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.


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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.

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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.


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UW–Madison to Continue Fundamental Data Science Research with Phase II Award from NSF
The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is home to the Institute for the Foundations of Data Science, which has received Phase II funding from the National Science Foundation.
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WPR: Research on the Origins of Life
The theory of the origin of life has advanced greatly in recent years. Larry Meiller (WPR) talks with David Baum and Lena Vincent about their work and their understanding of how life began.
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WPR: A Decade Of Cooperative Science At The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
WID Director Jo Handelsman talks to Wisconsin Public Radio about interdisciplinary science, research in the age of COVID-19, science-art fusion, and ten years of discovery at WID.
Read More "WPR: A Decade Of Cooperative Science At The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery"

Grand Challenges

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: