AdZU Research Agenda Framework

“Serving the Communities and Strengthening AdZU through Research”


The AdZU Research Agenda Framework reflects the internal and external research challenges and opportunities AdZU wishes to prioritize in the next three years (SY 2019-2022).  The framework identifies urgent and significant research themes that would serve Zamboanga City and beyond, namely: community leadership; marginalization and vulnerabilities; faith and culture, peace and security; and sustainable development. 

The framework also recognizes research opportunities that would strengthen the organic systems within AdZU, namely: curriculum, clients, human capital, and administration. As a whole, the framework emphasizes the interconnections between and among the key elements that allow AdZU to thrive and respond to communities according to its vision and mission.

AdZU Research Agenda 2019-2022

The AdZU Research Agenda 2019-2022 is a research roadmap of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) guided by its vision and mission, in the service of God and country, as well as by the Society of Jesus’s emphasis on the environment, youth, and the marginalized. Generated through consultations and conversations with different stakeholders within and outside of AdZU, this research agenda basically aims to guide the prioritizations of AdZU research efforts. Significantly, this agenda aims to address and respond to the urgent needs and issues of the surrounding communities in Zamboanga City and beyond. It also aims to address the challenges experienced within the Ateneo de Zamboanga University to further strengthen its operations and services. In general, this document strategically identifies the different research themes and in particular offers specific research topics under each theme. The list is intended to trigger more similar research topics within the context of the research agenda 2019-2022.


The heedful extension services of Ateneo de Zamboanga University shed light to the challenges we face in the vicinity and beyond.  The harsh realities as well as the promising opportunities outside of the university campus force us to strategize efforts in responding more significantly.  Research is one basic strategy.  The following are research themes and topics that can practically inform and intensify the extension efforts of the university:

Community Leadership

The local communities and the barangays were found to be locations of leadership challenges and opportunities for greater service and human emancipation. Research on, as well as those related to, the following are urgently needed:

         1. Local governance and leadership towards resilient communities
              a. Scanning and Strengthening Leadership and Governance in the Barangays
              b. Resiliency of Communities as Indicator of Barangay Leadership and Governance
              c. Resiliency in Communities: Challenges and Prospects
              d. Linking the Civil Society Organization, Government Agencies, and the Barangays
              e. Making Sense of the Development Work of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the City

Marginalization and Vulnerabilities

The exposure to local realities nowadays present real pressing issues on marginalization and victimization of the vulnerable groups. One way to respond on these issues is to embark on the following research, and other related topics:

          1. The marginalized and the vulnerable: who, why, how?
              a. The Plight of the Subanen/Kolibugan/Sama-Bajau/Sama-Bangingi in Western Mindanao
              b. Occupational Safety and Women Workers in Zamboanga’s Canning Factories
              c. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) among Minors in Western Mindanao
              d. The Youth in Politics: Predicaments and Promises
              e. Violence against Women and Children: Weaving Narratives
              f. Victims of Human Trafficking: Cross-Case Analysis
              g. Incest in Zamboanga City: the Untold Stories
              h. Understanding the Multiple Vulnerabilities of the LGBTQIA in Poor Communities

Faith and Culture, Peace and Security

Part of the challenges we face today has to do with the complex interrelation of faith and culture that impacts on peace and security, and ultimately development in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, and beyond. The following are interesting research topics which can be used in the education and formation of the young:

         1. Inter/intra-faith and culture dynamics in Western Mindanao
              a. Islamic Education and Philosophy in View of Interfaith, Intercultural Advocacy
              b. Muslim – Christian Relations as Depicted in Social Media
              c. Models in Strengthening Intrafaith and Interfaith Relations

         2. Peace and Security
              a. Understanding the Dynamics of Radicalization in Western Mindanao towards Peace Building
              b. Biographies of Mindanao Muslim Heroes and Peace-builders: Platform for Formation Programs
              c. Rising Rates of Teenage Pregnancy: a New Challenge to Schools and Churches
              d. Teenage Pregnancy: Analyzing Risks, Challenges, and Health Prospects
              e. Urban Sprawl: the Challenge of Zamboanga City in the Next Decades
              f. ICT Infrastructure for Peace and Order in the City

Sustainable Development (Environment, Health, & Economics)

In the recent time, there is a clamor for environmental care, health, and innovations that serve the human populace. We urgently need research on, and those related to, the following:

        1. Environment and sustainable development
              a. Food Security Issues in Western Mindanao
              b. Arguments for and against the City Master Plan Compliance
              c. Managing the Solid Waste Management
              d. Renewable Energy: Cost, Benefit, and Trends
              e. Scanning Zamboanga City’s ICT Infrastructure: Impact on Disaster Response

        2. Strengthening Health and Wellness in society
              a. Maternal and child health
              b. Changing Views on Vaccinations: Implications to Public Health
              c. Maternal and Child Health from a Cultural Perspective
              d. Handling the Food Handlers: Steps and Missteps in Sanitation Inspection
              e. Health-seeking Behavior and Health Insurance Coverage: Contradictions in Public Health
              f. Compliance of the Barangays to the Mental health Law
              g. Scanning Zamboanga City’s ICT Infrastructure: Impact on Health Care Delivery

         3. Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
              a. Zamboanga City’s BPO Readiness
              b. Benchmarking Zamboanga’s ICT Infrastructure with Metro-cities in the Philippines
              c. Family-run Enterprises and Economic Development


Our exposure to the daunting realities outside of the university campus forces us to introspect. It challenges us to reexamine the internal university conditions through which we serve the people, the country, and God. The following research themes and topics can shed light into this challenge:

Curriculum (Instruction & Formation)

The shift to K to 12 in the Philippines brought much transitional challenges in schools across levels and units. The challenges were intensified by the shift to the new general education curriculum in the tertiary level. This context gives rise to further reexamination, reevaluation, and reflection of why, how, and what we teach. Hence, the following researches on the curriculum from kindergarten to tertiary levels are prioritized:

         1. Curriculum: identity, integrity, delivery, and social transformation
              a. Revisiting the Ignatian Identity in the AdZU Curriculum for Community-based Transformation
              b. Drawing the Line across AdZU Curricula: toward Curriculum Alignment
              c. Are we Developing the Right Competencies: Relating Curriculum and Faculty
              d. AdZU Curriculum and Values: Bridging the Gap
              e. Connecting AdZU Curriculum and Socio-political Transformation
              f. Readiness of AdZU in Catering to Students with Special Needs

          2. Monitoring students’ progress to strengthen instructional programs
              a. Improving Instruction through Action Research
              b. AdZU GS Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) Program: an Action Research
              c. Action Research on No Assignment Policy in AdZU GS
              d. Action Research on ICT Integration in AdZU
              e. Longitudinal Study on Filipino Proficiency among Private school Students
              f. Longitudinal Study on English Proficiency among Private School Students
              g. “Are We Ready for Special Education (SpEd)?”

Clients (Students, Graduates, Parents)

The question on the curriculum ultimately hinges from our concern on the students, the graduates, and parents. They are the university’s clients, who reflect the kind of education and formation a university delivers. The following are some of the research topics which can shed light to our reflection on the manner we produce our products:

        1. Holistic development of students through a culture of assessment
              a. Assessing the AdZU Culture of Assessment
              b. Assessing Students’ Values and Formation
              c. Students’ Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude: An Assessment
              d. Identity and Spirituality Assessment among Students

       2. Tracing students and alumni to strengthen placement and promotion programs
              a. Tracing Employability of AdZU Graduates
              b. Job Skills Matching of AdZU Graduates
              c. Tracer on Exemplary Alumni for Celebration and Marketing

Human Capital (Faculty & Staff)

 The manner we produce graduates has a lot to do with the kind of human workforce we have in the university. The urgent focus on the students’ training in the university implies the same urgency to focus on the trainers (the faculty) and those who drive the different systems within the university. Part of the priorities then is to deeply understand the AdZU faculty and developing the AdZU human capital.

        1. Understanding AdZU faculty’s commitment, passion, and productivity
              a. Uncovering and Recovering AdZU Faculty Commitment
              b. Interpreting Work Contentment among AdZU Employees
              c. Deep-diving into the World of the Young Faculty
              d. Faculty Needs and Preferences in the Workplace
              e. Tracking AdZU Faculty Performance
              f. Quality of Life Balance among AdZU Faculty
              g. Mapping the Faculty Mindsets
              h. The Faculty and the 21st Century Skills

        2. Developing AdZU’s Human Capital
              a. Redefining Employee’s Performance Evaluation
              b. Compensation and Workload Alignment in a Rapidly Evolving Workplace
              c. Job Satisfaction among Millennial Employees
              d. Assessing Employees Productivity through Time and Motion Study
              e. Relating Formation and Employees Turnover
              f. Role Perceptions: Issues among Employees

Administration (Systems, Research, Social Environment)

The crafting and implementation of new curriculum, and the management of human capital, who will in turn manage the students are initiated and supported by the university administration. The challenges in curriculum, human capital, and clients translate into challenges in administration in different areas and units. Researches on the following are highly encouraged:

        1. Understanding administration systems in AdZU
              a. Inter-office Communication Problems and Prospects
              b. Cost and Benefit Analysis of Employee Loan Systems
              c. Predicting Bullying through Machine Learning Software
              d. Localizing Security Codes and Standards in Schools
              e. Preventing Hypertension through Early Detection
              f. Risk Analysis on AdZU’s Infrastructure
              g. Maintaining Cohort Studies in Aid of Administration

         2. Strategies for building research productivity
              a. Exploring Apprenticeship in Research
              b. Mentoring, Coaching, Advising, Partnering: Which Works?
              c. Re-examining Mis/conception and Perception on Research and Research Management in AdZU
              d. Uncovering the Myths about Workload and Research in the Academe
              e. The Pros and Cons of Research Collaboration
              f. Understanding the Research Journey: Exploring Fears, Anxieties and Motivations
              g. Incentivizing Research and Researchers: an Assessment
              h. Prestige in Research and Publication among Senior Professors

         3. Understanding the socio-political atmosphere of the university
              a. Revisiting Apathy in Social Development Activities
              b. Perceptions of Democracy in Social Media

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