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 Researchers Partner with US Department of Defense to Develop Stem Cell Therapy for Combat-Related Eye Injuries
Using an ingenious microscopic retinal patch, eye researchers at UW‒Madison will develop and test a new way to treat United States military personnel blinded in combat. WID's Sarah Gong is a collaborator on the project.
Read More "UW Researchers Partner with US Department of Defense to Develop Stem Cell Therapy for Combat-Related Eye Injuries"
Randolph Ashton and Collaborators Win WARF Innovation Award
WID's Randolph Ashton, Gavin Knight, Benjamin Knudsen, and Nisha Iyer take top honors from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's Innovation Awards. Their work, Superior Neural Tissue Models for Disease Modeling, Drug Development and More, was selected from more than 400 innovation disclosures.
Read More "Randolph Ashton and Collaborators Win WARF Innovation Award"
Professor Stephen Wright Announced Winner of the Test of Time Award at 2020 NeurIPS Conference
Professor of Computer Sciences at WID Stephen Wright and three colleagues were announced winners of the prestigious Test of Time Award at the 2020 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems.
Read More "Professor Stephen Wright Announced Winner of the Test of Time Award at 2020 NeurIPS Conference"

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: