Research & Scholarship

Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten

Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten


The dividing line between teaching and research is never a sharp one. Good teaching is a conversation with students that is always open to novel insights; and good researchers are always ready to learn from others, whether those others are colleagues or students. Students and faculty are both engaged in inquiry whose culminating experience is discovery, a learning where no one else has previously charted a course. Teaching and research, then, are together integral parts of the core mission of any great university—the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

Notre Dame has achieved distinction in undergraduate education, but a commitment to research has always been part of its driving vision. Rev. John Zahm, C.S.C., believed that Notre Dame’s destiny was to be a great university like the prominent German universities of his time. Fr. Burns, who became president of Notre Dame in 1919, established college deans and department chairs and hired the best faculty he could find. He wrote to a friend about a Notre Dame faculty member who was dedicated to research, saying: “My ambition is to have this kind of work going on in every department.” Fr. Hesburgh accelerated the growth in scholarship by, among many things, establishing a great research library and increasing research funding by a factor of 20. When he began his presidency in 1987, Fr. Malloy said in his inaugural address: “We must enthusiastically embrace our potential as a research institution, and we must define those areas of scholarly pursuit where we at Notre Dame are especially qualified to make a lasting contribution.”

The University of Notre Dame is now poised to build on past progress and undertake transformative steps to become even more a distinguished research university whose faculty and students contribute to our understanding of ourselves and our world and whose discoveries enhance human well-being. We believe we can be excellent in all research we undertake and truly distinguished in select areas.

By pushing forward into the unknown, by harnessing discoveries for service to the world, we are determined to become a great Catholic research university, deepening our understanding of God and creation and serving humanity.

Enhancement Areas

  • Make selected, significant advances in academic programs

    Academic Programs

    Make selected, significant investments in academic programs

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  • Hesburgh Library Word of Life Mural


    Increase the scale and impact of our research and creative endeavors

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  • Man working with lab equipment

    Graduate & Postdoctoral Programs

    Advance the quality and success of our graduate, professional, and postdoctoral programs

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  • Enhance the international reach of our scholarly endeavors

    International Reach

    Enhance the international reach of our scholarly endeavors

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Enduring Commitments

Laura Straccia talks with students at the Kliptown Youth Project near Johannesburg, South Africa

As Notre Dame strives to address major contemporary challenges, we have no more important resource than our faculty and the graduate and professional students who come here to learn from and collaborate with them. Together, Notre Dame faculty and students go beyond expanding the boundaries of what we can do through research and ask also what we should do, convinced that our ability to seek God, study the world, and serve humanity is magnified many times over by the knowledge and discovery that come with scholarly excellence.

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Core Research Facilities

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    Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility

    The Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility (NDIIF) is a new state-of-the-art research core that houses and integrates three areas of imaging expertise: electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and small animal imaging.

  • ame3

    AME Machine Shops

    The Engineering Machine Shops specialize in close tolerance machining of large and small parts made from difficult-to-machine materials.

  • camd

    Computer Aided Molecular Design

    The Computer Aided Molecular Design (CAMD) core facility provides atomistic modeling to assist in proposal writing, for drug discovery, and related areas to all groups on campus.

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    Center for Research Computing

    CRC has expertise in areas spanning engineering in the aerospace and automotive industries, high-performance computing in mining and exploration, information systems for the clinical health sector, and expertise in life and geospatial sciences.

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    Fluorescence Assisted Cell Sorting (FACS) Facility

    The BD Biosciences FACSAria III cell sorter is BD’s most advanced cell sorter, equipped with 405nm, 488nm, and 633nm lasers and capable of up to nine color simultaneous detection.

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    Freimann Life Science Center

    The Freimann Life Science Center (FLSC) is a state-of-the-art, fully accredited and registered animal research facility with 30,000 square feet of flexible-use space.

  • Genomics

    Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility

    The Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility provides sequencing and mircroarray services, including consulting for appropriate experimental design, use of technology, and data analysis.

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    Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility

    The Mass Spectrometry (MS) Facility provides instrumentation and expertise for the analyses of compounds ranging from small organic molecules to large biomolecules with applications in the areas of metabolomics, proteomics, and lipidomics.

