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1. Introduction

Salale University (SlU) is one of the newly established public Universities located in North Shoa Zone, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. It was established based on the demand of North Shoa Zone, Oromia Regional State and its surrounding community in line with the direction of the government; SlU was established as full-fledged institution in 2015 as per the Proclamation No359/2008.

The University has three campuses: These are General Tadesse Birru (main campus) which covers 96 hectares; Abebech Gobena (Health Science Campus) of seven (7) hectares, and Ganda Farda covers 22.5 hectares which is under construction. Currently, SLU has five colleges which include College of Businesses and Economics, Health Sciences, Agriculture, Natural Sciences and Social Science and Humanities.  The University runs 19 programs/departments under five colleges. These include: Department of Animal Science, Plant Science, Horticultural Science, Agricultural Economics, Natural Resource Management, Public Health Officer, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science, Midwifery, Management, Accounting and Finance, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography and Environmental Studies, History and Heritage Management and Sociology. The board of the University was formed and all necessary University structures were drafted, implemented and necessary man powers assigned.

Notably, research thematic areas are instrumental in reducing fragmentation of activities and duplication of efforts; enhancing efficient utilization of research resources; easing coordination and management of the different research activities; enabling cross-fertilization of research ideas; facilitating interdisciplinary activities and group learning; making research results quickly observable, measurable, and implementable; increasing the prospect of winning research funds; increasing the production of competent master and doctoral graduates; and expanding the scientific research and innovation capacity of the University.

As a wider categorizing of areas of research with a common theme, research thematic areas should be important in up to date research issues, encourage interdisciplinary and integrated research, have huge potential contribution for economic development, and have significance for the social, cultural and environmental benefit of the country. The establishment of research thematic areas plays a fundamental role for increasing effective and efficient utilization of resources which have top priority issues. These days, it is becoming a culture to do research in groups since it is generally believed that an individual may fail to have due knowledge in all aspects of research and hence team work is awfully better than individual works. Needless to say, team based researches will be greater than before, because thematic areas may extend across more than one departments and bands  will normally incorporate a number of research groups. In addition, the identified research thematic areas will serve as influence for external funds.

In recognition of the need to conduct problem-solving and impact-oriented research and community engagement, a need has been felt to design trans-disciplinary and integrated research in a thematic approach. Thus, the following major research thematic areas have been identified and developed in five colleges (Agriculture and Natural resources, Health Science, Natural Science, Social Science and Humanities and Business and Economics) with inclusion of several sub-themes and research areas:

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