Yale University

The International Room at Sterling Library.

The International Room at Sterling Library, Yale University

Faculty Research Abroad

Yale University's engagement beyond the United States dates from the earliest years of the nineteenth century, when its faculty first pursued study and research abroad. Today, faculty members from all of Yale's school are involved in over 900 international research projects and collaborations in every part of the world.

The Yale Faculty Research Database contains an inventory of some of the international research projects being undertaken by Yale faculty and may be searched by region, country, school, department, faculty name, and specific topic.

Professors from across the University lead a wide variety of international research projects and collaborations. This sampling provides a sense of the range of their activities.

Mesoamerican Art

The 1,200-year-old murals at Bonampak, Mexico, that were created by the Maya peoples, were reconstructed and deciphered by Mary E. Miller, Dean of Yale College. A specialist on Mesoamerican art who is particularly renowned for her scholarship on the Maya, Professor Miller used infrared photography and computer enhancement to unlock the riddles of Bonampak.


World Religions

The Divinity School has research and exchange programs with universities in China, Germany, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Faculty in Divinity and Religious Studies work in areas such as Asian theology, religions of India (Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism), and Islam and Christianity in West Africa.


Ethnomusicology and World Music

Music Professors Michael Veal and Sarah Weiss study and teach about music of different cultures and regions of the world. Professor Veal specializes in African and Caribbean music. Professor Weiss studies Southeast and East Asian performance and directs Yale’s Javanese ensemble, Gamelan Suprabanggo (see above).


Yale Egyptological Institute

Directed by Professor John C. Darnell, the Institute manages explorations of the ancient routes of the Egyptian Western Desert, mapping and recording epigraphic and archaeological material spanning over six millennia of human activity in the eastern Sahara. Professor Darnell’s many discoveries have included the Scorpion tableau, perhaps the earliest historical record of ancient Egypt, and the earliest alphabetic inscriptions in the Wadi el-Hol.

Social Science Fieldwork in China

Yale students work collaboratively with students from Hong Kong and China to research various aspects of contemporary Chinese society. Professor of Sociology Deborah S. Davis, an expert in historical and comparative sociology and methods of fieldwork, conducts a summer fieldwork seminar. Professor of Anthropology Helen Siu, shown above, has conducted historical and ethnographic fieldwork examining socialist and post-socialist transformations, the revival of market towns, community festivals and rituals, and, lately, migration and vernacular modernity.


Medical Anthropology

Marcia C. Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, conducts research on the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Arab America. She is an international leader in the field of medical anthropology.


Languages and Literatures

Faculty in Yale’s language and literature departments—East Asian, French, German, Italian, Near Eastern, Slavic, and Spanish & Portuguese—conduct their research on a wide array of topics that include Chinese poetry, the Bayeux Tapestry, francophone sub-Saharan African literatures, Italian cinema, Portuguese culture in Asia, colonial Spanish American literature and history, Spanish Golden Age literature, and Yiddish poetry.


Peking-Yale Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology

Professor Xing-Wang Deng is the director of the Peking-Yale Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology. The Center conducts research on the basic biology in model plant systems and searches for ways to improve food crops to increase production and nutritional value.

Water in Developing Countries

School of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Menachem Elimelech focuses on problems involving physicochemical and biophysical processes in engineered and natural environmental systems, including membrane separations for desalination and water quality control and water sanitation challenges in developing countries.


Yale-Universidad de Chile International Program in Astronomy

The astronomy departments at both Universidad de Chile and Yale conduct student and faculty exchanges, joint research projects, and a summer course for undergraduates. Important discoveries resulting from this program include finding evidence that our galaxy formed in part through mergers of smaller galaxies and identifying the dominant population of galaxies in the early universe.


Amazon Rain Forest Expedition and Laboratory

Research in Professor Scott A. Strobel’s lab includes investigation of novel endophytic fungi associated with rainforest plants. His course, “Amazon Rain Forest Expedition and Laboratory,” includes a field trip to the rain forest of Ecuador, where students search for exotic plants, which they then take back to the lab to culture and screen for novel, and perhaps therapeutically useful, molecules.


