Centers & Initiatives
We are closely linked with a variety of multidisciplinary and innovative education and research institutes, centers, and initiatives.
The University is also part of an integrated partnership, called the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), comprised of13 user facilities, that provide opportunities for nanoscience and nanotechnology research.
- BASF North America Open Research Alliance
- Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
- Broad Institute
- Center for Brain Science (CBS)
- Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM)
- Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS)
- Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS)
- Edmond Safra Center for Ethics
- Embedded EthiCS @ Harvard
- Harvard Catalyst
- Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA)
- Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment (China Project)
- Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI)
- Harvard Grid
- Harvard Move Lab
- Harvard Privacy Tools Project
- Harvard Quantitative Biology (QBio)
- Harvard Quantum Initiative (HQI)
- Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE)
- Hire Aspirations Institute
- Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC)
- The Learning Incubator (LInc)
- Laboratory for Design Technologies (LTD)
- Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
- Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for Quantum Optics (MPHQ)
- The Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI)
- Mind Brain Behavior initiative (MBB)
- REEF Makerspace
- Robotics at Harvard
- The Rowland Institute at Harvard
- Salata Institute for Climate & Sustainability at Harvard University
- Science and Cooking
- Theory of Computation at Harvard (TOC)
- Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)
- Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
BASED AT SEAS
BASF North America Open Research Alliance
BASF, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst have established a strategic research initiative called BASF’s North America Open Research Alliance. The goal is to work jointly on research projects to generate a better fundamental understanding in the fields of interest to BASF and to develop next generation technologies.
Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM)
The Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) is an NSF Science and Technology Center studying extraordinary new quantum materials with striking 'non-conventional' properties with the promise to transform signal processing and computation.
Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS)
Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) brings computer scientists and scholars from a broad range of fields to make advances in computational research that serve public interest. Areas of study include public health and conservation.
Embedded Ethics @ Harvard
Embedded EthiCS is a collaboration between philosophers and computer scientists aimed at distributing pedagogy directly into computer science courses to teach students how to think through the ethical and social implications of their work.
Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment
The Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment is a research program focused on China’s atmospheric environment, energy system, and economy, collaborating with researchers at Chinese universities and across the schools of Harvard. It conducts interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed studies related to air pollution and greenhouse gases in China, from root causes in the energy demands to power its economy, to the chemistry and transport of pollutants in the atmosphere, to their impacts on public health, to policies to protect air quality and limit climate change. It is based at SEAS and receives major support from the Harvard Global Institute.
The Harvard Grid is a collaboration between the Harvard Office of Technology Development and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to interconnect innovation and resources to incite translation of Harvard research.
Harvard Move Lab
Advances in human performance enhancement have the potential to protect physical abilities against injury, extend them beyond the limits of advancing age, and restore them to people who have lost them. Researchers need support from teams that reflect a thorough understanding of a user’s psychology as much as their physiology, and testing basic hypotheses requires safe and reliable systems developed with a level of design and engineering effort out of reach to most academic endeavors. The Harvard Move Lab builds tightly integrated teams of entrepreneurially minded researchers, clinicians, technologists, designers, and users.They support these teams with space, funding, R&D infrastructure, and the experience necessary to turn promising research into mature technology.
The Hire Aspirations Institute is a research initiative dedicated to studying fairness in hiring platforms writ large, from data and algorithms to corrective transformations and the law.
The Learning Incubator (LInc)
The Learning Incubator (LInc) mission is innovation of educational pedagogy in engineering and/or science.
LInc seeks to advance learning and elevate Harvard as a worldwide leader in innovation in learning and teaching by:
- Providing a team-based infrastructure for faculty to incubate, develop and adapt novel ideas and approaches to teaching
- Developing a culture of scholarship of teaching and learning (including research on learning and assessment) within SEAS and FAS
- Providing opportunities for faculty to learn new approaches to teaching aligned with research on how students learn
Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Harvard is one of eleven such centers sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The Center is the focus of interdisciplinary research at the University.
The participants of the MRSEC are drawn from five areas, including the SEAS; Chemistry and Chemical Biology (Chemistry), Physics; Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS); and the Medical School (HMS).
The center is organized into three Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGS): IRG 1: Multiscale Mechanics of Films and Interfaces; IRG 2: Engineering Materials and Techniques for Biological Studies at Cellular Scales; and IRG 3: Interface-Mediated Assembly of Soft Materials.
Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for Quantum Optics (MPHQ)
MPHQ aims to foster research and education in quantum optical science. We support interdisciplinary research and educational activities in fundamental and applied sciences involving light-matter interactions, ultra-cold matter, quantum sensing, metrology, quantum control, and new, related interfaces with chemistry, biology, and information science.
Privacy Tools Project
The Privacy Tools Project is a broad effort to advance a multidisciplinary understanding of data privacy issues and build computational, statistical, legal, and policy tools to help address these issues in a variety of contexts. It is a collaborative effort between Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and Data Privacy Lab, and MIT Libraries' Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (formerly Program on Information Science).
Science and Cooking
The Science & Cooking lecture series pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques. It is based on the Harvard course “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,” but public lectures do not replicate course content.
Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)
TECH's mission is to advance the understanding and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship through experiential education: by initiating, advancing and informing student projects. TECH helps faculty create and deliver innovation and entrepreneurship project courses, provides students with project support and sponsors and advises student groups working to build the Harvard innovation community.
BASED AT FAS AND/OR UNIVERSITY-WIDE
Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
The Berkman Klein Center's mission is to explore and understand cyberspace; to study its development, dynamics, norms, and standards; and to assess the need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions. The Center is research center, premised on the observation that what we seek to learn is not already recorded. Their method is to build out into cyberspace, record data as we go, self-study, and share. The mode is entrepreneurial nonprofit.
