Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Institute for Advanced Study?
The Institute is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. It was founded in 1930 in order to support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities, and it soon became one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Science. A permanent Faculty of approximately thirty guides the work of the Schools, and each year some 200 visiting Members come to the Institute from universities and research institutions throughout the world. Explore the Institute’s website to learn more about its mission and history, read about current research, watch lectures by Institute scholars, and sign up for IAS eNews to get the latest updates from the Institute. The Institute can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
How do I apply to study at the Institute?
Application information is available from each of the four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Science. For information on applying to one of the Institute’s outreach programs, please visit one of the following links: Program for Women and Mathematics; Prospects in Theoretical Physics; Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Mathematics Institute; Summer Program in Social Science.
Where is the Institute located?
What is the relationship between the Institute and Princeton University?
The Institute is a private, independent academic institution that enjoys close, collaborative ties with Princeton University as well as Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and other nearby institutions. In the early 1930s, Princeton University provided office space for the Institute’s first Faculty members while the Institute’s Fuld Hall was being constructed, but there are no formal links between the two institutions.
How many Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists have been affiliated with IAS over the years?
A total of thirty-four Nobel Prize laureates in physics, medicine, literature, chemistry, and economics have been Faculty, Members, or Long-term Visitors at the Institute for Advanced Study since its founding in 1930. Forty-two Fields Medalists out of a total of sixty have been Faculty, Members, or Long-term Visitors at the Institute since the medal was first awarded in 1936.
Where can I learn about Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or others who have worked at the Institute?
A good starting point for learning about a number of individuals who have worked at the Institute is our All Scholars section. The Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center documents the Institute’s history and the many people who have shaped it. A list of archival collections and finding aids is available online, as well as an expanding digital collection. For a complete listing of the Institute’s Directors, Faculty, Members, and Visitors, visit the online database A Community of Scholars.
What is Albert Einstein’s relationship to the Institute?
Albert Einstein came to the United States in 1933 to take up his appointment as one of the first Faculty members of the Institute. He played a significant role in the early development of the Institute and served on the Faculty until his death in 1955. Read about Einstein’s work and legacy in the Institute’s Noted Historical Figures pages. An extensive list of additional resources is maintained by the Institute’s Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center. Reflections on Einstein’s legacy from the Institute’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations in 2005 are available online as video lectures.
Einstein left his papers and estate to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einstein Archives Online provides access to digitized documents from the collection. Commercial use of Einstein's image is licensed through the Roger Richman Agency, which acts as the U.S. agent for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In accordance with Einstein’s wishes, his office and home were not preserved as memorials to his work. Since his death, the office has been continuously occupied by other members of the Institute’s Faculty and is therefore not open to visitors. Einstein’s former home is a private residence not open to the public. The Historical Society of Princeton has assembled an exhibition featuring a collection of Einstein’s personal possessions donated by the Institute, including his treasured Biedermeier-style grandfather clock, his favorite armchair, his wooden music stand, and his pipe.
How is research at the Institute funded?
The Institute is a private, independent academic community with no income from tuition or fees. From its earliest days, it has relied on support from those committed to advancing fundamental knowledge. Its founders, Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, created an endowment fund to which many other individual donors and private foundations have contributed, providing a base of unrestricted support for the work of scholars at the Institute. Additionally, some programs receive funding from individuals, foundations, and federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the National Security Agency. The majority of visiting Members receive stipends from the Institute; however, some receive financial support from their home institutions or foreign governments.
How can I support the work of the Institute?
There are many ways to give to the Institute, including gifts of annual support, major gifts of endowment and program support, and gifts made in conjunction with your estate planning process. Gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated, and they qualify as tax-deductible charitable contributions in accordance with our status as a public charity. Please consult your tax adviser for information on how this applies to your individual tax return. The Institute’s tax ID number is 21-0634988. For information about supporting the work of the Institute, please visit our website or contact our Development staff.
Who are the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study?
Through annual support and involvement, Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study are partners in the advancement of research and scholarship at the highest level, while providing an important link to the wider community. Established in 1980, on the occasion of the Institute’s fiftieth anniversary, the Friends group provides IAS with its greatest source of unrestricted funding, over $775,000 in fiscal year 2012. The more than two hundred Friends in Princeton and the surrounding area make tax-deductible contributions of $1,750 to more than $25,000 annually. Friends have the opportunity to interact with Institute scholars; attend forums, lectures, concerts, and films; receive Institute publications; and have access to the Institute’s libraries and dining hall. For information about joining the Friends of the Institute, please visit the Friends website or contact Pamela Hughes at (609) 734-8204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a former Member or Visitor of the Institute. How can I stay involved?
Founded in 1974 by Institute Members, the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study (AMIAS) seeks to support and extend the Institute’s mission and to help sustain opportunities for independent, undistracted scholarship for future generations of Institute Members and Visitors. For information about staying connected to IAS, please contact Linda Cooper at (609) 734-8259 or email@example.com.
Can my group hold an event at the Institute?
Since the primary mission of the Institute is to foster the work of scholars in a tranquil environment free of distraction, we are unable to accommodate requests for use of our facilities by outside groups.
Does the Institute offer tours? May I visit the campus?
In order to preserve the tranquil environment necessary for the work of the Institute’s Faculty and visiting scholars, the Institute’s buildings are not open to the public, and tours are not available. However, the Institute Woods and grounds are open to the public and enjoyed year-round by bird watchers, walkers, runners, and cross-country skiers. The Institute also offers public events throughout the year, including lectures by Institute scholars and the Edward T. Cone Concert Series.