Global Health Initiative

Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health Elizabeth H. Bradley is leading efforts to expand the University’s global health activities and directs the Global Health Leadership Institute. Professor Bradley and her colleagues conduct research on health services, with an emphasis on improving management of health care systems and improving quality of care. Projects are under way in China, Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

International Training Center for Global Infectious Diseases Research

This project involves scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana, the University of São Paulo, and Yale. Led by Michael Cappello, Professor in the School of Medicine and Director of the World Fellows Program, the project provides young scientists with opportunities to work with senior faculty. Research targets HIV/AIDS, malaria and other vector-borne diseases, and helminths and other parasites.


Nurses Training in China

Faculty in the School of Nursing have cultivated long-term relationships with health professionals who are poised to take leadership roles and reform nursing in China. For example, Professor Ann B. Williams conducted some of the earliest studies of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors around the world. She has been particularly active in China and co-directs an initiative, in collaboration with the Yale-China Association and the Hunan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention and funded by the National Institutes of Health that focuses on improved treatment of HIV/AIDS.


Fudan-Yale Biomedical Research Center

The Center is a locus for research in genetics and molecular medicine. Led by Professor Tian Xu of the School of Medicine, the Center performs cutting-edge research and training, serves as a model of academic reform in China, and promotes international exchange and cooperation. It is working to identify novel genetic solutions for human diseases ranging from cancers to a growing number of progressive neurodegenerative diseases.


Arctic Sea Ice

John Wettlaufer, Alan M. Batemen Professor of Geology and Geophysics, is noted for research spanning many disciplines, from condensed matter and geophysics to applied mathematics, while studying how objects freeze and melt. His numerous publications have explored such topics as the symmetry of snow crystals, ocean freezing, star patterns on lake ice, and the reliability of simulated Arctic sea ice in global climate models.

Industrial Ecology

Professors Marian Chertow and Thomas Graedel have worked to create the new field of industrial ecology to address the twin goals of economic development and environmental quality. Faculty research interests include, among others, the cycles of materials, technological change and the environment, eco-industrial urban development, industrial symbiosis, and product and producer policy issues.


Environmental Performance Index

The latest Environmental Performance Index ranks 163 countries on twenty-five performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. Created by Professor Daniel Esty, Professor in the Schools of Law and Forestry & Environmental Studies, the Index provides a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.


Yale Climate and Energy Institute

The Yale Climate and Energy Institute brings together over eighty Yale faculty from across the University, including Professor Jay Ague (shown above). Led by Rajendra K. Pachauri, its mission promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to learning, research, and the development of strategies that help societies contribute to solutions and adapt to the challenges of local and global climatic changes.


Politics and Governance in India

Faculty involved in Yale’s India Initiative, including Professor Steven I. Wilkinson, conduct research on government, politics, elections, political violence, and class. The University also conducts the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program, which brings to Yale distinguished members of India’s Parliament for a leadership program with Yale faculty that is complemented by meetings, discussions, and interactions with U.S. politicians, policy analysts, and senior U.S. government offcials.

African Development

Economics faculty, led by Professor Christopher R. Udry, study issues related to economic development in Africa. Professor Udry has examined technological change in agriculture, the management of land resources, and the economic organization of households and communities, including compiling extensive longitudinal data tracking individuals in Ghana.


Middle East Legal Studies Seminar

The Middle East Legal Studies Seminar brings Yale professors and students together with lawyers, judges, and law professors from the Middle East who are open to reform and committed to democracy. Each year, the group studies a different general theme and its significance in the Middle East. Past topics have focused on the concept of legal authority, fundamental rights, and religious pluralism. Founded in 1998, the Seminar meets annually in different cities.


International Security Studies

International Security Studies at Yale (ISS) is a center for teaching and research in grand strategy and international, diplomatic, and military affairs. ISS is directed by Professor Paul M. Kennedy. The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, the flagship program of ISS, is directed by Professor John Lewis Gaddis.

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