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    Materials Characterization Facility

    The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) is a core research facility of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (cSEND), whose mission is to advance innovative energy-related research to address the global challenges of creating a more sustainable energy future.

  • mcferdig

    McFerdig Facility

    The McFerdig Facility offers a Beckman Coulter FC 500 MPL Flow Cytometer for users both off campus and on.

  • mitera

    Midwest Isotope and Trace Element Research Analytical Center

    The Midwest Isotope and Trace Element Research Analytical Center (MITERAC) specializes in the elemental and isotopic characterization of environmental, biological, and geological materials, both at the bulk sample and micrometer scales.

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    Molecular Structure Facility

    The Molecular Structure Facility provides for X-Ray structural studies of small (ca. 2kDa) molecules; it has the capability to examine a wide range of molecules, from “light atom” biologically relevant to metal-complexed compounds that can be readily analyzed using non-destructive techniques.

  • ndnf

    Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility

    Housed in recently completed certified cleanroom space, the NDNF includes approximately 9,000 net square feet (white space) of cleanroom.

  • Center for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

    The  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility supports new and ongoing research in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, and related fields.

  • Physics Machine Shop

    State-of-the-art equipment combined with expert technical advice in the Physics Machine Shop allows physics students and faculty alike to carry out experiments on the cutting edge of technology.

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    Radiation Laboratory

    The Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory (NDRL) is the premier research laboratory in the United States for radiation chemistry, the study of chemical reactions induced by ionizing radiation.

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    Synthesis Core (SynCor) Facility

    The Synthesis Core (SynCor) Facility is a research and service center established to accelerate research activities in all areas of study on the molecular level in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, medicine, and engineering.

  • zebrafish_holding_room

    Center for Zebrafish Research

    The Center for Zebrafish Research (CZR) is housed in approximately 3,000 square feet and consists of eight double-sided racks and 38 single-sided racks that allow for a flexible arrangement of tanks from one-and-a-half to eight liters in size.

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    Tree Genetics Core Facility

    The Tree Genetics Core Facility at Notre Dame provides DNA fingerprinting services for cultivar identification and pedigree analysis for chestnut (Castanea sp.), black walnut (Juglans nigra), Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia), and butternut (Juglans cinerea).

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Strategic Research Investments

  • Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

    The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) supports research that is directed toward, or extends inquiry to include, ultimate questions and questions of value, especially as they engage the Catholic intellectual tradition.

  • Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility

    The Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility (NDIIF) is a new state-of-the-art research core that houses and integrates three areas of imaging expertise: electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and small animal imaging.

  • Environmental Change Initiative

    The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) is tackling the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources.

  • Sustainable Energy Initiative

    The Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) was established to explore the development of safer nuclear energy, the design of cleaner fossil fuel processes, and the creation of transformative solar energy technologies. The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (cSEND) now encompasses the strategic areas of the SEI and other energy-related research initiatives.

  • Notre Dame Nanoelectronics Research Initiative

    With expert scientists, research facilities, and the latest equipment, Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology is one of the leading nanotechnology centers in the world.

  • Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics

    The Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics initiative (AD&T) creates technologies and tools to combat disease, promote health, and safeguard the environment.

  • Notre Dame Eck Institute for Global Health

    The Eck Institute for Global Health recognizes health as a fundamental human right and endeavors to promote research, training, and service to advance health standards for all people, especially those in low- and middle-income countries who are disproportionately impacted by preventable diseases.

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Research on Twitter

Research in Action

  • Fighting for Displaced People

    Fighting for Displaced People

    There are 60 million displaced people in the world and every day an estimated 40,000 people flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere. For many, a temporary stop in a refugee camp becomes a lifetime of dependency and desolation.

  • Fighting to Stop Tuberculosis

    Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are fighting to discover compounds and develop drugs to treat neglected diseases that affect billions of the world’s most vulnerable people.

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  • Fighting the Effects of Natural Disasters

    Joannes Westerink, Joseph and Nona Ahearn Professor of Computational Engineering and Science, and the University of Notre Dame are using advanced research to help protect populations from hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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  • Fighting For Breakthroughs in the Treatment of Autism

    An interdisciplinary research team led by Joshua Diehl, William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor of Psychology, is studying the effectiveness of robots in behavior-based communication therapies for children with autism.

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