The Sainsbury Research Unit (SRU), based in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, is a centre for the study of the arts and material culture of Africa, the Pacific region and the Americas.

It has six permanent academic faculty supported by library and administrative staff. Visiting fellows, research associates and postdoctoral researchers working on special projects also contribute to the academic life of the unit. It has its own teaching and study facilities and a specialist research library known as the Robert Sainsbury Library, all on hand in the Sainsbury Centre.

The SRU offers MA and PhD degrees, with generous scholarships and funding support for students. MRes and MPhil options are available. It also offers visiting fellowships for postdoctoral scholars and hosts regular conferences, symposia and other academic meetings. Combining anthropological, art-historical, archaeological and museological approaches, SRU research and teaching are focused on the distinctive cultures of the three regions, especially how artworks and objects are made, used, and circulated – in effect, how they matter to people, both in their original contexts and in the contexts of museums and exhibitions. The MA and PhD programmes are intended for those interested in careers in higher education, museums and galleries, publishing, journalism and development.

As part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UEA the SRU contributes to a substantial and lively scholarly community in the Sainsbury Centre.