Interdisciplinary Research Centers

Science is increasingly interdisciplinary, and the School of Physical Sciences has been very active in leading UCI toward a future of highly integrated scientific inquiry, education, and innovation. Several key centers include the following:

  • AirUCI is dedicated to understanding and solving the urgent challenges related to air pollution, climate change, water quality, and green technology, at the local and global level. The center has 23 UCI faculty member affiliates across the disciplines of chemistry, physics, engineering, and medicine as well as national and international collaborators.


  • Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CASTL) is a National Science Foundation funded center that develops the essential science and technology to probe single chemical events in real space and time.


  • Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS) integrates expertise and perspectives from diverse scientific fields to develop a deeper understanding of systems biology, includes faculty member representation from all four of our departments, and is affiliated with the graduate program: Mathematical, Computational, and Systems Biology. 

  • Center for Cosmology brings together particle physicists and astronomers to explore links between the largest and smallest scales in nature. The Cosmology Center takes advantage of the fact that Physics & Astronomy have a combined department at UCI. 

  • Center for Solar Energy is dedicated to studying the fundamental scientific principles of solar energy conversion.

  • Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center brings together a multidisciplinary group to discover, teach and heal within the broad discipline of cancer medicine. Members from the Departments of Chemistry and Mathematics play an important role in this center.

  • Data Science Initiative coordinates and links the activities of researchers and students across campus involved in various aspects of data science.

  • Institute for Mathematical and Behavioral Sciences (IMBS) is a specialized research center that facilitates interaction among scientists to formulate precisely and test theories of human behavior.

  • Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) is an umbrella institute for materials research at UCI, and provides major instrumentation and staff support for materials characterization for UCI, other universities, and industry.

  • Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution, led by UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy, brings together members from five University of California campuses to promote research in how galaxies are formed.

  • UCI OCEANS (Oceans, Changing Environments, Arts, and Nearshore Societies) is a campus-wide initiative that tackles, through research and education, pressing marine and on-shore environmental concerns and investigates questions at both global and local scales.

  • Water UCI facilitates seamless collaboration around questions of fundamental and applied water science, technology, management, and policy, and includes participation from faculty and students in the Department of Earth System Science.