Reinventing Discovery

The world's greatest scientific challenges can't be met by individual scientists, laboratories, or departments. The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an experiment in interdisciplinarity, combining the best minds in new teams with powerful tools that transcend the boundaries of departments and fields.


Learn more about WID >

Innovations in the research process help us solve the biggest problems with a new approach to science:

Targeted Expertise

Convening experts from emerging fields

Training & Teaching

Cultivating interdisciplinary skills and language

Town Halls & Forums

Gathering diverse ideas and people

Tackling Challenges

Addressing ambitious Grand Challenges

Expertise at WID

WID researchers make fundamental discoveries at the intersections of disciplines to solve problems that require an interdisciplinary approach.

Explore WID’s research >



Stories of Discovery

Research, outreach, and initiatives at WID embody the Wisconsin Idea — reaching beyond the walls of the institute and the UW campus and into the lives of citizens across the state, country, and world.


See more stories >

Improved understanding of early spinal cord development paves the way for new treatments

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are developing the means to turn stem cells into a wide range of specific types of spinal cord neurons and cells in the hindbrain — the critical nexus between the spinal cord and the brain — paving the way for improved prevention and treatment of spinal cord disease.
Read More "Improved understanding of early spinal cord development paves the way for new treatments"

New interactive mural invites exploration and engagement with science

A multilayered mural painted in bold colors now hangs in the atrium of the Discovery Building, depicting the many facets of STEM research and inspiring new generations to engage in science. Painted QR codes make the mural interactive, drawing the viewer into the stories of renowned and lesser known Wisconsin scientists whose contributions have shaped society.New interactive mural invites exploration and engagement with science
Read More "New interactive mural invites exploration and engagement with science"

Tiny Earth to develop AJEDI-focused open-access Scientific Teaching Course for college instructors

Tiny Earth will collaborate with Codon Learning and the National Institute on Scientific Teaching (NIST) to develop, evaluate, and disseminate a Scientific Teaching Course (STC) that integrates AJEDI (antiracist, just, equitable, diverse, inclusive) principles. The Course is designed as four modules and will be available via Codon Learning’s interactive digital platform beginning summer 2023. Modules will also be incorporated into Tiny Earth Partner Instructor (TEPI) training in summer 2023 and 2024.
Read More "Tiny Earth to develop AJEDI-focused open-access Scientific Teaching Course for college instructors"

Discovery Hubs

WID’s hubs act as integrators for the campus community, generating new ideas that nucleate new collaborative research projects. The hubs make use of WID expertise to provide services that assist other researchers in applying specialized tools to a range of problems extending far beyond the scope of WID’s programs. Explore WID’s Hubs:


Grand Challenges