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Research and Innovation

Students working with a laptop
Students train to operate and test ice-penetrating radar systems.

Stanford research is remarkable in both its breadth and depth, with research programs that reflect the expertise, creativity and initiative of the faculty who set the research agenda. Faculty have a long tradition of engaging with their colleagues and students within Stanford’s seven schools and working across disciplines.

Sponsored Research

There are more than 6,800 externally sponsored projects throughout the university, with the total budget for sponsored projects at $1.63 billion for 2019-20, including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC). Of these projects, the federal government sponsors approximately 80 percent, including SLAC. Also, nearly $354 million in support comes from non-federal funding sources.

National Research Programs with Centers at Stanford

  • Departments of Plant Biology and Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science
  • National Bureau of Economic Research

Independent Laboratories, Centers and Institutes

There are 17 independent laboratories, centers and institutes that provide a physical and intellectual intersection between schools and disciplines. These institutes are in line with Stanford’s long standing tradition of crossing boundaries to tackle large problems, engaging faculty and their students in collaborations that range from international and economic studies to studies on the environment, energy and health. Find out more at

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Laboratories and Institutes

  • Stanford Bio-X
  • Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
  • Stanford Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health (ChEM-H)
  • Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES)
  • The Stanford PULSE Institute
  • Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC)
  • Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM)
  • E. L. Ginzton Laboratory
  • W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL)

Policy Institutes

  • Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)
  • Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
  • Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)
  • Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Precourt Institute for Energy

Humanities and Social Science Centers

  • Stanford Humanities Center (SHC)
  • Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL)
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)

Other Special Research Centers

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory operated by Stanford. Research at SLAC addresses questions in chemistry, materials and energy sciences, bioscience, fusion energy science, high-energy physics, cosmology, advanced accelerator development and other fields. More than 2,700 scientists worldwide use the lab’s facilities each year, and more than 900 scientific papers are published annually based on research at SLAC, which has earned four Nobel prizes.

Established by Herbert Hoover—a member of Stanford’s Pioneer Class of 1895 and the 31st US president—the Hoover Institution marked its centennial in 2019. From its initial charge to collect materials documenting the experience of war and the pursuit of peace, the institution stands today as the world’s preeminent archive and policy research center dedicated to freedom, private enterprise, and effective, limited government.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, located in the Santa Cruz foothills about 15 minutes from the main Stanford campus, encompasses 1,193 acres and provides a natural laboratory for ecosystem research and teaching. Docent-led tours are offered to groups aligned with the preserve’s mission to contribute to the understanding of the Earth’s natural systems through research, education, and protection of the preserve’s resources.

Hopkins Marine Station opened in 1892 as the first marine research facility on the Pacific Coast and the second in the United States. Located on Monterey Bay, Hopkins is home to marine research and study by 11 faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students.

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