Kavli Institutes. Image credit: Natasha K. Hussain

The Kavli Foundation

Dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work.

The Kavli Foundation is based in Oxnard, California, USA. 


    • The Foundation's mission is implemented through their support of an international community of research institutes that together seek to answer some of humanity’s most fundamental scientific questions while contributing to basic knowledge for a better future for our global community. 

      The Kavli NDI (indicated on map as 1 and STAR) is advancing a global focus on brain research and joins an international community of Institutes supported by the Kavli Foundation (indicated on map symbol TKF). The Kavli Foundation supports: neuroscience (indicated on map as WHITE CIRCLE, 1-7), astrophysics (indicated on map as RED CIRCLE, 8-13), nanoscience (indicated on map as ORANGE CIRCLE, 14-18), and theoretical physics (indicated on map as WHITE CIRCLE, 19-20).

  • Kavli Foundation
    Supported Fields of Inquiry

    • Neuroscience

      This is the scientific study of the most complex and advanced product of nature: the human brain. The brain forms the basis for the development and very existence of the human being. Understanding the brain is key not only for understanding who we are but also for addressing many debilitating conditions and deadly diseases.

      This reconstruction of the neurons in the central nervous system of fruit fly larvae is based on data from more than 20 laboratories worldwide and was created by the Cardona lab at HHMI Janelia. This side view shows approximately 7,000 neurons, in full or in part, of the approximately 12,000 neurons in the animal. (Credit: Albert Cardona, Janelia Research Campus, HHMI)

      The Kavli Foundation Institutes for Neuroscience (indicated in white on map) are located at:

      1. Johns Hopkins University

      2. Columbia University

      3. The Rockefeller University

      4. Yale University

      5. the University of California, San Diego

      6. the University of California, San Francisco

      7. the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

    • Astrophysics

      How did the universe begin? What are the forces that give it shape? Can life exist elsewhere? With remarkable new technologies, this field of science is now opening up this formidable frontier.

      A visualization of a supercomputer simulation of merging black holes sending out gravitational waves. (Credit: NASA/C. Henze)

      The Kavli Foundation Institutes for Astrophysics (indicated in red on map) are located at:

      8. Stanford University

      9. The University of Chicago

      10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

      11. The University of Cambridge 

      12. Peking University

      13. The University of Tokyo

    • Nanoscience

      Focusing on science at the atomic scale, researchers are uncovering the secrets of our micro-universe and, like nature itself, learning how to move atoms to create new types of materials, smarter computers and, miniature machines aimed at solving today’s insurmountable challenges.

      A single soil bacterium makes its home on the root of an Arabidopsis plant. Microbiomes help make plant life possible by fertilizing plants, providing essential nutrients, synthesizing plant hormones and protecting plants from disease. Researchers hope to harness microbiomes to maximize these processes to further crop growth. (Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

      The Kavli Foundation Institutes for Nanoscience (indicated in yellow on map) are located at:

      14. the University of California, Berkeley

      15. the California Institute of Technology

      16. Cornell University

      17. Harvard University

      18. Delft University of Technology

    • Theoretical Physics

      Theoretical physics seeks to explain and predict all manner of physical phenomena - particularly phenomena that cannot be explained with traditional experiments. It does so while also seeking to reconcile laws of physics that seem irreconcilable.

      The black hole at the center of this galaxy is part of a survey of 18 of the biggest black holes in the universe. This large elliptical galaxy is in the center of the galaxy cluster PKS 0745-19, which is located about 1.3 billion light years from Earth. X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in purple and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope are in yellow. (Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford/Hlavacek-Larrondo, J. et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)

      The Kavli Foundation Institutes for Theoretical Physics (indicated in magenta on map) are located at:

      19. the University of California, Santa Barbara

      20. the Chinese Academy of Sciences

  • The Kavli Prize

    • Theoretical physics seeks to explain and predict all manner of physical phenomena - particular phenomena that can’t be explained with traditional experiments. It does so while also seeking to reconcile laws of physics that seem irreconcilable.

      The Kavli Prize – a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Kavli Foundation, and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research – recognizes excellence in research in three areas: astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Each Prize consists of a medal, scroll, and financial award of one million dollars. For more information see the Kavli Prize.

  • Kavli Foundation Science
    Spotlights & Newsletter

    • The Kavli Foundation e-newsletter includes feature stories, roundtable discussions about science, and the latest news from the Kavli community of Institutes, professors and programs.  To read more e-newsletters see NEWSLETTER. To receive emailed news and updates from The Kavli Foundation, join here:


      Kavli Science Spotlights feature stories, videos and in-depth interviews with leading researchers. Read them here.