About Centers and Institutes

The University of Minnesota is home to over 300 research, education, and outreach centers and institutes. This listing will help you identify, learn about, and contact these units.

Interested in partnering with a center or institute? Please contact the Office for Public Engagement.

Center and Institute staff needing to make updates to this list, please contact centers@umn.edu.

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Schulze Diabetes Institute

Diabetic individuals are our focus for whom and with whom we continue to advance pancreas and islet cell transplantation. We offer 'individualized' transplants to adults at all stages of type 1 diabetes, and we seek to achieve insulin independence with the least harmful approach possible. We give high priority to research and education so that successful transplantation may become applicable to children, commonplace, and routine, for children as well as adults.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, Academic Health Center
David Sutherland
+1 612 626 3016
Last updated: August 13, 2015

Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Center for

The mission of the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy (CSTPP) is to improve people’s lives by advancing the application of science and technology to solve public problems.  CSTPP explores the increasingly important role that science and technology plays in our society and examines its implications for public policy at the international, national, and state levels.

Stephen Kelley
+1 612 625 3032
Last updated: January 16, 2015

Secondary Education and Transition, National Center on

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.

David Johnson
+1 612 624 2097
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Security in Transportation Technology Research and Applications

SECTTRA—Security in Transportation Technology Research and Applications—is a joint program of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS). Its mission is to earn recognition for the University of Minnesota as a world leader in the development and application of technologies for transportation security.

The SECTTRA program collaborates with the ITS Institute and the Safety Security Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC), a cooperative inter-university research center that coordinates research with a spectrum of large general homeland security contractors, companies with a specific market share, and start-up companies with key enabling technologies.

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Sensory Center

The Center provides a full range of sensory evaluation and consumer testing for various products. It also provides consultation related to sensory testing design and statistical data analysis.

Zata Vickers
+1 612 625 3712
Last updated: June 23, 2015

Small Towns, Center for

The Center for Small Towns is a community outreach program housed at the University of Minnesota, Morris and serves as a point-of-entry to the resources of the University of Minnesota. Small towns, local units of government, K-12 schools, non-profit organizations, and other University units are able to utilize the Center's resources as they work on rural issues or make contributions to rural society.

Campus and College: Morris
Roger Rose
+1 320 589 6451
Last updated: August 11, 2017

Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative

The Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO) brings University of Minnesota researchers and industry leaders together to co-create new knowledge and business value. Industry partners bring tough business challenges, domain expertise, and real data to the conversation. University experts from across disciplines bring econometric, computational, and experimental methodologies, as well as a commitment to unbiased research. Together we study large-scale network and non-network data, conduct experiments, and apply advanced analytical techniques to advance understanding of our data-rich, socially networked world. 

Ravi Bapna and Joe Konstan
+1 612 626 6880
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Social Work Research, Minnesota Center for

The scholarship of the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work faculty is consistently ranked among the top 10 public schools of social work in the United States (Feldman, 2006). Our faculty and graduate students are leaders in research among diverse communities on pressing social issues such as child welfare, youth development, disability, aging, family violence and restorative justice to name just a few.  The Minnesota Center for Social Work Research brings together these many efforts by individual faculty and students as well as our School’s research and training centers.

Wendy Haight
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Social, Economic, and Ecological Sustainability, Institute for

The Institute for Social, Economic and Ecological Sustainability (ISEES) was initiated in July 1996 to strengthen the University of Minnesota's capacity to analyze sustainability issues and recommend options for moving toward sustainability. Our vision is based on the fundamental idea that sustainable relationships between the social, economic and ecological spheres of the world are possible and desirable.

ISEES brings together people from the natural and social sciences and practitioners to analyze sustainability issues and recommend options for moving toward sustainability. We believe that the development of options for sustainability requires integrating social, economic, and ecological factors.

ISEES is currently hosting the University of Minnesota Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Initiative with a generous grant from the Archibald Bush Foundation since 2004. The goal is to explore how ecosystems and socio-economic systems can work hand-in-hand for the long-term benefit of all. Working with faculty from across the University, the Initiative has launched a new Sustainability Studies Minor at the UMN, is conducting research on Minnesota's environmental future to the year 2050, and runs outreach programs for teachers and journalists, and the public.

Campus and College: Twin Cities
Anne Kapuscinski
+1 612 624 7723
Last updated: September 15, 2016

Software Engineering Center

The mission of the Software Engineering Center (UMSEC) is: 1) Research: Nurture innovative basic and applied research in software engineering and related areas; 2) Education: Educate future generations of software engineering researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in cutting edge software engineering techniques, tools, and business practices; and 3) Outreach: Reach out to industry leaders, policy-makers, researchers, educators, and the community-at-large to transfer knowledge as well as better understand and anticipate industry's technical needs.

