Research Programs

CIFAR fellows take on tough questions that span disciplines. The answers they require can only be reached by international, interdisciplinary teams working together over a sustained period of time. Our 12 programs tackle questions across four broad areas: improving human health, creating successful societies, using technology to make life better, and sustaining life on Earth.

Brain, Mind & Consciousness Banner

Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness

What are the origins and mechanisms of consciousness?

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Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Banner

Solar Energy

How can we learn from nature to harvest energy from the sun?

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Child & Brain Development Banner

Child & Brain

How do early childhood experiences affect lifelong health?

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Genetic Networks banner


How do the interactions among genes influence health and development?

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Gravity and the Extreme Universe

Gravity & the Extreme Universe

What is the nature of extreme gravity, and how can it help us understand the origin and evolution of the universe?

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Humans & the Microbiome Banner

Humans &
the Microbiome

How do microbes that live in and on us affect our health, development and even behaviour?

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Institutions, Organizations & Growth Banner

Institutions, Organizations
& Growth

Why are some countries rich and others poor?

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Learning Machines and Brains

Learning in
Machines & Brains

How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?

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Molecular Architecture of Life Banner

Molecular Architecture
of Life

How does life originate and what are the processes that make life possible?

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Quantum Information Science Banner

Quantum Information Science

How do we build a quantum computer?

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Quantum Materials Banner


How can superconductivity transform our society?

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Successful Society banner


Why are some societies more successful than others?

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