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Catalyzing Discovery

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Stanford has achieved excellence across the breadth of disciplines and in interdisciplinary research—our calling cards, and the results of efforts by university leadership and extraordinary faculty over the past 50 years. The resulting knowledge and new ways of thinking create the foundation for transformative advances, including technologies and innovations, policies and solutions to societal challenges and arts that transform and enliven our lives. 

Our Vision extends and enhances that historic excellence in the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences and engineering by attracting and supporting outstanding faculty and researchers from diverse backgrounds, and promoting new avenues of inquiry. We are also creating training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows that will expand diversity in the pipeline of future faculty whose experiences at Stanford prime them for success in faculty roles here or elsewhere.

As part of the Vision we are democratizing access to research tools and expertise, in the process supporting new research directions across all disciplines. And we are taking into account the societal and ethical impact of our digital future through a human-centered approach to artificial intelligence and data science. Together, these initiatives drive new discoveries, embed ethics in innovation and bring humanities to the fore, because a rapidly changing world requires us to continually reinterpret the human experience.


Many vision initiatives support the university's goal of catalyzing discovery in every field. In addition, the goals of IDEAL  (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access in a Learning Environment) are embedded across all aspects of the vision.

Changing Human Experience

Changing Human Experience fosters research in the humanities and social sciences that explores our changing world, including our changing bodies, minds, globe and political structures. It also includes the Public Humanities, which helps humanities and social science faculty reach an audience outside academia through trade books, op-eds, media interviews, public speaking, magazine stories and other outlets.

Stanford Science Fellows

This program supports postdoctoral scholars who are pursuing independent research in the natural sciences. By allowing scholars the freedom to work with any collaborators within or outside of Stanford it will cultivate new directions in foundational scientific research and bridge disciplines in the physical, mathematical and life sciences. 

Stanford institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)

The mission of HAI is to advance AI research, education, policy and practice to improve the human condition. It focuses on developing AI technologies inspired by human intelligence; studying, forecasting and guiding the human and societal impact of AI; and designing and creating AI applications that augment human capabilities.

Data Science

By weaving the new power of data science into the fabric of Stanford's research and teaching enterprises, the initiative will harness the exponential growth of data to tackle problems across fields of study from the humanities and social sciences to natural science and medicine.

Ethics, Society and Technology Hub

The hub will embed ethics into how we teach, conduct research and develop solutions, deploying centralized resources campus-wide.

Shared Research Platforms 

The Shared Research Platforms provide shared resources and facilities to enable fluid interdisciplinary research teams, including equipment shared amongst diverse groups, expertise to support new research directions and funding for faculty creating new platforms.

Selected News

Changing Human Experience grants explore society’s most challenging problems

Stanford Science Fellows program announces first cohort

Democratizing access to resources for Stanford researchers

Ethics, Society and Technology Hub embeds ethics in teaching and research

Stanford pilots data science fellowship program

Peter Norvig: Today’s Most Pressing Questions in AI Are Human-Centered