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Charles Darwin University (CDU), formerly the Northern Territory University, is by Australian standards a small university. The main campus is based in Darwin in the Top End of the Northern Territory with a number of smaller campuses and centres scattered throughout the 1.4 million [km.sup.2] land mass. CDU is a dual sector institution, serving both the needs of higher education students as well as VET students; in other words, it offers everything from Pharmacy to Commercial Cookery. It is also a regional university with more than half of its 21,230 students engaged in external study mode and spread out over its wider region and beyond, both interstate as well as overseas. Of the total student population, 78% are part-time and 22% are full-time (CDU, 2010). In 2005, CDU's aim was noted as being to "increase and focus research activities within the institution to maximise the benefit to both the region and the wider academic community" (CDU, 2005). Whilst small research clusters already existed within the academic schools at CDU, it was the creation of the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) in 2004 that placed research firmly on the agenda with, first, the establishment of the School for Social and Policy Research; this was followed later by the School for Environmental Research (SER) and the Graduate School for Health Practice. It was also during this time that the long-established Menzies School of Health Research with its own 20-year history, became a part of the Institute. In establishing the Institute, it was envisaged that the University would become the regional leader in research into the areas of social, cultural, environmental, intellectual, and economic development of northern Australia and surrounding areas, particularly in the so-called 'near north'--the islands of eastern Indonesia, and Timor Leste. The research was heavily focused on issues to do with Indigenous Australia and the unique environment and ecology of the wet tropical north and the dry arid centre (CDU, 2005).