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 1,576 separate awards in 2018–19 (not including the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). There were 906 sponsored awards in the natural sciences, 506 in engineering and applied science, 137 in the humanities and social sciences, and 27 in non-academic areas. Expenditures for these awards totaled $238.3 million — 81% from government and 19% from foundations, corporations and other sources. Including PPPL, the University expended approximately $342.6 million in 2018–19 in research funding from external sources.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

For over 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 to develop the scientific understanding of plasmas from nano- to astrophysical-scale; develop the scientific knowledge to enable fusion to power the U.S. and the world; and 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 2018 budget was approximately $98 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 campuswide presence in nine 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 country, with collections that have grown to include over 100,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world and welcomes about 200,000 on-site visitors each year. The museum is open to the public and admission is free. The museum is closed on Mondays.