Research is one of the University of California's three fundamental missions, along with teaching and service. Faculty and researchers at UCSB investigate the physical world humans inhabit and the social and cultural systems we construct, in search of new knowledge and deeper understanding. The quality of teaching at the University is enhanced by integrating both the products and the methods of research into the classroom. We are also committed to educating scholar-teachers for the future.

Office of Research


The goal of the Office of Research is to promote outstanding research at UCSB. This office seeks to expand and improve the research program throughout the University: in arts, education, engineering, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The primary criteria for selecting research directions are the potential for UCSB researchers to make truly significant advances and the alignment of the research with the educational program. The Vice Chancellor for Research manages the Office of Research and oversees several interdisciplinary research institutes.

In fiscal year 2021-22, UCSB received $241.5 million for research. $179.9 million, which represents nearly 75% of total research funding, came from direct federal and federal flow-through funding. The top federal sponsors include the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute for Health, and the Department of Energy. Find more information about research funding here.

Strategic Research Initiatives and Sponsored Projects

Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) works with faculty to effectively secure extramural funding, from early career fellowships to large center grants. Their support services include:

  • Helping faculty find relevant funding opportunities for their research
  • Working directly with faculty to support effective proposal writing and development
  • Coordinating and facilitating research teams in their pursuit of large interdisciplinary funding opportunities
  • Providing proposal-related training and professional development for faculty and postdoctoral researchers
  • Working with campus departments and offices to streamline the proposal submission process

The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) assists faculty and professional research staff in their efforts to ensure proper stewardship of external funding. This office is responsible for the effective and timely handling of faculty research proposals, specifically for preparing, interpreting, negotiating, and accepting agreements on behalf of the Regents for projects funded by federal and state agencies, foundations, and other public and private sources. Sponsored Projects teams, consisting of an officer (lead) and an analyst, are assigned to each UCSB department and unit that administers contracts and grants.

Research Integrity and Oversight

The Office of Research provides broad oversight, resources, and education for compliance issues relating to the conduct of research at UCSB. Research activities are governed by a number of regulatory and compliance committees imposed by federal and state laws. Non-compliance can result in penalties to the institution and the individual. It is the responsibility of any member of the UCSB community conducting research to be familiar with university policies as they relate to these research compliance areas.

The Research Integrity team supports UCSB in the following areas:

  • Human Subjects
  • Animan Subjects
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Export Control
  • Research Ethics
  • Stem Cell Research

Various Research Units on Campus

UC Santa Barbara is home to a number of multicampus, statewide, and national research units. This list is not all-encompassing; rather, it is here to provide an insight on the various areas of research that our faculty and students are actively engaged in.

  • National Centers:
    • American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics
    • Center for Energy Efficient Materials
    • Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
    • Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
    • Materials Research Laboratory
  • California Research Units:
    • California NanoSystems Institute
    • Center for Polymers and Organic Solids
  • Multicampus Research Units:
    • Intercampus Research Program on Mexican Literary and Cultural Studies (UC Mexicanistas)
    • UC Natural Reserve System
  • Campus Centers and Projects:
    • Center for Bioengineering
    • UC Center for Energy and Environmental Economics
    • Koegel Autism Research Center
    • Center for Black Studies Research
    • Institute for Energy Efficiency
    • Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media

Library Resources and Services

  • The UCSB Library's print and electronic collections support the UCSB research community through a combination of on-site print resources, licensed electronic journals and e-books, and rapid access to the entire 40-million volume collection of the University of California libraries. UC Library Search can be used to locate UCSB materials, and to search for and request materials owned by the UC Libraries as well as those held beyond the UC collections.
  • UCSB Library has access to a wide range of online articles and databases. Their website makes it easy to search by subject, type and materials indexed. Additionally, the Library has access to the Online Archive of California, which provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections by more than 300 contributing institutions. 
  • The UCSB Library is also home to the Alexandria Digital Research Library, which is a collection of digital research materials, including images, text, streamed media, and numeric and spatial data. 
  • Special Research Collections (3rd floor, Mountain Side) houses the unique and rare treasures of the UCSB Library and is internationally recognized for its performing arts collections, including the Cylinder Audio Archive and Discography of American Historical Recordings. Other highlights include the California Ethnic & Multicultural Archives, the American Religions Collection, Santa Barbara History Collection, and the University Archives. Special Research Collections holdings are non-circulating but are available for research in the reading room by appointment. Please also visit their page on Planning Your Research for additional information.
  • The Music Library is currently located on the second floor of the Music Building and houses the majority of the UCSB Library's collections related to music. Their collections emphasize music of the Western art traditions and diverse world cultures, particularly the vernacular and traditional music of Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East, and the United States. Formats include books, scores, sound recordings, journals, and videos. Music Library questions can be directed here. The Library is planning to move all Music Library collections, services and staff to the main library in 2024 as part of the new Arts Library. You can learn more about this project in this news release.
  • UCSB faculty, students, and researchers may use this Purchase Recommendation Form for requesting materials (books or other media) not already owned by the UCSB Library and that are needed for research and teaching. The Library can purchase both physical and electronic copies of materials. The UCSB Library welcomes suggestions for additions to the collections. For additional information about Library collections, please contact their Collection Strategies Team.

