We convene extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.
CIFAR's research programs bring together international, interdisciplinary researchers who work together for five-year terms. Programs are led by a director or two co-directors, engage approximately 20-40 fellows and advisors from around the world, and include two or three CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars for two-year terms.
CIFAR research programs create impact beyond academia through a highly collaborative strategy. Target areas for impact emerge from the program’s core research agenda, and the strategy is informed by long-term, iterative exchange of ideas and perspectives between program members and non-academic stakeholders.
2003, 2007, 2012, 2019
Child & Brain Development
How do childhood experiences affect lifelong health?
Earth 4D: Subsurface Science & Exploration
How do we understand the life, groundwater and environment deep below the surface of a planet?
1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016
Gravity & the Extreme Universe
What is extreme gravity, and how can it help us understand the origin of the universe?
Humans & the Microbiome
How do microbes that live in and on us affect our health, development and even behaviour?
2004, 2008, 2014, 2019
Learning in Machines & Brains
How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?
2002, 2007, 2012, 2019
Quantum Information Science
How do we harness the power of quantum mechanics to improve information processing?
1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2019
How could quantum materials transform our society?
The following are completing their work as CIFAR programs:
2005, 2010, 2016
How do the interactions among genes influence health and development?
Molecular Architecture of Life
How does life originate and what are the processes that make life possible?
CIFAR fellows are collaborative researchers at the top of their fields.
Our community of fellows, advisors, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars, and Canada CIFAR AI Chairs includes more than 400 researchers from 18 countries. They regularly contribute to papers in the top 1% of most-cited papers worldwide. Fellows are selected for academic and communication excellence, and for how their expertise fits into the goals of a program.
We encourage our community of researchers to work across programs and disciplines.
Through Catalyst Funds, we facilitate and support high-risk ideas and projects within and across CIFAR’s portfolio of research programs. The time-limited grants provide flexibility for early-stage projects, encourage interdisciplinary collaborations, and address emerging and exploratory themes within or between research programs.
Discover the latest advances from our community.
Believe the Impossible: The future of… human consciousness
From making neurons play Pong, to studying how psychedelics alter states of consciousness, Adeel Razi is taking non-trad...February 09, 2023
Behind the headlines: Will the nuclear fusion breakthrough save the planet?
Curtis Berlinguette, clean-energy researcher and program co-director of the Bio-Inspired Solar Energy program at CIFAR,...January 10, 2023
Believe the Impossible: The Future of…Treating Infectious Fungal Diseases
Leah Cowen, co-director of CIFAR’s Fungal Kingdom program, discusses the often overlooked fungi, from new opportunitie...November 03, 2022
Believe the Impossible: The Future of… Fairness in AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is extremely prevalent, but is it fair? Dhanya Sridhar, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, d...September 12, 2022
Believe the Impossible: The Future of… human gut health
Carolina Tropini, a fellow in CIFAR’s Humans & the Microbiome program, gives insights in studying the human microbiota...August 11, 2022
Believe the Impossible: The Future of… Mars Exploration
From designing instruments to detect water on Mars, to mapping the architecture of planets in 3D, CIFAR researcher John...June 30, 2022
Year in Review: Top 10 CIFAR stories of 2021
Can we measure global happiness? Does using sanitation tools during COVID-19 pose longer-term threats to human health? T...December 22, 2021
Artificial intelligence provides sustainable solutions for clean drinking water in rural community
"This project is about using AI to provide safe, fresh drinking water for rural communities."November 29, 2021
CIFAR researchers among key members of new Connecting the EdTech Research Ecosystem funded by Jacobs Foundation
CIFAR fellow Candice Odgers co-leads newly created research network dedicated to improving educational technologies for...November 11, 2021
Equity, diversity and inclusion in AI climate change research
David Rolnick and Tami Vasanthakumaran share their insights on equity, diversity and inclusion.October 15, 2021
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.