Scholarship and the SDGs

Connecting Yale research to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the Yale Office of Sustainability began looking at how teaching and research at Yale aligns with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since then, we have conducted a biennial assessment on the connection between Yale scholarship and the SDGs. Adopted by 193 countries, the SDGs address today’s most pressing global challenges.

Project Goals

  • Identify expertise at Yale University to advance achievement of these goals
  • Highlight pathways for transdisciplinary collaboration
  • Connect sustainability in higher education to global challenges


A team of student research assistants reviewed department websites and publications of full-time Yale faculty who conduct research. They collected information about faculty’s specialties and interests, and how their recent publications relate to the SDGs. This produced a database with nearly 4,000 Yale faculty and over 100,000 data points. The compiled research was then checked for duplicates and underwent multiple steps of quality control, including removing double-counted faculty.

Key Findings

  • Research at Yale University covers all of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Every academic department at Yale has at least one faculty member whose scholarship relates to one or more of the SDGs
  • Yale has high participation in research relating to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities)

This visualization shows the number of full-time Yale faculty whose current research relates to each of the 17 SDGs, where “current” includes any research published since 2020. Data is from the faculty research database produced by student research assistants in 2023, with the assessment having last been conducted in 2020. Note: While many Yale faculty members are affiliated with multiple departments and schools, we are “counting” them only in their primary appointments.

Hover over each box to see the name of the SDG and the number of faculty conducting research related to it. To interact with the visualization, select from the departments on the right to view the number of Yale faculty researching the SDGs within that department.

Explore the full Yale SDG report.

All work to-date is based on publicly available information and is intended to help foster collaboration between researchers. For more information about this report, please contact the Yale Office of Sustainability