Interdisciplinary Research

We aim to leverage the strengths of faculty and researchers across the Institute to address research problems that cannot be solved without a transdisciplinary focus. Through our 10 Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, the Pediatric Technology Center, the Global Center for Medical Innovation, the Novelis Innovation Hub, and the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Georgia Tech students and faculty address questions in areas such as:

  • Sustainability, Climate & Energy
  • Human Health & Activity
  • Intelligent Machines & Data Science
  • Manufacturing & Materials

Current Initiatives

The office of the Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research (VPIR) strives to galvanize the research strengths of faculty across Georgia Tech and advance collaboration with the National Labs, other colleges and universities including Minority-Serving Institutions, corporate partners, community organizations, and local, state and federal governmental agencies. The VPIR’s team helps develop research collaborations across Georgia Tech and supports the translation of fundamental research to meet societal needs and accelerate technology and knowledge transfer. The office of the VPIR works closely with the office of the Vice President for Research Development and Operations and the office of Federal Relations to identify federal funding opportunities and guide faculty responses to them.

Many of Georgia Tech’s faculty are engaged in interdisciplinary research that tackles national and international challenges and questions related to climate change and clean energy; public health; biotechnology and the bioeconomy; artificial intelligence; quantum information science; advanced manufacturing; and semiconductors. To that end, the VPIR also supports the administration of interdisciplinary research at Georgia Tech, including supporting IRI programming and fiscal management, prioritizing career development for research faculty and staff; and amplifying the impact of IRI-led research with proactive communications and representation in national thought leadership roles.

Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) enable researchers to achieve goals that cannot be met within other structures at Georgia Tech. Faculty and students from all six colleges and 28 schools as well as GTRI participate in IRI activities, combining their different sources of expertise, interests, and approaches to pose new research questions, respond to existing challenges, and advance technology to improve the human condition. 

Please visit the 2021 Highlights page to learn more about some of the IRIs' recent accomplishments.



New Georgia Tech research shows that cell stiffness could be a valuable clue for doctors as they search for and treat cancerous cells before they’re able to spread. Professor John McDonald and Assistant Professor Todd Sulchek led the study.

The Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB) tackles complex bio research problems by bringing together engineers, scientists, and clinicians to turn discoveries into game-changing solutions.

Data Engineering and Science

The Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS) pursues grand challenges in data science foundations and in data-driven discovery in engineering and sciences through interdisciplinary multi-investigator endeavors.

Devin Bown in the IEN Cleanroom

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) facilitates innovation in micro/nano-enabled electronics and photonics by catalyzing and translating research, connecting researchers to industry, and preparing the workforce of the future.

carbon neutral energy solutions Lab |  Chris Jones

The Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) serves as a conduit for integrating, facilitating, and enabling Institute-wide programs in energy research and development.

Manufacturing IRI (Interdisciplinary Research Institute) images in the GTMI Building.

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute brings together industry leaders, government partners and top researchers to collaborate and find solutions for the greatest challenges facing U.S. industry today.

Chemistry beakers made of data points

Materials research at Georgia Tech is comprehensive, addressing the major technologies that can improve our lives in the next century and beyond.

Georgia Tech People and Technology

The Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) researchers support research, engage students, and collaborate with industry, government, and non-profit partners.

Georgia Tech Renewable Bioproducts

The Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) delivers innovation in converting biomass into value-added products, developing advanced chemical and bio-based refining technologies, and advancing excellence in manufacturing processes.

Students in a swarm robotics lab at GT

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) serves as an umbrella under which robotics researchers, educators, and students from across campus come together to advance many diverse robotics activities.

Solar Roof on the GT CRC

The vision for the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems is to create knowledge and technologies that will improve environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

IRI Mission

Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) bring together researchers from different disciplines to address topics of strategic importance to Georgia Tech. They mobilize faculty to address the needs of a range of external stakeholders (federal, state, and local entities, corporations, foundations, communities) by fostering an institute-wide innovation ecosystem around a specific focus. IRIs translate research into specific outcomes such as technology transfer, education, and outreach. They make faculty more competitive for extramural funds by providing equipment, space, and staff support to develop bold new approaches to critical problems, and they provide students with hands-on, experiential learning in a research environment. IRIs represent long term Georgia Tech priorities.

Informally: IRIs enable researchers to achieve goals that cannot be met within other structures at Georgia Tech.

IRI Impacts

  1. Catalyze Interdisciplinary Research Community – IRIs strive to bring together the research community across Georgia Tech and with external partners to spur new ideas and research. 
  2. Educate Key Stakeholders and Prepare the Future Workforce – IRIs provide programs and outreach designed to educate the public and the Georgia Tech community on interdisciplinary research and career paths and to attract new talent to the scientific community. 
  3. Cultivate Vision, Influence, and Recognition for Research – IRIs encourage thought leadership and provide opportunities for influence and visibility beyond Georgia Tech, spurring new ideas for research, funding opportunities, and service to other organizations. Georgia Tech researchers are recognized for these efforts. 
  4. Enhance IRI Resources – IRIs seek external funding to enhance research facilities, opportunities, and skills among the Georgia Tech community and our external partners, and engage in development and fundraising activities with individuals, companies, and foundations.
  5. Accelerate Technology and Knowledge Transfer – IRIs work with Georgia Tech and external partners to translate research into practice and support the creation of new products and services for the local, state, national, and global communities.