The University research priorities are specified in the University Research Agenda. The agenda were defined with due consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of various University components and the opportunities and threats from factors of the external environment.
The identification of the University research agenda was based on established commodity-based research thrusts from which ISU developed a name and became known in research. These commodity-based research thrust in 8 thematic thrusts include:
- Precision (smart) agriculture: rice and corn, aerobic and upland rice, industrial crops (rubber, sugarcane, cacao), tropical fruits;
- organic agriculture: banana, rice, corn, legumes (mungbean, peanut) and indigenous vegetables; root crops (cassava, sweet potato, yam); indigenous plants for health and wellness; native animals (chicken, pig); (1/2) Precision (smart) / organic agriculture: dryland crops (pigeon pea, peanut, sweet sorghum); small ruminants (goat, sheep); large ruminants (dairy cattle, carabao);
- Fisheries / Aquaculture: Tilapia, hito, ulang;
- Farm machineries, metal craft, electronics and semiconductors;
- Watershed and biodiversity;
- Higher education and social science;
- Disaster risk reduction and management: hydro meteorological hazards in Cagayan river basin and island communities; climate change adaptation strategies; policies development strategies and institutions for CCA and DRRM;
- Renewable energy: micro hydro, solar energy, biomass and biofuel.
In addition, the University shall focus on seven research thematic thrusts based on international and national research trends. These thematic research thrusts include:
- Smart/Precision Agriculture,
- Organic Agriculture,
- Renewable Energy and Biofuels,
- Climate Change and Disaster Science,
- Biodiversity and Environment,
- Farm Mechanization, and
- Socio-Economics and Higher Education.
With these “commodity-based” research thrusts and the “thematic” research thrusts as simultaneous considerations for potential sources of potential researchable areas, and based on external environment (opportunities and threats) and internal (ISU’s strengths and weaknesses), the University research agenda were generated.
The research agenda, with built-in dynamics of flexibility, shall be the guide in the formulation of research proposals and the basis of approving research support by the University. The University Research Agenda shall be periodically updated when new research directions and opportunities emerge.