Skip to content Skip to navigation


Man in blue shirt sits at lab bench in front of microscope with pipet and forceps in hand studying bone fragments of ancient animals.

As it is at all University of California campuses, research is the cornerstone of UC Merced. Innovative faculty members conduct interdisciplinary, groundbreaking research that will solve complex problems affecting the San Joaquin Valley, California and the world. Students — as early as their first years — have opportunities to work right alongside them, sometimes even publishing in journals and presenting at conferences.

Research isn’t limited to labs with beakers and microscopes, though there are plenty of those here.

Researchers at UC Merced work to unlock many scientific puzzles.The list of UC Merced’s research strengths is long and includes climate change and ecology; solar and renewable energy; water quality and resources; artificial intelligence; cognitive science; stem-cell, diabetes and cancer research; air quality; big-data analysis; computer science; mechanical, environmental and materials engineering; political science; and much, much more.

The campus also has interdisciplinary research institutes with which faculty members affiliate themselves to conduct even more in-depth investigations into a variety of scientific topics.

The Office of Research supports all aspects of campus research, from inception – grants and funding – to, in many cases, the transfer and licensing of technology. Different aspects of research are supported by such departments as Sponsored Projects, Research Compliance and Integrity and Research Development Services, as well as many others.

Several events throughout the year are designed to show off the work students and faculty members do, including Research Week and the Innovate to Grow competition and expo.

The truth is, everyone at UC Merced plays a role in research simply by working at the campus and maintaining a safe, open place where cutting-edge science can thrive.

Special research institutes established at the university include:

In addition, the campus has many research centers:

UC Merced has also entered into collaborative research partnerships with the: