Conducting research that is relevant to rural and underserved communities is fully aligned with the strategic priorities and research of the Provincial and National Department of Health, the MRC, SU, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Research that is relevant to the health needs of South Africa and the African continent, should contribute significantly towards the development of intellectual capacity and finding solutions to serve the health needs of South Africa and the developing world in general.

The research focus areas of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences include Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Health Systems Research with an overarching focus on research that is relevant and applicable in the South African and African context. Multi-disciplinary approaches are encouraged. Ukwanda finds itself in a unique position where it can make a major contribution to support and direct relevant research in these particular focus areas.

The current directors have vast experience in clinical/epidemiological research, particularly in the areas of Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. They are involved as co-investigators in various studies related to these topics and are well established within the greater research community in this field.

At Ukwanda a dedicated Research Assistant focuses primarily on research related to the Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health. Research projects include studies on the value of undergraduate training in rural settings and clinical epidemiology-based research relevant to the rural settings where Ukwanda operates.