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An overview of interdisciplinary research themes in MPLS.

AI and data science

Oxford is at the frontier of the AI revolution, with world leading research not only into the mechanisms of AI, but also the applications and implications of AI.

Antimicrobial resistance

It is estimated that drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and an annual economic cost of £69 trillion. Two major initiatives in MPLS are working to tackle the problems of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


The world’s changing climate and the threats and opportunities it affords, are one of the biggest issues facing society today. At Oxford more than 170 scientists from across the University are rising to the challenge and seek to understand what is causing climate change, what are the impacts, and what we can do about it.

Energy and the zero-carbon economy

Oxford is well-placed to lead a whole-systems approach to climate change, given our broad profile in the area of energy research, with over 180 senior researchers addressing major technical, societal, economic and policy issues.

Food security and biodiversity

As the world around us is changing, we urgently need to assess the impact of global temperature and sea level increases, extreme weather events and threats to biodiversity.

Functional materials

Functional materials possess particular native properties and functions of their own, such as magnetism or piezoelectricity. This interdisciplinary field centred across the departments of Materials, Chemistry and Physics, aims to understand, characterise and synthesise these materials to harness their properties for solutions in areas ranging from energy, healthcare, electronics, and catalysis. Oxford has strengths in thin films, nanomaterials and materials for energy storage.

Physical sciences underpinning health

Oxford is a driving force for the development of engineering and physical science techniques in the life and medical sciences, allowing breakthroughs in our understanding of biological systems relating to disease, food and biotechnology.

Quantum science and technologies

Oxford University is the UK's largest and most diverse centre for quantum research, with over 200 researchers.


Oxford is at the forefront of technologies including photonics and AI that are transforming the space sector, as well as in business innovation to help space agencies and companies to adapt to the new business environment.

Sustainability and the environment

Oxford is bringing together a world-leading interdisciplinary team, working with industry and NGOs, to tackle the key issues surrounding the global plastic economy