New Initiative Centers (NICs)

In 2003, shortly after the UC Berkeley Strategic Academic Plan was adopted, four New Initiative Centers (NICs)  were created, with the goal of developing research and instructional programs in promising areas that lie between or among traditional disciplines, thereby offering a range of instructional and research opportunities broader than a single department could achieve.

During their incubation period, the NICs reported for administrative purposes to the Vice Provost for Academic Planning. At the conclusion of a collaborative planning process involving the Division of Academic Planning, several deans, the centers' directors and their faculty, the following NICs have moved to new academic homes:

  • Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), has more than a hundred affiliated faculty members from over thirty departments, the BCNM brings together humanists, technologists, social scientists, artists and designers. The center offers two graduate curricula (designated emphasis in new media for Ph.D. students, and a certificate in new media for Master’s students) as well as an undergraduate certificate, several fellowships, and a visiting scholar program.
  • Center for Computational Biology (CCB), is administratively housed in the Berkeley component of the QB3. Approximately thirty research groups from a dozen departments and five colleges, plus LBNL, are directly involved in the center’s programs. Two interdisciplinary research graduate programs are offered: a computational biology Ph.D. program, and a designated emphasis in computational and genomics biology. In addition, the CCB works with several research centers and institutes, as well as Innovation Fellows, collaborators from other institutions and leaders from the industry, government and nonprofit sectors.