Best research Institute in world
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The University of Cambridge made the top 10 institutions in the Nature Index in 2015.
The top 10 institutions in the Nature Index are the largest contributors to papers published in 68 leading journals in 2015.
Weighted fractional count (WFC): 1357.82
Established in 1949 in Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is the world’s largest scientific organisation, comprising 114 institutes and 48, 500 researchers. In 2015 its scientists made the largest contribution to high-quality research included in the index, a contribution that’s grown by a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% since 2012. Last year, one of the oldest CAS research centres, the Institute of Chemistry, founded in 1956, was also one of the largest contributing departments to the institute’s weighted fractional count. Lei Jiang, from the Institute of Chemistry, says: “Chemistry and materials science are currently strong in China because they were relatively easy subjects to start researching back in the 1980s. They didn’t need expensive equipment. If you look at nanoscience as an example, around half of the top scientists in global nanoscience are Chinese scientists who were educated during this period.”
As the second most prolific institution in the Index, and the most prolific university, Harvard University owes two-thirds of its research output to contributions made in the life sciences. Recognising the growth of interdisciplinary research areas such as translational medicine in the life sciences, Harvard has responded by developing an integrated PhD programme that facilitates cross-disciplinary academic and research collaboration. The Harvard Medical School (HMS), established in 1782, is one of the discipline’s high-fliers. Since the 1930s, fifteen researchers from HMS have shared in nine Nobel Prizes. For the most recent of them, in 2009, Jack Szostak discovered how telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes and protect them from degradation, opening up new lines of enquiry into ageing and cancer research. While last year, a popular piece of research from Harvard’s sleep medicine department highlighted the negative effects of light-emitting e-readers on sleep quality.
The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is the largest fundamental research organisation in Europe, comprising ten institutions with more than 32, 000 researchers, engineers and technicians. The physical sciences made up more than a third of the contributions to the Index in 2015. In recent years the CNRS has become a key player in planetary science. CNRS engineers have been remotely operating and maintaining instruments on board NASA’s Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. The mission lead to the confirmation late last year that liquid water currently flows on the planet. This year CNRS researcher Franck Montmessin is leading the European Space Agency’s mission ExoMars 2016 to investigate the planet’s atmosphere and find evidence of past life beneath its surface.