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 1,709 separate awards in 2023–23 (not including the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). There were 988 sponsored awards in the natural sciences, 538 in engineering and applied science, 166 in the humanities and social sciences, and 17 in non-academic departments. Expenditures for these awards totaled $297.9 million—74% from government and 26% from foundations, corporations and other sources. Including PPPL, the University expended approximately $483.4 million in 2022–23 in research funding from external sources.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory managed by Princeton University, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a longstanding leader in the science and innovation behind the development of fusion energy — a clean, safe, and virtually limitless energy source. For more than 70 years, PPPL has been devoted to furthering the scientific understanding of the plasma universe from laboratory to astrophysical scales. With an eye on the future and in response to national priorities, PPPL is expanding its focus, applying its expertise in plasma to microelectronics, quantum information science, and sustainability science. PPPL is a key partner of the U.S. effort to build ITER, the international fusion experiment under construction in France, and is working with both public and private entities to bring a U.S. fusion pilot plant into operation. Underlying all its endeavors is the call to educate and inspire future generations for the national interest; notably, the laboratory offers the first-in-the-nation registered apprenticeship program in fusion energy and engineering. Located in the James Forrestal Campus, PPPL has around 700 employees and is planning an expansive new center — the Princeton Plasma Innovation Center — to support the laboratory’s growing research interests. The laboratory had a 2022 federal fiscal year budget of approximately $151.3 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 holdings range from an Egyptian Book of the Dead (circa 1250 BCE), to the papers of Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, to recently published scholarly works. The Library has a campus-wide 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 world. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the museum has grown its collections to over 115,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary and spanning the globe.

The main museum building is closed for construction of a new museum and is anticipated to open in spring 2025. During construction, students and faculty continue to enjoy rich in-person classroom experiences with the collections, as well as two downtown galleries, Art on Hulfish and Art@Bainbridge, featuring exhibitions of contemporary art. In addition, the museum offers robust live programs and rich online resources.