Every academic department is assigned a subject librarian. You may contact your subject librarian to inquire about research resources, Library instruction, or to set up an appointment. Visit the Library's Subject Librarians page for contact information for your subject librarian.

Librarians can help faculty navigate copyright and fair use questions, questions about Open Access (OA) publishing, UC systemwide OA policies, the OA licenses the University of California has with many major publishers, and the Library's OA Fund that supports authors who want to make their research open to readers immediately upon publication. Policies and breakthroughs in open-access publishing are ever-evolving - to find the latest information on UCSB's policies, visit the Scholarly Communication page.

  • The UCSB Open Access Publishing Fund supports authors who want to make their research open to readers immediately after publication. After applying and being approved, eligible authors will be reimbursed for article processing charges (APCs) for articles published in eligible journals. The OA Fund is supported and administered by the UCSB Library. The purpose of the Fund is to cover the cost of APCs in open access journals so that no UCSB author who desires to publish open access is disadvantaged by the lack of funds to cover relevant fees.
  • The University of California has transformative open access publishing agreements and publishing discounts in place with a broad range of scholarly publishers, including several of the world’s largest commercial journal publishers, as well as society, not-for-profit, and fully open access publishers. These agreements and discounts are in place to make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish open access by reducing the amount that authors are responsible for paying when publishing open.

Faculty members can place course materials on reserve to ensure that all students in their classes have access to them. Electronic reserves allow students enrolled in a class to log onto password-protected course pages to access digital materials. Physical items can also be placed on reserves for students to check out at the Library Services Desk. Requests for materials to be placed on Course Reserves should be submitted one month before the beginning of the academic quarter. Please submit all of your Course Reserves requests (books, articles, chapters, films, course lectures/notes, etc.) using the Course Reserves system and consult the Course Reserves page for more information.

UCSB librarians partner with faculty to help foster information literacy skills, dispositions, and competencies to support students' academic success and lifelong learning. The Instruction Program promotes critical thinking, self-discovery, and ethical participation in diverse learning communities by offering course-integrated sessions, workshops, and digital learning objects such as online research guides.

To request instruction from an instruction librarian, please complete the Library Instruction Request Form a minimum of two weeks before your desired date of integration. Please see the Library's page on Instruction for more information.

Library accounts for new faculty are automatically activated within a week of completion of hiring paperwork. To borrow material, bring the item(s) you want and your UCSB Access ID card to the Services Desk. Most books can also be checked out at the Self Check-Out machines that are located in the Library. See the Library's page on Borrowing for more information.

The Interlibrary Loan service allows UCSB students, faculty, and staff to borrow from other libraries if the items are not available at UCSB Library. Requests can be made through the item's record in UC Library Search, via "Get it at UC" links in the article databases, or by going to the Library's page on Interlibrary Loans.

  • DREAM Lab
    • The DREAM Lab (2nd floor, Mountain Side) supports data-intensive research, experimentation, and learning with new technologies, and access to advanced computational methods for students, faculty, and staff across the campus. It offers consultations, access to datasets, virtual machines and remote access to specialized software, analytical software and tools, a VR/AR studio, and a wide range of workshops, including data carpentry workshops. Visit the Library's page on the DREAM Lab for more information.
  • Research Data Services
    • Research Data Services (RDS) helps UCSB researchers manage and preserve their research data through consultations, long-term engagements, and instructional workshops. They help throughout the research data lifecycle, from pre-project planning (e.g. funder requirements, data management planning and proposal assistance) to post-project data preparation, curation support, and deposition in a data repository. Research facilitators offer consultation and workshops, with specific expertise in digital humanities and social sciences. Visit the Library's page on Research Data Services for more information.


The Faculty Study (Room 1505A, Mountain Side) is a quiet reading room reserved for faculty use (use your Access ID card for entry). In addition to study tables and lounge seating options, the space includes a small enclosed room to facilitate faculty discussion and collaboration. The Faculty Study has 32 seats and is not equipped with any technology, but is fully wireless. Visit the Library's Faculty Study page for more information. 
The Library has a variety of study areas, including designated quiet floors, Late Night Study, reservable and drop-in group study rooms, TA consultation rooms, and a presentation practice room. Visit the Library's page on Study Areas for additional information.

Additional Information

Visit the Library's Services for Faculty page for more details on all Library services and contact information.