Institutes for Advanced Study are independent academic institutions, established to promote scholarly thinking and research ‘for its own sake’, beyond the constraints of teaching and research at universities and other institutions of higher learning.
The IAS in Princeton
The first Institute for Advanced Study was established in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1930. Funded by the philanthropist Louis Bamberger and his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld, it was based on the vision of its founding director, the educational reformist Abraham Flexner. Past faculty members include Albert Einstein, who lived at the institute until his death in 1955.
Today, it describes itself as ‘one of the world’s leading centres for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry’. According to its website, the Institute exists to ‘encourage and support curiosity-driven research in the sciences and humanities — the original, often speculative thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world’.
Work at the Institute takes place in four schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Science. A permanent Faculty of about 30 academics guide the work of the schools. Each year, the Institute awards about 200 fellowships to scholars from some 100 universities and research institutions throughout the world. Scholars afiliated with the Institute include 33 Nobel Laureates, and 41 out of 56 Fields Medalists.
The Institute is not formally linked to other educational institutions. However, it collaborates closely with Princeton University and other institutions in the area.
Other Institutes for Advanced Study
The IAS in Princeton is affiliated to a consortium known as Some Institutes for Advanced Study (SIAS), which also includes eight other institutes in the US, Europe and Israel.
The Consortium of Institutes of Advanced Studies comprises some 20 research institutes in Great Britain and Ireland. The name Institute for Advanced Study, along with the acronym IAS, is also used by various other independent institutions throughout the world.
Sources: Institute for Advanced Study [online], Mission and History, at https://www.ias.edu/about/mission-and-history.