Slide The future of science is interdisciplinary. The greatest challenges facing the world will only be met with new ideas, diverse teams, and innovative approaches. Solving the biggest problems requires a new level of collaboration across the boundaries of scientific disciplines. The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is a research institute that draws on the scientific excellence of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and that specializes in making science better, uniting world-class faculty from dozens of UW departments.

We maximize our potential by targeting our expertise in inherently interdisciplinary areas like data science, precision medicine, complex systems, and emerging technologies. Teaching and training initiatives prepare investigators to learn common scientific languages, build effective teams, and approach problems in new ways. Town halls and forums diversify inquiry at WID, generate new ideas, and broaden our calls for collaborators while WID’s hubs nucleate cross-campus research teams, foster research excellence, and reach beyond the lab. By evaluating these efforts and more, we become a laboratory for interdisciplinarity. WID is an experiment in how to do the best interdisciplinary science. Explore research at WID

Slide We do science to make a better world Connecting science with society helps us do science that better serves our local and global communities. WID-led initiatives reach beyond the lab through outreach, partnerships, and programs around the relationship of science and scientists with art, the media, policy, and the public. Research Strengths Learn more trending_flat Discovery Hubs Learn more trending_flat Grand Challenges Learn more trending_flat The mission of WID is to discover and inspire through interdisciplinary research conducted in a dynamic, collaborative community. WID advances frontiers of knowledge, accelerates development of solutions, and engages the State of Wisconsin through interdisciplinary research.

Slide History The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) was created in 2010 to explore new ways of generating innovation in science and engineering. Its first years were dedicated to building an outstanding team of 19 faculty members with dynamic, groundbreaking research programs that have generated more than 500 publications in diverse fields. In 2017, WID debuted its first hubs, recommitting to serving campus and the state.

WID’s collaborative research community relies on grant support from a variety of sponsors. Since opening in 2010, the Institute has been awarded and administered more than $22 million in grant funding from a variety of foundations and agencies. The Institute also benefits from the state of Wisconsin’s initial investment in the Discovery Building as well as for ongoing operational support.
Leadership Jo Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she serves as a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Handelsman received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Molecular Biology and served on the UW faculty for 25 years before moving to Yale University in 2010. She served as a science advisor to President Obama and directed the Science Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from 2014 to 2017. In February 2017, Handelsman returned to Madison as the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

As members of the WID community, we... ...are inspired by the Wisconsin Idea ...generate and disseminate new knowledge. ...apply science and technology to pressing problems of the State of Wisconsin and beyond. …accomplish our mission through dynamic collaboration with the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the State of Wisconsin, and the world., facilitate, and promote methodologies and services that define and advance frontiers at the intersection of scientific disciplines. ...foster creativity, scientific rigor, and professional and ethical responsibility. ...nurture all our people to achieve their potential, independent of academic and personal background. ...create a community of scholars and people from the State of Wisconsin who are invested in nurturing and promoting interdisciplinary thinking, actions, and innovations. ...foster a culture and climate in which people are valued, respected, and treated fairly.

Slide Get in Touch
with us
WID is located in the award-winning Discovery Building along with its partners the private, non-profit Morgridge Institute for Research and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
How to find us Discovery Building Suite 3120
330 N Orchard St
Madison, WI 53715
Contact T.: 608-316-4339