The work and discoveries of prominent scientists at the Kazan University have led to the emergence of a variety of important research fields in Kazan, the rest of Russia and indeed globally. The importance of Kazan to Russian education was shown during World War II, when almost the entire USSR Academy of Sciences, with its institutes and academicians, was evacuated to Kazan. Over decades, many famous members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan and other prominent scientific associations have contributed to research at KFU.
In recent years, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the following scientific research fields at KFU have won special recognition as 'Leading Research Schools of Russia':
- Resonance spectroscopy of condensed matter
- Polyfunctional acyclic and heterocyclic phosphorus compounds of different coordination
- Interaction of atoms and molecules with radiation; quantum and electrodynamic effects in emission spectra of atomic systems
- Directed synthesis of macrocyclic compounds capable of molecular recognition and self-organization
- Studies of molecular and spin dynamics and role of quantum coherence in photo induced processes
Although KFU is best known in Russia for its contribution to the natural sciences, it is also famous for its traditions of studying linguistics, history and the Orient. Especially in the post-Soviet years, Kazan University has attained an international reputation for exceptional achievements in the social sciences and humanities. It continues to serve as a main centre for the study of the peoples and cultures of Tatarstan and the Volga region. KFU is a national leader in using its interdisciplinary potential for the study of social and cultural transition to participate in a number of international projects.