Center for Brain Science (CBS)
Researchers in the Center for Brain Science are discovering the structure and function of neural circuits.
We do this to understand:
- how these circuits govern behavior and vary between individuals
- how they change during development and aging
- how they underlie neurological and psychiatric disorders.
To accomplish this mission, CBS brings neuroscientists together with physical scientists and engineers to develop new tools for neuroscience. Members are drawn from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals.
Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS)
The Center for Nanoscale Systems, formerly known as the Center for Imaging and Mesoscale Structures (CIMS), was created by FAS in 1999 to assist and support the research community of Harvard University researchers and collaborators.
The inclusion of CNS in the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) in 2004 has expanded that function to include any and all other members of the larger research community both local and national, academic and non-academic who conduct research in any aspect of the large and growing field of nanoscale science.
CNS is located in the Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering (LISE).
Harvard Catalyst is a pan-Harvard University enterprise dedicated to improving human health. It is a shared enterprise of Harvard University, its ten schools and its eighteen Academic Healthcare Centers (AHC), as well as the Boston College School of Nursing, MIT, the Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and numerous community partners.
Harvard Catalyst was founded in May 2008 with a five year, $117.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (Clinical and Translational Science Center, CTSC) and $75 million dollars from the Harvard University Science and Engineering Committee, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. The resources of the Harvard Catalyst are available to all faculties at Harvard regardless of their institutional affiliation or academic degree.
Harvard Data Science Initiative
The Harvard Data Science Initiative will unite efforts across the university, foster collaboration in both research and teaching, and catalyze research that will benefit our society and economy. It will be home to a research platform to accelerate the pace of discovery. It will strengthen the fabric of connections among departments to create an integrated data science community, all to empower research progress and education across the University.
Harvard Quantitative Biology (QBio)
Harvard Quantitative Biology (QBio) is a community of researchers working at the interface between the life, physical, mathematical and engineering sciences. This interdisciplinary research effort invents novel techniques to capture living systems in action, develops causal predictive mathematical models to explain the behavior of living matter, and engineers new bio-inspired systems to test predictions.
Harvard Quantum Initiative (HQI)
The Harvard Quantum Initiative in Science and Engineering (HQI) is a community of researchers with an intense interest in advancing the science and engineering of quantum systems and their applications. Its mission is to help scientists and engineers explore new ways to transform quantum theory into useful systems and devices.
Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program
Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program produces research that advances solar geoengineering’s science and technology frontier, publishing high-impact papers, and disseminating ideas that are taken up by other researchers and government research programs. The program takes an active stance on research with a unique mandate to develop new path-breaking technologies that might improve solar geoengineering’s effectiveness and reduce its risks. The program also employs Harvard’s convening power to bring together scientists, environmental leaders, and government officials to discuss the technology and its governance.
Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE)
The Harvard University Center for the Environment encourages research and education about the environment and its many interactions with human society.
The Center draws its strength from faculty members and students across the University who make up a remarkable intellectual community of scholars, researchers, and teachers of diverse fields including chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering and applied sciences, biology, public health and medicine, government, business, economics, religion, and the law.
The most pressing problems facing our natural environment are complex, often requiring collaborative investigation by scholars versed in different disciplines. By connecting scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, the Center for the Environment seeks to raise the quality of environmental research at Harvard and beyond.
Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis (IMASC)
The Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis is an Energy Frontier Research Center, headquartered at Harvard University. The vision of IMASC is to advance the fundamental science necessary to change the face and carbon footprint of the chemical industries sector. Established in 2014, IMASC showed that a fundamental understanding gained from model surfaces at the molecular scale can be used to predict catalytic performance for support-free dilute alloys. This introduced a new paradigm for catalyst discovery. Renewed in 2018, IMASC is advancing this ground-breaking work at the intersection of surface chemistry and physics to transform how catalysts are designed.
The Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI)
The Microbial Sciences Initiative at Harvard is an interdisciplinary science program aimed at a comprehensive understanding of the richest biological reservoir of the planet, the microbial world. Microbes are ubiquitous and have an impact on every aspect of our existence.
Yet, their intrinsic invisibility has meant that they have remained largely unknown, their effects and enormous potential often unrecognized. The recent realization of the vastness of microbial diversity and the genomics revolution have propelled the microbial sciences into an exciting new era of investigation.
The Rowland Institute
The Rowland Institute at Harvard is dedicated to experimental science over a broad range of disciplines. Current research is carried out in physics, chemistry, and biology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary work and the development of new experimental tools.
The Institute is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts near the Longfellow Bridge over the Charles River, a few miles downstream from the main campus.
The Institute was originally founded by the late Edwin H. Land in 1980 as The Rowland Institute for Science, a privately endowed, nonprofit, basic research organization, conceived to advance science in a wide variety of fields. Currently members of the Institute are performing research in several areas of physics, chemistry and biology.
Salata Institute for Climate & Sustainability at Harvard University
The Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability serves as a fulcrum for collaboration across Harvard’s many areas of expertise, pursuing practical, real-world solutions that address all aspects of the climate crisis.
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University aims to discover the engineering principles that nature uses to build living things and to harness this knowledge to create biologically inspired materials, devices, and control technologies for medical and non-medical applications.
In medicine, the Institute's goal is to advance the science and engineering necessary to develop biomimetic materials, microdevices, microrobots, and innovative disease reprogramming technologies that emulate how living cells, tissues and organs self-organize and naturally regulate themselves.
A deeper understanding of how living systems build, recycle, and control also will ultimately lead to more efficient ways of converting energy, controlling manufacturing, improving the environment, and creating a more sustainable world.