Mats Heimdahl
+1 612 625 1381
Last updated: January 16, 2015

Soil Testing Laboratory

The Soil Testing Laboratory provides routine soil testing and fertilizer recommendation services to: florists, farmers, cemeteries, composters, sod producers, agricultural lime producers, commercial vegetable and ruit growers, industrial lawn and landscape specialists, homeowners, golf courses, athletic fields, and nursery workers.  Our fertilizer recommendations are based on laboratory results, soil characteristics, past crop history, and crop nutrient requirements; and are specific to Minnesota locations and conditions.

Brian Barber
+1 612 625 3101
Last updated: June 23, 2015

Southeast Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships link rural community priorities and University of Minnesota resources.

Three core principles shape our work:

  • To build and strengthen effective relationships between citizens, communities and their University of Minnesota;
  • To promote active citizen leadership in strengthening the long-term social, economic and environmental health of greater Minnesota; and
  • To invest in research, education and outreach projects that advance the understanding and achievement of regional sustainability.

The Experiment in Rural Cooperation (ERC) is the Southeast Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. ERC works with citizens in SE MN to create and sustain healthy ecosystems, strong local economies and vibrant, self-reliant communities. ERC supports projects that demonstrate public purpose and is committed to building partnerships that connect the citizens of SE MN to local assets and the educational, research and outreach resources of the University of Minnesota.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, Extension
Meier Erin
+1 507 536 6313
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca

Research at the Southern Research and Outreach Center includes the following areas: agronomy, dairy and beef, farm operations, horticulture, commercial vegetable production, nutraceutical crops, biohydrogen and biomethane production from animal wastes, biomass crop production systems for energy and other renewable resources, nematology, soil science and water quality, swine, water management and drainage, and weather Information.

Forrest Izuno
+1 507 835 3620
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton

The Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) in Lamberton links agriculture, communities and families to the research, education and outreach resources of the University. SWROC is one of the University's six research and outreach centers strategically located throughout Minnesota. It is a key unit of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). As a resource for southwestern Minnesota, the Center is part of the CFANS Translational Research and Education division which functions as a unit and the Center has strong ties with numerous CFANS departments, as well as other colleges within the University. Today the Center's research and outreach programs are focused on finding the best options for production agriculture while concurrently addressing environmental concerns. These concerns have come to the forefront and have become a relevant driving force that affects production. An extensive range of ongoing research incorporates knowledge of efficient agricultural systems that are also economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. At the same time the Center constantly strives to support communities through strong K-12 and family education programs.

Pauline Nickel
+1 507 752 7372
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Spirituality and Healing, Center for

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing enriches health and well-being by providing high-quality interdisciplinary education, conducting rigorous research and delivering innovative programs that advance integrative health and healing. As part of the Academic Health Center, the Center for Spirituality & Healing draws on the rich expertise of faculty and community practitioners to advance our understanding of diverse cultures, beliefs and health practices while building on the University’s strengths of innovation and clinical excellence. Internationally recognized as a resource and leader in integrative therapies and healing practices, the Center’s goal is to transform the delivery of health care in this country and advance integrative health and healing.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, Academic Health Center
Mary Jo Kreitzer
+1 612 624 9459
Last updated: August 13, 2015

Sports Medicine Institute

W are striving for better answers in the field of sports medicine, through research, education, and patient care.

Jack Lewis
+1 612 273 1177
Last updated: July 29, 2015

St. Anthony Falls Lab

The lab's mission is threefold: 1) to advance fundamental knowledge in engineering, environmental, geophysical and biological fluid mechanics by conducting cross-cutting research that integrates various disciplines in science and engineering; 2) to benefit society by implementing this knowledge to develop physics-based, affordable, and sustainable engineering solutions to major environmental, water, ecosystem, health, and energy-related problems; and 3) to disseminate new knowledge to our students, the engineering and scientific community and the public by educational and outreach activities and partnerships with the government and industry.

Fotis Sotiropoulos
+1 612 624 4363
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health

The SBC facilitates research that solves global problems. Research topics collectively serve to build scientific understanding of plants and the organisms with which they interact and to translate that knowledge into improved crops, sustainable pest and disease management strategies, and policies that protect the ecosystem and further human wellbeing. SBC researchers partner with scientists and other entities at the University of Minnesota and other US and international institutes and organizations to form a network prepared to respond to threats to global food security and ecosystem health.

James Bradeen
Brian Steffenson
+1 612 625 8200
Last updated: October 14, 2015

State and Local Policy Program

The State and Local Policy Program (SLPP), which is part of the Regional Planning and Policy Area at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, conducts research on transportation and the community and economic development and human capital. In the former, research projects focus on understanding the social, economic, and environmental impacts of transportation technology and policy and exploring how new policy models can benefit communities, including congestion pricing and other applications of Intelligent Transportation Systems. In the latter, research focuses on understanding how changes in the global economy affect the economic competitiveness of regions and communities, including economic and income disparities, and how industry clusters relate to knowledge and workforce strategies. SLPP also manages the national Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) established under the federal surface transportation law, SAFETEA-LU, in 2005.

