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 public IAS Thursdays event series, semester- and year-long residential fellowships for faculty and graduate students, year-long research and creative collaboratives, and an array of shorter-term and lower-stakes on-campus collaborative opportunities. Many of these are briefly described below; please click on the links to your left for more information.

IAS Thursdays

The IAS Thursdays series features an eclectic mix of scholars, artists, and practitioners from diverse disciplines who present in a variety of forms, including lecture, discussion, and performance. These discussions happen every Thursday at 3:30pm during the academic year, and are always free and open to the public. Each year we offer an IAS Thursdays-based Honors Nexus experience for undergraduate Honors students.

Residential Fellows

IAS residential fellows comprise faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars who spend a semester or year in residence at the IAS. Together they 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. Collaboratives are chosen in an annual competition. The conveners submit a short proposal and budget which are reviewed by an IAS Advisory Board committee; the IAS director makes the final award based on its recommendations.  Annual RCC award amounts are generally between $5,000 and $12,000, and include programming and administrative support. Collaborative conveners are responsible for designing and leading the collaborative’s activities—which can involve speakers, workshops, reading groups, or rehearsals for original music, dance, or theater productions. Some groups form to pursue common research interests; others form with a particular object or product in mind, such as developing a cross-disciplinary curriculum or creating a performance that arises out of active collaborative dialogue between scientists and dancers. The expectation is that participants will pursue intellectual and creative activity that bridges disciplines and communities.

5x5 Program

The Institute for Advanced Study’s 5×5 initiative brings together small groups people (about 5) from differing disciplinary perspectives for a low-stakes, short-term exploration (about 5 gatherings over several months). Examples of topics or themes for exploration might be democracy, intelligence, food, or cultural life. The goals of 5×5 are to find a common language for understanding questions and methods across disciplines, bring diverse disciplinary perspectives to bear on a topic in an integrative way, and expand participants’ intellectual community and networks as a basis for future collaboration. Groups may be organized around a theme or topic of common interest, readings, an activity, or idea, or just bring together individuals the IAS thinks would find interesting common ground. Participants may include faculty, staff, graduate students, or community members from outside of the University.