Research is a key pillar at Yale-NUS College. Excellence in research is fundamental to upholding the College’s mission of promoting world-class liberal arts education in Asia and, more broadly, in a complex and interconnected world.
Ethnography—involving participant observation in local communities, informal and formal interviewing, detailed field notes, and visual and other forms of documentation—is the hallmark of the anthropological research enterprise. Anthropologists at Yale-NUS engage in this type of immersive, field-based ethnography in a variety of global sites, ranging from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia. In particular, Yale-NUS Anthropology faculty are Asia specialists, with major ongoing projects in China, Japan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Our areas of research specialisation are diverse and far-ranging; they include gender and sexuality, education, religion, race and ethnicity, economy, migration, health and medicine, science and technology, politics, violence, and human rights, among many other social and cultural issues. Several of our faculty work with cognate fields (e.g., Global Affairs), and contribute to other programmes (e.g., Gender Research Cluster).
The Arts and Humanities faculty at Yale-NUS College engage in diverse research that covers a broad range of areas, namely art history, arts administration, art practice, art education, music, museums, performing arts, publishing, writing, academia, and journalism. Our areas of specialisation encompass a global context and engage in interdisciplinary fields.
Economics is a diverse field, and we have that diversity represented here at Yale-NUS. Our scholars at Yale-NUS work on a wide range of areas, covering all categories of the traditional distinctions between micro and macro, empirical and theoretical. In terms of methodology, we are as diverse as economics itself, using surveys, experiment, and administrative data in our empirical work, as well as numerical and a variety of tools in our analytical work. Policy relevance is the common feature across all of our research. Predictably, we have a broad regional interest as we are interested not only in policy questions relevant to the economies of Asia, but also questions of global reach, such as climate change policy.
Faculty in Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS explore the depth, breadth, implications and risks of the human perturbation of natural systems from a variety of perspectives. Our work rests in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and spans fields and disciplines as we seek to understand the varied erosions of ecosystem resilience, natural beauty, political foresight and social accountability. We conduct ecological research on natural and managed systems, explore the varied dimensions of natural and anthropogenic hazards and risk, investigate global climate policy and energy technology, interrogate the underpinnings of consumer society and sustainable consumption, investigate narratives of alternative futures, and unpack sometimes hidden elements of agrarian change. We seek with our research to illuminate alternative trajectories for human well-being that value natural systems, human prosperity, and socio-technical arrangements for environmental sustainability.
Faculty in Global Affairs at Yale-NUS investigate the relationships across and within states, economies, and societies in rapidly globalising and inter-connected world. We are a community of scholars who study the causes and consequences of globalisation, migration patterns, international development, security and conflict, ethnic politics, domestic and global governance, and human rights and public policy. Our research draws on interdisciplinary scholarship and multi-method approaches, and combines theoretical, policy, and empirical analyses that span borders and notably in the Asia-Pacific region.
Historians at Yale-NUS engage in historical research with global dimensions. Ranging from the ancient, to the medieval and early modern, and to the contemporary, we excavate and explore a diverse range of sources, illuminating thematic connections between peoples, ideas, cultures, and societies. Our spatial expanse is global, from strengths in Asia (East, Southeast and South), the Middle East, Europe (Western and East-Central), and the Americas. Many of us engage in interdisciplinary research in cognate fields, through college research clusters, as well as regional and global research networks.
The Life Sciences encompass an enormous range of questions about the mechanisms of life, ranging in scale from the actions of individual molecules to the behaviour of entire ecosystems. Diverse approaches are employed to address these questions, whether in the laboratory, in the field, or on computers. Our research in life sciences at Yale-NUS College reflects this diversity, with interests in genomics, biochemistry, development, animal behaviour, neurobiology and more.
The literature faculty at Yale-NUS represent a distinctive diversity of linguistic, cultural, and historical traditions, and a multiplicity of approaches. In addition to global Anglophone literature, our interdisciplinary faculty research areas are based in Chinese Studies, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, Near Eastern Studies, Renaissance Studies, and the Global South. Recent publications include monographs on the poetics of ruins in Renaissance literature; on literature and political engagement since Nietzsche; on the Roman imperial poet Manilius and Roman Astrology; and articles on the posthuman in Qing speculative fiction, and contemporary philological practice. Our faculty collaborate on campus in a variety of research clusters, and are active internationally in their respective fields.
Our faculty pursue research in pure and applied mathematics, theoretical and applied computer science, pure and applied statistics, as well as in directions that connect them. Their fields of expertise include, but are not restricted to, real and complex analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations, combinatorics, commutative algebra, harmonic analysis, topology, dynamical systems, celestial mechanics, mathematical modeling, complex systems, computer languages, software security, computer vision, human-computer interaction, machine learning, pattern formation, data science, statistical inference, and Bayesian statistics.
The cultural traditions research programme of the philosophy faculty at Yale-NUS College is distinctive for its broad range of coverage, which includes European, Chinese, and Indian philosophy. The programme emphasises deepening our understanding of these traditions, and bringing them into productive dialogue. The topical areas research programme of the philosophy faculty at Yale-NUS College is concerned with the perennial topics that every tradition and era in philosophy return to: what can we know, how should we live, what are the most fundamental kinds of things that exist, and many others.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics faculty at Yale-NUS conduct research across a variety of empirical and theoretical topics, with strengths in political theory and comparative politics, as well as economics and philosophy. For faculty research interests in economics and philosophy, refer to respective majors.
Our current faculty comprises two theoreticians interested in building realistic models for important quantum systems, including those relevant for quantum computation and future low energy electronics, and four experimentalists who design and develop functional materials for use in electronics, sensing, catalysis, energy harvesting and various biomedical applications. In addition to our laboratories at the Yale-NUS campus, our research groups can be found at the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), the Centre for Ion Beam Applications (CIBA), the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials (CA2DM) and the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) – all within a 15 minute walk from Yale-NUS campus.
Our researchers strive to understand, and often to improve, how humans think, feel, and act. To do so, we use a variety of methods, ranging from observation to focused training, and from behavioural measures to neural ones.
We are an interdisciplinary group of scholars whose research focusses on various aspects of cities and processes of urban and regional development. We are committed to extending the current understanding of urbanisation through comparative frameworks that highlight the relevance of Asian and other non-Western urban conditions to urban theory more generally.