Lee Munnich, Jr.
+1 612 626 0564
Last updated: January 16, 2015

State Health Access Data Assistance Center

SHADAC is a leader in facilitating primary health policy research at the state level with an established network of state analysts working on health coverage and access issues across the country.

SHADAC`s experts in survey design, sampling, data analysis and health policy specialize in the application of state-level data resources (both national and state-specific data sets) for health policy decisions.

SHADAC produces timely and targeted health policy research with a focus on deriving lessons from state variations in policy and outcomes in the national context.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, School of Public Health
Kelli Johnson
+1 612 624 4802
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Stem Cell Institute

The Stem Cell Institute`s goals are to:

  1. carry out basic research in genetics , developmental biology, cell biology and physiology of stem cells and their differentiated progeny.
  2. assist in the translation of basic research into novel therapies for genetic and degenerative disorders.
  3. apply new stem cell-based therapies in the clinic through already established clinical programs at the University of Minnesota.
  4. advance and disseminate knowledge concerning the biology and physiology of stem cells.
  5. foster and increase public knowledge and awareness of stem cells and their potential clinical applications.
  6. address ethical issues in stem cell biology and therapies.
Jakub Tolar
+1 612 626 4916
Last updated: August 13, 2015

STEM Education Center

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (or STEM) Education Center applies interdisciplinary research in learning and cognition, STEM integration, instructor development, and evaluation and assessment to STEM teaching from early childhood through graduate education.

Karl Smith
Kathleen Cramer
+1 612 626 1705
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Stroke Center

The Stroke Center was established in mid-2006 as a world-class regional center for treatment, education, and research relating to stroke. In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, there are 5,000 strokes per year and approximately 1,000 deaths per year.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, Academic Health Center
Adnan Qureshi
+1 612 626 6688
Last updated: August 13, 2015

Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments, Center to

CENSHARE is an Interdisciplinary Center with a mission to create opportunities to aquire, disseminate and apply knowledge about the relationships between animals, people and their shared environments. Established in 1981 by the Office of the Academic Vice President, the Dean of the School of Public Health and Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, Academic Health Center
Pamela Schreiner
+1 612 626 1975
Last updated: August 13, 2015

Survey Research, Minnesota Center for

The Minnesota Center for Survey Research (MCSR) provides survey research services to University faculty and administration, state and local government agencies, and nonprofit organizations working on issues of public policy in Minnesota. MCSR also provides consultation in areas such as study and questionnaire design, survey administration, data file construction, and data analysis.

Campus and College: Twin Cities
Rossana Armson
+1 612 627 4282
Last updated: January 16, 2015

Sustainability, U of M Crookston Center for

The U of M Crookston Center for Sustainability is charged with providing overall regional leadership for sustainability work on the Crookston campus, while at the same time encouraging broad participation from across the campus, community, and region.

Campus and College: Crookston
Katy Chapman
+ 218 281 8129
Last updated: July 6, 2018

Sustainable Agriculture, Minnesota Institute for

The purpose of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) is to bring together the agricultural community and the University community in a cooperative effort to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond. We strive to balance the long-term economic, ecological and social aspects of agricultural systems.

Helene Murray
+1 612 625 8235
Last updated: January 16, 2015

Sustainable Building Research, Center for

CSBR provides research and activity in the following areas: sustainable design, energy-efficient buildings, windows and glazing research, improved building delivery process, affordable houseing, building science and engineering, and human factors in transportation.

Campus and College: Twin Cities, College of Design
Richard Graves
+1 612 626 2737
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Sustainable Community Development, Center for

Mission:  Helping communities achieve their environmental, social and economic sustainable development goals


  1. Outreach:  University expertise working side by side with community partners to help them achieve their sustainability goals
  2. Teaching:  Bringing community project work into classroom, or better yet, bringing classroom into communities
  3. Research:  Developing and testing new approaches for implementing community sustainability
Campus and College: Duluth
Michael Mageau
+1 218 726 6081
Last updated: June 23, 2015

Sustainable Polymers, Center for

The Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) integrates science, technology, and public policy initiatives and research aimed at reducing our dependence on petrochemical feedstocks for the ubiquitous plastics we use every day. Nearly all commodity polymers come from gas and oil. As the global supplies dwindle, we will need to turn to alternative materials from renewable resources in a sustainable manner. Scientists in the CSP at the University of Minnesota are focused on the basic research needed to advance such technologies and are working toward the goal of a sustainable polymer industry.

Marc Hillmyer
Last updated: July 29, 2015

Swine Disease Eradication Center

The Swine Disease Eradication Center is engaged in research, teaching (professional and graduate), continuing education and certification related to many areas of swine health and production, with particular emphasis on disease control and eradication, and animal welfare. 

Scott Dee
+1 612 624 4719
Last updated: July 29, 2015