Scholarship and Research

The scope of research carried out by Princeton’s faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate students and professional researchers ranges from robust engagement with the major challenges of our time—energy, the environment, health, security—to probing the origin of the universe. Our researchers expand the confines of the known and strive to find solutions to societal challenges through creative, systematic and fact-based inquiry.

External sources funded 1,588 separate awards in 2020–21 (not including the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). There were 489 sponsored awards in the natural sciences, 947 in engineering and applied science, 131 in the humanities and social sciences, and 21 in non-academic areas. Expenditures for these awards totaled $255.9 million—80.2% from government and 19.8% from foundations, corporations and other sources. Including PPPL, the University expended approximately $389.7 million in 2020–21 in research funding from external sources.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

For more than six decades, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has been an innovation and discovery leader in plasma and fusion science and engineering. PPPL’s mission is developing the scientific knowledge and advanced engineering to enable fusion to power the U.S. and the world; advancing the science of nanoscale fabrication for technologies of tomorrow; and furthering the scientific understanding of the plasma universe from laboratory to astrophysical scales. Underlying all its endeavors is the call to educate and inspire future generations for the national interest. The laboratory, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and located on the James Forrestal Campus, has more than 500 employees, and its federal fiscal year 2020 budget was approximately $116 million.

Academic Resources

The Library

The Princeton University Library is one of the world’s foremost research libraries. A hub of activity for exploration and discovery, it is continually evolving and enhancing its contribution to the Princeton research, teaching and learning experience. The library actively supports today’s researchers through newly designed workspaces, in-depth expertise, state-of-the-art technology, and ever-increasing access to its extraordinary physical and electronic collections. Its extensive international holdings range from an Egyptian Book of the Dead (circa 1250 BCE), to the papers of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, to recently published scholarly works. The library has a campus-wide presence in eight locations, including the main library, the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library.

The Art Museum

With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the world. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the museum has grown its collections to over 112,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary and spanning the globe.

The museum building is closed for construction of a new museum, designed by architect Sir David Adjaye and anticipated to open in late 2024. During construction, students and faculty will continue to enjoy rich in-person experiences with the collections. In addition, please explore the Museum’s robust digital experiences, including online exhibitions, art-making classes, on-demand videos, and ongoing live programs.

Art@Bainbridge, the museum’s gallery project, is located at 158 Nassau Street in downtown Princeton.