Two Indigenous women on stage in conversation
Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the New York Times bestselling book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants in conversation with local author Diane Wilson on stage at Northrop.

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) seeks to ignite creative, innovative, and profound research and discovery in the sciences, humanities, and the arts. The IAS is a site and a community dedicated to public and intellectual exchanges across the fields of human endeavor. The IAS core programs include our semester- and year-long residential fellowships for faculty and graduate students, year-long research and creative collaboratives, incubator program, journal of public scholarship, and public event series.

Residential Fellows

IAS Residential Fellows comprise faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars who spend a semester or year in residence at the IAS. This includes our Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellows (via the Graduate School) and summer MnDRIVE Human in the Data Graduate Fellows. Together, our fellows constitute a supportive interdisciplinary intellectual community in which fellows work intensively on their own research and creative projects and meet regularly to discuss their work and exchange ideas.

Research and Creative Collaboratives

Each year the IAS supports an average of twelve Research and Creative Collaboratives. These are self-organized groups engaged in a variety of interdisciplinary projects. Participants are awarded up to $12,000 annually to pursue intellectual and creative activity that bridges disciplines and communities.


The IAS supports and actively recruits a cohort of promising, early-stage, interdisciplinary projects seeking external funding. Participants receive a range of assistance, including feedback on concept and budget development, fundraising support, and financial assistance. Recent funding recipients include Minnesota Transform, Remapping the Ocheti Sakowin Oyate: Orature as Deep Mapping, the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on Just Policing: Transnational Perspectives on the Definition and Possibility of Justice in Law Enforcement, and others.

Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place, and Community

Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community is an open-access digital journal of public scholarship that provides a forum for critical conversations about the interconnections between ecological and social systems. Water is the lens through which we investigate the challenges of climate change, struggles for environmental justice, and the ways we know and relate to the natural world. Open Rivers is published by the IAS and the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Public Events

Public events presented by the Institute for Advanced Study bring together scholars, artists, activists, and community leaders to discuss the most pressing issues of our time, and welcome both campus and community members. The 2023–2025 event series is (In)Justice, and will focus on exploring different visions for what justice might look like. Additional public events from the IAS include the Spotlight Series presented with Northrop, the Decolonization Roundtable, and the annual Thinking Spatially Symposium. The IAS also occasionally co-sponsors other events that further our goals and core priorities.