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Northern Institute


We are driven to make positive differences in communities, society and policy through robust and independent research.

About us

Since its formation in 2010, Northern Institute has become a regional leader in high-quality social and public policy research. We aim to understand regional development and provide strong evidence for policy development and capacity building whilst responding to the needs of governments and communities.

Northern Institute researchers are recognised nationally and internationally for their innovative methodologies and research outcomes. They collaborate through partnerships with context experts locally and content experts internationally to bring together a deep understanding of people, policy and place.

Research themes

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    Contemporary Indigenous, knowledge, governance, and science

    We engage in collaborative projects to explore Aboriginal knowledge, workforce participation, governance, language and cultural practices.

  • Sandstone Colours at Nightcliff Beach

    Demography and growth planning

    Our research focuses on population change in the Northern Territory, north of Australia and other northern and sparsely populated areas.

  • Bird under the rain in Darwin

    Risk, resilience and sustainability

    Engaging in research to support the development of resilient, adaptable and sustainable communities.

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    Realist research, evaluation and learning

    Internationally recognised experts in realist methodology contributing to social, environmental and economic wellbeing.

  • Alice Springs river landscape

    Regional, economic, education and workforce development

    Solving problems linked to economic, education and workforce policy and program implementation in regional and remote northern Australia.

  • researchers jen and paul sit on beach and look out onto sunset

    Research centres and groups

    Meet the teams that are specialists in their field:

    • Central Australian Research Group
    • Centre for Creative Futures
    • First Nations Sovereignty and Diplomacy Centre
    • Indigenous Enterprise Hub (The Hub)

    • Top End Language Lab
    • Top End Science, Technology and Society (Top End STS)
    Learn more
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Find past and current research projects

Previous projects

Read about current and historic Northern Institute research projects. 


NI publications

Northern Institute publications are now available online via CDU Digital Collections