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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How Does Life Begin?

PhD student Lena Vincent pursues the biggest question in her research on the chemical origins of life.
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Achieving STEM diversity: Fix the classrooms

A perspective piece published on June 2 in Science from the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) suggests that outdated classroom teaching methods discourage members of historically excluded communities (HECs) from graduating with a degree in science. Lead author, Jo Handelsman states "Outdated classroom teaching models are discriminatory, ultimately, we need to stop trying to fix the students and instead focus on our classrooms."
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New nanoparticles aid sepsis treatment in mice

In new research published today, UW–Madison WID researcher Shaoqin "Sarah" Gong, reported a new nanoparticle-based treatment for sepsis that delivers anti-inflammatory molecules and antibiotics.
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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