Research Programs

CIFAR's research programs address critical questions across four interdisciplinary theme areas: Life & Health, Individuals & Society, Information & Matter and Earth & Space.

Each program addresses complex questions and engages international and interdisciplinary networks of researchers and scholars. CIFAR provides a sustained, long-term commitment to their progress by convening meetings and providing catalyst funds for new directions of inquiry. The environment of intellectual freedom fosters deep collaboration and trust between CIFAR fellows. At meetings, they share and critique preliminary findings and data, often prior to publication, and provide insights from peers across disciplines.

Life & Health

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

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

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

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Individuals & Society

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

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

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

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

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Earth & Space

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

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Gravity & the Extreme Universe
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?

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Information & Matter

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

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

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

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Quantum Materials
How could quantum materials transform our society?

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The following programs are concluding activities in 2019/2020

Genetic Networks
Genetic Networks
How do the interactions among genes influence health and development?

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Institutions, Organizations and Govenrment
Institutions, Organizations & Growth
Why are some countries rich and others poor?

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Successful Societies
Why are some societies more successful than others?

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