional state and Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and relevant international trends. New research projects will be funded when the research projects are feeding into these thematic areas. These thematic research areas pertaining to different sectors are listed below.
- Food security and livelihood: Enhancing Food Security, Improving Farm Earnings and improving Nutritional Status of the Community by Caring for the Natural Resource Base
- Heath and Health deliverability: Diagnosis of major Health problems, determinates of health, quality of health care and health institutions, and population growth
- Environment and Climate Change : Environment, ecology and climate change, mitigation and adaptation and Natural Resource Management for Sustainable Development
- Quality of Education : A closer look of Quality of Education at each stage to Invigorate livelihood and development in Ethiopia
- Social Justice and Democracy : Social Justice, Human rights, Governance and Democracy a means to improve livelihood
- Institutional Innovations and Management: Studies towards Poverty reduction, policy analyses, inequality and Development, Micro -financing and Change Management.
- Technology adaptation and transfer: Engineering and Technology Testing and Adaptation (Water and sanitation, Renewable and sustainable Energy, construction materials and ICT divides)
- Science for sustainability : Bridging science for research and development
The eight thematic areas will also address the following crosscutting issues
- Gender and development : Gender mainstreaming and analyses
- Environment and development
- Community engagement