SIT has a strong commitment to supporting and growing research activity. A broad range of research is carried out by staff, reflecting their areas of interests and expertise. As is appropriate for a vocational teaching institute, there is a particular focus on research that informs and improves teaching and learning practice. The SIT Research Fund, a contestable fund to support staff carrying out research, is heavily subscribed to each year and has supported a diverse and fascinating range of research projects. These and many other research projects are highlighted in the annual Research Report published by the Research Institute.
Research at SIT is supported by the Research Institute. Key annual events include the SIT Staff Research Symposium at which staff share the results of their research project with their colleagues, and the Three Minute Thesis Contest for Year 3 research students. Research forums are held twice a year as part of staff training weeks to share research updates and highlight good research practice. Staff writing up research projects or involved in post graduate research degrees are encouraged to join the Breakfast Club, an informal writing group that supports researchers working in all disciplines across SIT.
The Research Institute carries out targeted research projects in collaboration with other tertiary institutes and with local and regional community organisations. As the pre-eminent vocation tertiary institute in southern New Zealand, SIT is an important part of the local and regional community. The Research Institute hosts a range of seminars and symposia where SIT staff can share their research findings with each other and the wider community.