Crowdsourcing solutions from a global population of scientists and scholars

Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti
Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti, Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Photo by David Kelly Crow

As Dean for Research, it is my job to steward and advocate for the research activities of Princeton faculty, students and staff. Through these pages, I invite you to experience the fascinating and impactful research happening across the disciplines at Princeton, from science and engineering to the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Our nation’s tradition of welcoming international scholars makes our universities some of the best places to study, conduct research and contribute discoveries that fuel jobs and economic growth.

Nearly a third of all U.S.-based Nobel laureates were born outside the United States. Innovators such as Alexander Graham Bell and Nikola Tesla, and deep thinkers such as Albert Einstein sought the U.S. for its opportunities, freedoms and welcoming attitude. International scholars make up 30% of Princeton’s faculty and 45% of Princeton’s graduate student body.

These scientists and scholars help make America prosperous, but the benefits of their contributions accrue far beyond our borders. U.S.-trained scientists leave our shores and go on to invent new technologies, start companies, teach at universities, run for public office, lead nonprofits and otherwise contribute to society and our quest for knowledge.

Recent changes to immigration policies have led to visa delays and other obstacles for international students and scholars planning to study or work in the United States. These policies threaten to constrict our longstanding crowdsourcing of talent and initiative. Already the number of international science and engineering graduate students enrolling at U.S. institutions shows signs of slowing, according to a 2019 report from the Council of Graduate Schools.

While Princeton takes concerns about inappropriate foreign influence in research seriously, we believe that openness, the free exchange of ideas, and the ability to continue to attract top talent from around the world are essential not just to the University’s research enterprise, but for our country’s continued ability to be the world’s leader in innovation and knowledge creation.

Instead of putting obstacles in talent’s way, let’s welcome inquisitive minds who will put their training to work, finding solutions to present and future problems, here and around the world.

Crowdsourcing solutions from a global population of scientists and scholars