Since 1867, the University of Illinois has been on the cutting edge of research and discovery. Researchers at the University have produced revolutionary innovations and advances such as Illini Super Sweet corn, the Mosaic web browser, robotic transplant surgery, and the discovery of archaea, a third domain of life.
University of Illinois faculty scholars and researchers attract thousands of separate grants and contracts that range from tens of thousands of dollars to multi-year, multi-million dollar projects.
- Both the Urbana and Chicago campuses are among the 96 universities in the nation that are classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having very high research activity.
- UIC is a partner in a new $120 million federally funded energy research center, led by Argonne National Laboratory and directed by a UIC professor in physics and engineering, that will develop more powerful, lower-cost batteries. Argonne senior scientist George Crabtree, UIC distinguished professor of physics and electrical and mechanical engineering, will lead the effort, which is funded by the Department of Energy.
- A multi-university research team received $30 million to launch the Systems On Nanoscale Information fabriCs (SONIC) Center, which will focus on substantially enhancing the information processing power and storage capacity of integrated circuits. Urbana professor Naresh Shanbhag will direct the team's work.
- Karen Mossberger, head of UIC’s department of public administration, spoke at a Federal Communications Commission summit in early 2013. Mossberger's research shows that home broadband is essential for digital citizenship.
- A study of 152 Vietnam veterans with combat-related brain injuries resulted in the first detailed map of the brain regions that contribute to emotional intelligence – the ability to process emotional information and navigate the social world. Urbana's Aron Barney conducted the study.
- A $3 million gift from a Rockford-area philanthropy will provide funding for a multidisciplinary center for cell regeneration research at the College of Medicine at Rockford.
- A retired faculty member working as a volunteer at the Urbana campus library archives found an apparently unpulished and previously unknown poem by Carl Sandburg. The discovery of the poem, titled "A Revolver", was widely covered in the national press.
- A new study by Urbana's Joseph Robinson and Dorothy Espelage suggests that bullying does tend to decline as teens progress through high school and move toward adulthood.