“It provides me the opportunity to work and learn from people from different fields that I may not be familiar with. I go to daily tea with fellow lab mates, and we meet people from other labs. Through simple conversations, we were able to brainstorm some potential solutions to our research questions.”
— Karen Chen, former Graduate Student, Living Environments Laboratory
“Compared to a traditional department, WID has a certain openness to it. It’s not just the architecture of the building; it’s a certain attitude. It’s non-traditional in a very good way and brings people from various disciplines together, even if it just leads to knowing different people and what they’re working on.”
“It’s a lot easier to bring people together at WID. I think when you’re in a single department, you’re very focused on your small area. You can get stuck in your own little world. Being here gives us the opportunity to listen to other people through events such as regular lunch seminars.”
“With the prototyping tools in the Discovery Building, WID has the equipment to work here and go start to finish in one room. We’re working directly with people in different disciplines to design devices that can create possibilities for experiments they couldn’t do before.”
“I think the power of WID is bringing people to one place and making these connections that you wouldn’t have made otherwise because you’re sort of stuck in your little bubble. And when you start mixing in this area with all these different departments, you start getting connections that you couldn’t have planned on. That’s the power of it.”
Graduate Studies at WID
Graduate students at WID partake in a highly collaborative work environment and develop new approaches to push the boundaries of their fields.
With opportunities in the Institute’s eight research areas, programs and fellowships, graduate students study a variety of topics, ranging from tissue engineering and systems biology to complex data, systems engineering, data visualization, video games and virtual reality.
WID draws from the breadth and depth of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, serving as a hub — intellectually and geographically — for new approaches and ideas on campus.
Read more about WID.
Award-winning research space
WID is located in the Discovery Building with the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Town Center. In 2012, R&D Magazine awarded the facility “Lab of the Year” for its collaborative space and dedication to public access and sustainability. The Discovery Building also has dining options, including Aldo’s Cafe and Steenbock’s on Orchard.
The Institute is conveniently located near the UW-Madison College of Engineering, Computer Sciences Department, Medical Sciences, Genetics and Biotechnology facilities and Agricultural Sciences. The Discovery facility also offers close proximity to other disciplines on campus, including the Department of Art, the Center for Humanities, the Dance Department, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Life Sciences Communication.
WID provides graduate students access to a variety of research tools, including a fabrication laboratory with unique prototyping tools, dedicated computing clusters, lab equipment for biological and theoretical research, and more. WID is also home to the immersive, virtual reality CAVE for research collaborations and partnerships.
The Discovery Building serves as an optimal place for students to collaborate and study. Whiteboards, meeting rooms and plenty of places to lounge make the Institute a stimulating place for working. Building-wide activities such as daily tea, seminars and lunches serve to unite faculty, staff, students and other members of the WID community.
Prospective UW-Madison Graduate Students
If you want to consider applying to work in WID under the mentorship of one of our faculty or fellows, you should consult their lab pages to determine which graduate program best suits you. Then you can check with individual prospective mentors to see whether they are interested in taking on new students.