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Research Strategy

Thanks to its strategic approach to research and development that has been adopted since its foundation, Sabancı University has continued its development in line with national and international trends and needs. The two strategic objectives defined in Sabancı University’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan as “A Global Research University” and “ Focused Research Areas and Sustainable Centers” are the main determinants of research direction. 

Since its establishment, Sabancı University has been structured to ensure an environment for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research and has continued to develop to strengthen this aspect. In this sense, Sabancı University is one of the Turkey's leading research universities due to its unique education system instead of usual department system, the adoption of the principle of academic freedom, structures designed to develop and maintain research resources, and centers of excellence that enable interdisciplinary research in different fields.

Sabancı University was recognized as one of the three foundation universities designated as "Research University” in Turkey, as a result of the evaluations made within the scope of the "Research-Oriented Specialization Program" carried out by The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and the inclusion of foundation universities in the program for the first time in 2021.

As a necessity of being a research university on a global scale, conducting research in a more focused way has been one of the issues that our university prioritized in the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. In this context, together with the faculties, our research centers with leading research infrastructures in their fields, are also important elements that form the basis of our research focus area approach.

The research centers, which are one of the core units of research focus areas approach, were designed with a structure that nurtures cooperation and collaboration among faculty members, students and other employees on focus areas, helps the development of partnerships, and ensures acquiring funds that support the research process.

In defining its strategic objectives and prioritizing research areas, Sabancı University takes account of national and international science and technology policies, strategical importance and sustainability of the research topics, their cultural and competency-based integration to Sabancı University, the human resources capacity and research facilities.

Please click here for more information about centers.

Research processes at Sabancı University utilize internal and external funding sources to improve the research amenities and environment offered to faculty members and researchers, to carry out high-impact research, and to help them disseminate their results. There are various mechanisms for funding research projects and the main purpose of these mechanisms is to ensure the sustainability of the research process and the development of researchers. You can view the details of the content and management of incentives and mechanisms for research funding on the For Researchers page.

With Sabancı University’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan, the research targets of the university were determined along with the indicators that needed watching. Outputs are presented to decision-making bodies of the university for research and other strategic and executive management meetings during the year. This ensures regular monitoring of research performance in comparison to targets, and involvement in decision-making processes. The Research Planning and Policy Development Office is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the sustainability of Sabancı University research performance, and ensuring integration with related councils and committees. In addition to the council and committees, the regularly monitored research performance is shared with the University members through the monthly «Research Fact Sheet» document which is prepared by RPD. Current information on research performance is available on the Research Performance page. 


One of the interfaces for research output reporting is university ranking systems. Sabancı University strategically monitors Entrepreneurial and Innovative Universities Index, Times Higher Education rankings and Quacquarelli Symonds rankings. The benefit created through research activities and the contribution of the university to its community are considered alongside available human resources and number of enrolled students to reach a conclusion about the university. The provision of data to strategically monitored ranking systems, and undertaking monitoring, review and improvement activities with regard to the performance achieved in these systems are the responsibility of the Research Planning and Policy Development Office. Current information on the rankings of Sabancı University in various systems is available on the University Rankings page.

Sabancı University believes that science and technology must be disseminated to the society through teaching and education as well as community service. This approach has led to a matrix where Sabancı University Centers cooperate with and support each other and the Faculties, and the value created internally is "showcased" to the external world via the Centers, which also act as liaisons for external cooperation, which ultimately constructs the framework of the civic involvement strategy. 

All Sabancı University centers, notably SUNUM for being a national research infrastructure and SU-IMC for providing infrastructure for research at high technology readiness level, are open to public use. Sabancı University incorporates İstanbul Policy Center (IPC) and İstanbul International Center for Energy and Climate (IICEC) where research is integrated to societal impact through societal research projects, policy development practices and activities for dissemination of knowledge. Education Reform Initiative (ERG), a think-tank contributing to evidence-based decision-making processes in education, concerning stakeholder engagement and ensuring the access of all children to quality education, is also a part of Sabancı University. 

Being one of the leading entrepreneurial universities in Turkey, Sabancı University aims to build its brand on entrepreneurship. Information regarding INOVENT, that focuses on the commercialization of early-stage technologies with a particular focus on fostering faculty-based entrepreneurship, can be reached from its website
The outputs of research activities are offered to the benefit of the society through the technologies created. The contribution of Sabancı University to science and technology is explained in the Patents and Technologies page. 

Collaboration Space, which is designed as a community center open to society, and Sabancı University Executive Development Unit (EDU) are other two entities of Sabancı University that provide service to society.