Scholarship and Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many changes at Princeton for the 2020-21 academic year. The Princeton Profile does not attempt to capture all the alterations to programs and other offerings which continue to evolve given public health guidance and requirements. Please check directly with relevant offices for the latest information.

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 2019–20 (not including the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). There were 947 sponsored awards in the natural sciences, 480 in engineering and applied science, 132 in the humanities and social sciences, and 29 in non-academic areas. Expenditures for these awards totaled $250.3 million—81% from government and 19% from foundations, corporations and other sources. Including PPPL, the University expended approximately $369.7 million in 2019–20 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 to develop the scientific knowledge and advanced engineering to enable fusion to power the U.S. and the world; advance the science of nanoscale fabrication for industries of the future; and further the scientific understanding of plasmas from nano- 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 2019 budget was approximately $97 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.

For up-to-date information regarding library services during the pandemic, please visit PUL Phased Resumption of On-site Services and Remote Resource Updates.

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, with collections that have grown to include over 110,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the museum also has served as a gateway to the University for diverse audiences globally.

Art@Bainbridge, the Museum’s gallery project dedicated to emerging contemporary artists, is located at 158 Nassau Street in downtown Princeton; it will reopen when public health conditions allow.