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Our programs bring together diverse expertise and unique resources to position UC and California for continued national leadership in critical fields.

Advancing UC's Research Mission

Collaboration, creativity, discovery

Our funding stimulates collaboration, creativity and innovation in all fields of scholarship, bolstering UC’s status as the world’s leading public research university. We support research teams in tackling issues in food and agriculture, health, the environment, culture and the arts, transportation, politics and social justice, among others. Most of our funding goes to multicampus projects that bring together diverse expertise and unique resources from across the UC system to produce new knowledge and solve critical problems.

Examples of the breadth of our investments include: 

  • Arts & Humanities: Californians and California industries are world-renowned contributors to literature, entertainment and the arts, and UC is key to furthering that success. Arts and humanities funding is a significant component of our research portfolio, amounting to over $27 million in nine years. This investment helps sustain UC’s preeminent position as the leading public university in the humanities and helps attract and retain faculty in fields that receive less federal and industry support. 

  • Biomedical & Health Sciences: Our combined nine-year investment of $67 million in biomedical and health research has catalyzed discoveries and spurred innovations in healthcare, ensuring that UC remains a national leader in health sciences. The seed funding we provide also helps position our faculty for success in extramural funding competitions, enabling UC researchers to garner over $1.8 billion annually in highly competitive funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

  • Environmental & Earth Sciences: California leads the nation in climate science, energy research and environmental preservation. Our multi-year $24 million investments in conservation, water, climate change, renewable energy, and policy and regional planning leverage the resources and expertise of the UC Natural Reserve System, national laboratories and campuses to ensure that California remains at the forefront of national and global leadership to protect our planet. 

  • Basic ScienceInvestments in basic and theoretical research are essential for stimulating discoveries that drive long-term benefits for California and the nation. By incentivizing multidisciplinary research that targets the interstices of fields where novel ideas emerge, we enable the creation of new knowledge about our world. Our $110 million investment in physical sciences and engineering includes projects on the formation of planets and galaxies, dark matter, theoretical mathematics and the quantum properties of materials.  

  • Applied ResearchOur funding transforms theoretical advances into real-world solutions that spur the economy, improve education, engage communities, inform policy, and produce new technologies that enhance everyday life for Californians. Our $32 million investment in the social and behavioral sciences addresses global challenges, from countering threats abroad to our national security, to local efforts to build a healthier, more just, engaged society at home. Our grantees employ novel, interdisciplinary strategies such as using 3D visualization to aid the preservation of artifacts and cultural heritage, and using big data and artificial intelligence to understand social trends and predict future events.