Science, Engineering, and Technology
Asked to identify areas where Yale scientists could best address the world’s present and future challenges, the University Science Strategy Committee named five disciplines—data science, quantum science, neuroscience, inflammation science, and environmental science—where increased investment could lead to transformative new discoveries.
With the support of donors, Yale is committed to advancing each of these priorities as well as several cross-cutting areas that support and strengthen all of Yale’s science and engineering fields. Your gifts help the university’s scientists, engineers, and mathematicians expand our understanding of the universe, improve society, and secure human and global health.
Data Science and Computer Science
We are in the midst of a data revolution. As technologies from smartphones to medical devices capture more data, researchers are developing new ways to convert that data into knowledge. Yale’s efforts in data science and computer science promise to transform nearly every area of scholarship and human endeavor, shaping how we design medical treatments, understand evolution, protect the environment, and more.
To further support the students and researchers working at the forefront of this field, Yale is launching new initiatives in how we teach computer science and conduct integrative data science research—a campus-wide effort that will unite departments across disciplines and facilitate the sharing of resources and expertise. As these initiatives advance the capabilities of modern data tools, they will also benefit the array of disciplines that generate and rely on data—an effort that promises profound and far-reaching impacts.
Quantum Science, Engineering, and Materials
Quantum science has entered a new age of discovery. Recent breakthroughs are enabling scientists to reshape how we compute and communicate, launch advanced technologies, create new materials, and help resolve the biggest mysteries of our universe.
A global leader in quantum science, Yale has committed to establishing a quantum initiative—a university-wide effort to unite Yale’s strengths in engineering, physics, chemistry, and materials science. This initiative will advance the field of quantum science, enhance human understanding, and drive discovery in every science discipline.
Neuroscience: From Molecules to Mind
With its network of one hundred billion neurons, the human brain is a deeply complex organ. For the first time, a comprehensive understanding of the brain and nervous system is within reach, along with the promise that we can uncover the causes of neurological disease and neurodegeneration, how to restore cognition after injury, and the drivers of learning, memory, and cognition.
Neuroscience research takes place at a range of scales—from genes and molecules, to cells and circuits, to the entire brain—and encompasses several disciplines. To push the boundaries of neuroscience research, Yale is integrating its outstanding intellectual, academic, clinical, and technological resources into a neuroscience initiative—a first-of-its-kind effort that will coordinate research programs to form a deeper understanding of brain function, from molecules to mind.
Recent discoveries have revealed that many of the most life-threatening diseases humans face today—including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and obesity—all share a common thread. In each, the body’s inflammatory response is imbalanced, either too aggressive or insufficient. A deeper understanding of inflammation could open new doors for preventing, treating, and curing the most pervasive illnesses of our time.
At Yale, scientists are working to uncover how inflammation is regulated, how it becomes imbalanced, and how that leads to disease. By pursuing new questions and approaches, Yale researchers aim to revolutionize our understanding of inflammation’s role in disease and reveal innovative strategies for addressing today’s most serious illnesses, an endeavor that will have lasting impacts on human life and health.
Environmental Impacts and Solutions
Affecting all of life on Earth, climate change is one of the biggest and most pressing challenges of our time. Researchers are working to establish a deeper understanding of climate change, its scope, and its numerous, varied impacts—an endeavor that requires expertise from many disciplines.
Yale is committed to uniting its many researchers working in this area, including biologists, chemists, geologists, and ecologists. Researchers in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies—which promotes public engagement and conducts groundbreaking environmental research on local, regional, and global scales—will collaborate with environmental engineers and social scientists, like economist and Nobel laureate William Nordhaus, who has helped to quantify the economic impact of climate change and devised policies that encourage climate action. Bringing together these diverse perspectives and approaches, Yale aims to develop truly innovative and far-reaching solutions to climate change.
Science Frontiers Endowment
Science, engineering, and mathematics play an increasingly important role in answering humanity’s most pressing questions. Yale has established the Science Frontiers Endowment as a permanent source of sustained and flexible support for Yale’s researchers, funding novel research projects, graduate student training, instrumentation, and more.
Your gifts to the Science Frontiers Endowment will enable Yale’s researchers to pursue the most promising lines of inquiry and, ultimately, make groundbreaking discoveries.
Science Catalyst Fund
Through their pursuit of innovative, high-impact research, Yale’s researchers are expanding knowledge and developing applications that can change the world. Giving to the Science Catalyst Fund—a renewable source of expendable funding—will provide immediate support for their research needs. Donors may contribute to the fund on a one-time or recurring basis and become a part of Yale’s sustained commitment to science, engineering, and mathematics.
Providing Yale faculty with substantial and reliable funds to support their teaching and research activities, endowed chairs are the most direct way to support the university’s distinguished researchers. Among the highest honors Yale can bestow, endowed chairs serve as indispensable tools for recruiting and retaining accomplished scientists and engineers. They in turn attract other leading minds to the university, cultivating a deeply collaborative and impactful environment. Donors who endow chairs drive discovery, innovation, and achievement and help Yale’s researchers and educators address the most pressing challenges of our time.
Graduate Student Fellowships
Graduate students are at the heart of Yale’s research endeavors, conducting much of the work that takes place in university laboratories and approaching that work with fresh ideas and energy. These young scientists are typically supported through university funds and short-term external grants that can vary from year to year, but endowed fellowships offer stable and reliable support that enables Yale students to tackle truly innovative, out-of-the-box research ideas. Endowing a graduate student fellowship is an investment in the future—the future of science and technology, the future of education, and the future of our understanding of the world around us.
In every field, scientists rely on specialized equipment to ask questions, test predictions, and make new discoveries. But often this instrumentation is expensive to acquire and operate, placing it beyond the means of individual laboratories or departments. By offering shared access to advanced technology, core facilities remove these financial barriers and bring a much wider array of experiments within researchers’ reach. Shared instrumentation is crucial for scientific progress; support for core facilities can help Yale researchers push the boundaries of their fields.
As researchers push the boundaries of their fields, their experimental needs go beyond the capabilities of off-the-shelf instruments. To probe deeper, scientists often develop their own instrumentation—tools that are faster, more powerful, and more precise. Ample resources to design, build, and operate novel technology is critical for modern research and can help attract top faculty. By supporting Yale’s commitment to developing new technology, donors help Yale researchers launch new areas of study, expand what can be imagined, and usher in new discoveries.