Research development is a top priority of St Petersburg University mapping out its further growth. It is based on the SPbU Strategic Plan 2020 aimed, among other things, at comprehensive development of research, expert activity and innovation.

This task is solved through the following activities:

  • development of academic mobility programmes, intern exchange and invitation of emerging researchers from other Russian and non-Russian organisations to St Petersburg University;
  • creation of a system of planning and support of scientific and innovative activities;
  • development and implementation of various approaches to making the research topics in fundamental and applied science timely and currently important;
  • development of innovative activities;
  • expansion of national and international cooperation in scientific activity;
  • development of the University's expert community;
  • expansion of expert and consulting activity.

The priority areas of research include:

  • nanotechnology and materials science
  • biomedicine and human health
  • information systems and technology
  • ecology and sustainable use of natural resources
  • social research and technologies
  • human resource management and technologies

SPbU's scientific infrastructure

Our Research Park unites teams from the resource centres acting within the framework of the main areas of the SPbU Strategic Plan. The users' tasks can be solved at several resource centres, either simultaneously or consecutively, as well as on a cross-disciplinary basis at one centre.

The SPbU Research Park operates according to the principle of equal access. This means the resource centres are open to any interested persons provided that common regulations are observed.

Research Park:

  • 25 resource centres
  • premises > 27,000 m2
  • equipment — 7 bln roubles

St Petersburg University Research Library is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Russia with a main collection dating back to 1783.

Research Library named after M. Gorky:

  • 6.9 mln print publications and manuscripts
  • more than 40,000 rare manuscripts and 57,000 rare books
  • 2.4 mln e-catalogue entries
  • 62 mln electronic full-text sources
  • 160,000 titles accessible via digital subscription

SPbU Megagrants

One of SPbU's most important tasks is implementation of its own research support programmes. In 2013 and 2014, megagrant competitions were organised at SPbU, that resulting in the creation of 9 research laboratories headed by leading scholars from Russia and other countries.

Laboratories established within the framework of the Megagrant Programme:

  • Laboratory "Center for Bioinformatics and Algorithmic Biotechnology" headed by Pavel Arkadyevich Pevzner
  • Laboratory of Electronic and Spin Structure of Nanosystems headed by Evgeny Vladimirovich Chulkov
  • Laboratory "Transnationalism and Migration Processes: Comparative and Institutional Analysis" headed by Peter Kivisto
  • Laboratory "Economic Performance and the Environment" headed by Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Laboratory "Internationalisation of Politically Connected Firms from Emerging Markets" headed by Lilac Nachum
  • Laboratory "Catalysis by Transition Metal Clusters: Synthesis of Biologically Active Molecules and Pharmaceutical Building Blocks with Atomistic Precision " headed by Valentin Pavlovich Ananikov
  • Research Laboratory for Analysis and Modeling of Social Processes. Political Islam / Islamism: Theory and Practice in Comparative and Historical Perspective headed by Alexander Dmitrievich Knysh
  • Biomolecular NMR Laboratory at SPbU: Protein Structure, Dynamics, Function, and Role in Human Disease headed by Nikolai Ruslanovich Skrynnikov
  • Laboratory of Amyloid Biology headed by Yury Olegovich Chernoff

University spin-offs (small innovative enterprises)

Research commercialisation is one of the major growth prospects for universities worldwide. The activity of SPbU's spin-offs is aimed at practical implementation of intellectual activity results.

10 small innovative enterprises have been created and now operate at St Petersburg University:

  • OOO "SPbU Geology Centre"
  • OOO "SPbU INDIS Centre"
  • OOO "SPbU Information Technology Research Centre"
  • OOO "SPbU Centre for Organisational Innovations"
  • OOO "Innovative Centre for Transport Research"
  • OOO "Nonlocal Plasma Technologies"
  • OOO "Information Technology Studio"
  • OOO "Northwestern Gemmological Centre of Expert Evaluation and Certification"
  • OOO "Istiophorus"
  • OOO "Laser Chemistry"

Scientific staff

The outstanding academic staff is a most valuable resource of the University. In keeping with the best traditions of the Russian education, our academics maintain, reinforce and enhance the scientific potential, develop and apply up-to-date educational technologies and create the required material assets.

Research and teaching staff:

  • doctors of science — more than 1,400 employees
  • candidates of science — more than 3,000 employees
  • PhD — 51 employees
  • academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education — 19 employees
  • corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education — 27 employees

The successful implementation of SPbU science development strategy is evidenced by a broader range of applied research, a growing number of international scholars working at SPbU laboratories as well as by joint projects launched in cooperation with research groups from non-Russian academic centres. SPbU employees have their works published in top-rated journals and annually participate in most important international scientific conferences.

In 2016 SPbU became the only Russian institution listed in the Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars, a prestigious scientific ranking (the Top 100 Institutions nomination).