CIFAR's Research Programs

CIFAR supports long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, providing researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel Laureates and more than 400 researchers from 22 countries.

Our research programs maintain and build CIFAR’s strengths in four important theme areas:

Life & Health

Humans & the Microbiome
How do microbes that live in and on us affect our health, development and even behaviour?

Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities
What might we uncover in an unknown biosphere?

Molecular Architecture of Life
How does life originate and what are the processes that make life possible?

Individuals & Society

Azrieli Brain, Mind & Consciousness
What are the origins and mechanisms of consciousness?

Boundaries, Membership & Belonging
Is it possible to have a world without “us” and “them”?

Child & Brain Development
How do childhood experiences affect lifelong health?

Innovation, Equity & the Future of Prosperity
How can innovation be beneficial to all?

Earth & Space

Earth 4D: Subsurface Science & Exploration
How do we understand the life, groundwater and environment deep below the surface of a planet?

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
What is the nature of extreme gravity, and how can it help us understand the origin and evolution of the universe?

Information & Matter

Bio-inspired Solar Energy
How can we learn from nature to harvest energy from the sun?

Learning in Machines & Brains
How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?

Quantum Information Science
How do we harness the power of quantum mechanics to improve information processing?

Quantum Materials
How could quantum materials transform our society?

Our Fellows

CIFAR fellows take on tough questions that span disciplines. The answers they require can only be reached by international, interdisciplinary teams working together over a sustained period of time. Our programs tackle questions across four broad areas: improving human health, creating successful societies, using technology to make life better, and sustaining life on Earth.

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

Accelerating the careers of emerging research leaders worldwide
The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program provides funding and support to help Scholars build their network and develop essential skills to become the next generation of research leaders. Researchers within the first five years of a full-time academic position from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.

Find out more about the program

Global Scholars - Ajith Parameswaran

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