Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

South Korea

KAIST has connotations of academic excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship, but also the launch of large-scale projects. The university often ranks highly among other universities of a similar age.

KAIST was established in February 1971 as Korea Advanced Institute of Science, with a loan given by United States Agency for International Development. The university aimed not only to educate young researchers in science and engineering, but also to provide a solid basis for the development of future higher education institutions in Korea.

Its structure was created by an international team, which included the American electrical engineer and vice-president of Stanford University Frederick Emmons Terman. Unlike other public institutions in South Korea, KAIST has freedom to decide upon its entry requirements and course structure, which gives the university a special status.

Today, KAIST has a rich academic portfolio in disciplines such as physics, mathematics, engineering, humanities and social sciences, business and management. The courses are delivered by 5 colleges and 6 schools, with over 33 divisions. KAIST's unique institutes include the National NanoFab Center, which conducts research into nano-devices and their potential applications.

KAIST consists of 2 major campuses situated in Daejeon and South Korea's capital Seoul. They offer over 25 dormitories, 4 libraries and a medical centre. To ensure students are actively engaged in the campus cultural events, the university organises traditional opera and jazz recitals.

KAIST retains sole responsibility for content © 2017 KAIST.

1 September 2018 - 31 August 2019

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) published between 1 September 2018 - 31 August 2019 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

339 157.51

Outputs by subject (FC)

Subject AC FC
Chemistry 144 68.40
Physical Sciences 192 94.75
Life Sciences 55 21.62
Earth & Environmental Sciences 5 2.41
4 1.91
1 0.50

Highlight of the month

Biofuel from bacteria

© Reptile8488/Getty

© Reptile8488/Getty

A genetically engineered bacterium can convert sugar into fatty acids and biofuel at the highest levels reported to date.

To reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels, scientists are looking for environmentally friendly ways to produce fuels and industrially useful chemicals. One promising way to achieve that is to use genetic engineering to tinker with the metabolism of bacteria. But it has been difficult to produce commercially viable levels of biofuel.

Now, a team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has modified the metabolism of an oil-accumulating bacterium so that it produces higher levels of fatty acids and two biodiesels from glucose.

The researchers predict that this approach of using oil-accumulating bacteria could be harnessed to sustainably produce chemicals and fuels.

Supported content

  1. Nature Chemical Biology 15, 721–729 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0295-5

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

More research highlights from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

1 September 2018 - 31 August 2019

International vs. domestic collaboration by FC

  • 52.76% Domestic
  • 47.24% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (FC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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