Science and research are core activities of the University of Bihać, starting from the mission and vision of the university, through the development strategy, to the conditions for the advancement of teaching staff. Through its mission, the University has committed itself to an internationally recognized quality of scientific work and research in order to take a leading role in generating, transferring and applying knowledge of various scientific fields in the Una-Sana Canton and beyond. In line with that, the vision of the University of Bihać is to become the leading generator of development of Una Sana Canton in all areas of life and work, economy, education, health, culture and sports. In order to achieve the goals of the mission and vision, the University conducts research in the field of natural, technical, health, biotechnical and social sciences, humanities and arts.
In order to ensure the quality and international recognition of scientific research, the University continuously works on improving research resources, which includes the advancement of existing staff and engagement of young staff, procurement of equipment and establishment of domestic and foreign partnerships with research institutions for joint research. The regulations of the University support the advancement of staff through scientific research and participation in scientific conferences, while the access to domestic and international funds for financing scientific research is supported through administrative and consultative support from the Office for Scientific Research and International Cooperation. Procurement of equipment for scientific research is done in accordance with the needs and available funds, but also through various projects initiated by members of the University. The project "Modernization of the University of Bihać" enabled procurement of equipment in the value of EUR 5.000.000, which included the procurement of equipment for scientific research and equipment that enables the transfer of knowledge for the needs of the economy.
The focus of the University's competence and research capacities is defined through the constant challenges which Una Sana Canton and City of Bihać are facing, and these include ecology, tourism, global migrations, digitalization and challenges of the post-industrial society. In support of such research, the University hosts researchers from different disciplines and different countries, such as dr. Elissa Helms from Central European University who in the academic 2019/20 year conducted a research on Global South to West migrations, as well as Fulbright scholar, dr. Megan McShane from Florida Gulf Coast University, who conducted a research on correlation between culture, art and ecology in local post-industrial context. Worth mentioning is the research of Reilley Bergin Wilson from City University of New York and dr. Jacek Kwiatkowski from University of Warsaw who also visited University of Bihać in 2019 for the purpose of their research. Furthermore, the post-industrial research context of the region has been an inspiration for a course Dizajn i Kriza supported by Patterns Lectures award which managed to initiate transformation of the abandoned industrial locations.
In order to further develop scientific research at the University of Bihać, as well as to remove obstacles encountered by University staff in terms of achieving excellence in research, certain steps have been taken. First, through the University Development Strategy, scientific research and international cooperation were set as strategic goals, with seven strategic tasks:
- International cooperation,
- Establishment of the Centre for Science and Development (CENIR),
- Application for EU funds,
- Access to databases,
- Establishment of study programs,
- Increasing and promoting student mobility,
- Increasing publishing activities and organization of scientific conferences.
The procedure of passing the Law on Scientific Research of the Una-Sana Canton is underway, through which funds will be planned for the realization of these tasks, especially gaining access to databases and supporting the organization of scientific gatherings. In an effort to strengthen the international visibility of its research and enable the mobility of research staff, the University has taken steps to develop an open access policy in cooperation with international experts to ensure the University's membership in the planned Network of Open Research Infrastructures in the Western Balkans. Access to networks of researchers in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been initiated, such as the DASS-BiH Data Archive for Social Sciences in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ESS-BiH research network, and the University is a signatory of the European Charter for Researchers and the Researcher Employment Code. The Rulebook on categorization of publications at UNBI was also adopted, which regulates the issue of recognized publications in terms of selection of academic staff, categorization and manner of analysis and reporting at the University of Bihać.