A Hub

for Groundbreaking Research

UC MERCED is home to a number of innovative research and training centers that offer extraordinary opportunities for our students. In state-of-the-art campus labs and in the field, our researchers are working on significant problems and innovative solutions in areas such as data analytics, robotics, solar and renewable energy, water quality and resources, health science, social inequality, immigration, child development, enterpreneurship, materials science and more. Explore information about some our research centers in the pages that follow and join in the excitement of discovery at UC Merced.

Research Centers & Institutes

Health Sciences Research Institute

With more than 70 faculty members across UC Merced's three schools, the Health Sciences Research Institute is fostering world-renowned researchers through its work to improve the health of the people in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

UC Solar

Solar power is the Earth’s original renewable energy source, and if there’s one thing California has an abundance of, it’s sunshine, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. That’s why UC Merced is the perfect choice to lead the UC Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), comprising participants from eight UC campuses.


The UC Merced Center for Humanities supports the exchange of intellectual and creative ideas among faculty members, students and the broader regional community. This is accomplished through a wide array of forums, from lectures and seminars to exhibits and films. The center enriches imaginations by deepening explorations of our interconnected lives.


UC Merced is honored to be home to one of four branches of the prestigious Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), designed to create information technology solutions for many of the world’s most pressing social, environmental and healthcare problems.

Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines

The Crest Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines, funded by the the National Science Foundation's Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology program-brings together more than a dozen faculty members from across campus, including the fields of bioengineering, physics, chemistry and chemical biology, materials science and engineering. The center offers extensive training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, and supports research that studies how biological matter such as proteins or cells come together to perform specific tasks, effectively behaving as machines.

sierra nevada research institute

The Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) brings togeher more than 30 UC Merced faculty members who conduct basic and applied research in the "outdoor laboratory" our beautiful natural surroundings provide. The San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada regions are legendary for their vast natural resources, physical and biological diversity and cultural heritage. However, rapid population growth, competiton for natural resources, air, water and soil pollution, climate change and competing land uses pose serious threats to the sustainability of these regions. The SNRI faculty affiliates and students conduct basic and applied research on these issues, hoping to find ways to better preserve and protect the area for the years to come.


The NASA- funded Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) promotes innovative and collaborative research in functional nanomaterials for energy and sensing for NASA missions, while simultaneously addressing terrestrial needs for early disease diagnosis and for clean and renewable energy. The center also aims to increase participation of underrepresented and underprivileged undergraduate and graduate students, educating a new generation of STEM workforce trained in a multidisciplinary material research environment with solid foundations and excellent problem-solving skills.

uc water

The UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative is the newest multicampus organization headquartered at UC Merced, and is focused on strategic research for better water resources management. UC Water has now grown to over 50 researchers who address California's three stores of water (as in the video): snow, reservoirs and groundwater aquifers. UC Water employs an interdisciplinary approach to address water information, institutions and infrastructure, to improve the ways water is managed in the state.

additional centers

A growing university, UC Merced is home to an increasing roster of research centers delving into a wide array of topics, from nanomaterials and climate communication to better teaching methods and community partnerships.