Topics of research conducted by university researchers are varied and cover more than 300 fields of study. For instance, in 2016, higher education institutions and research organisations of the Ministry of Education and Science completed over 250 fundamental studies, 462 application studies, finished almost 5.2 thousand projects commissioned by the industrial sector and business. They worked on topics which are the most relevant and progressive around the world now, namely radiation and medical physics, biophysics, spintronics, material engineering, etc.
Another important field of research is aimed at increasing the defence capacity and security of Ukraine. Such projects are implemented for specific purposes, particularly in UkrOboronProm. For instance, scientists at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University created a key component for pulse ground-penetrating radar. It allows unexploded ordnance and mines in plants and the surface layer of soil to be detected at a distance with a higher probability. The work of scientists from the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute will enable a significant increase in the energy security of domestically produced tanks by increasing their capacity from 1,200 to 1,500 horsepower and the boost level to 92 horsepower per litre.
Scientific research is currently funded under the principle of awarding grants – based on the results of competitive selection of projects. However, the reform provides for appraisal (state attestation) of higher education institutions by 2019 in terms of their research activity and, following the results of the attestation, the level of core funding of academic research will be established.
There has been a tendency of university research becoming "younger" in Ukraine recently – the number of young researchers in higher education institutions grew by over 1,500 persons in 2016. An important factor contributing to this is a call for proposals with respect to scientific efforts of young researchers– the Ministry of Education and Science introduced it in 2016 solely for young research teams and has provided funding in the amount of almost UAH 38 million for more than 200 projects. A specific feature of the call for proposals is that project cost estimates include not only labour remuneration but also money to be spent on materials, academic trips and, where necessary, even purchase of additional scientific equipment. The Ministry of Education and Science is planning to continue holding this call for proposals in 2018 and increase its funding to 10-15% of the Ministry's overall budget allocated for scientific research.