Research; student and professor looking at bones in the lab



If it shapes our world, we’re exploring it at GW.





Students with sea lions


Can the health risks of prolonged sitting be countered? What happens after a star dies? How do people survive in the Arctic? Can we better define poverty? Are we closer to a cure for cancer? Is it possible to silence schizophrenia?

These are just some of the questions that researchers at the George Washington University are trying to answer, but the possibilities for what they will discover are limitless. Home to traditional disciplines as well as more than 80 centers and institutes, our research spans science, technology, health, policy, global security, arts and humanities. Our faculty are driving progress in many different fields — everything from advancing human health and improving current technologies to expanding our understanding of the universe. But no matter what the field, given our influence in the nation’s capital, the work conducted here is sure to have an impact far beyond our campus.

With support from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), cross-disciplinary work is highly encouraged. OVPR facilitates the interdisciplinary research performed by several institutional research initiatives.

GW’s research enterprise has been growing over the past decade, and in 2015, we opened Science and Engineering Hall (SEH), the epitome of GW’s investment in infrastructure that enables cutting-edge research and teaching.

GW’s unparalleled location and state-of-the-art facilities encourage students, faculty and staff to cultivate new collaborations and innovative solutions as they work with fellow researchers and policymakers alike.

If you’re destined to make a discovery, you’ll be right at home at GW. Here opportunities are endless and our partnerships with powerful institutions are longstanding.


Federal Research Expenditures has increased by 15.7% since 2010



More than 600 Students Presented Their Work During GW Research Days 2016



Research Administration 

Research Highlights




Using Robots to Engage Kids With Autism

GW faculty and student researchers are using robots to simulate social and emotional situations to help children with autism learn to cope. By interacting with the robots, which can communicate signals that are easier to interpret, the children grow more comfortable making eye contact and emotional connections in their day-to-day lives.



Diana Burley

Evolving the Cybersecurity Workforce 

As the gap between the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals and the need for them grows, management of this much-needed worldwide resource is critical. Researchers at GW are helping to professionalize the field and develop future talent.


Women with raised hands and books

Bettering the Lives of Women Across the Globe

Our Global Women’s Institute conducts research to advance gender equality, empower women economically and improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Researchers tackle challenges from all angles to mitigate issues facing women and girls, including violence and access to education.


Scott Powell with ants in the lab

Studying the Roots of Social Communities

You might not know it, but one colony of an ant army contains hundreds of thousands of ants working together as a community. GW researchers study these communities to better understand how ants work as a team to build bridges and determine how uninformed individuals can come together to solve large issues.


A GW astrophysicist who studies gamma-ray bursts

Turning Our Eyes to the Sky

To better understand the universe, we must interpret the stars. By studying gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful, brightest explosions in the universe, astrophysicists at GW are learning more about how the universe initially formed and grew. These bursts occur almost daily, when stars collapse into black holes or when two neutron stars collide and shine brighter than anything else. 


A GW professors who is advancing AIDS research

Fighting the City’s HIV Epidemic

Researchers at GW have long been at the forefront of our nation’s study of AIDS, including diagnosis of the first AIDS patient in D.C. in 1981. The National Institutes of Health-funded D.C. Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), lead by two GW professors, continues to advance research to prevent the spread of HIV among highly impacted populations and focuses on finding a cure for the virus.


A GW researcher who is working to improve our understanding of dysphagia

Improving the Health of Children

Pediatric dysphagia, a chronic difficulty with feeding and swallowing, is a serious complication in newborns and infants with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dysphagia can cause a failure to gain weight, malnutrition, acute choking, food aspiration and infections including pneumonia, which may result in further developmental delays. Exploring the connection between the brain and eating, GW researchers are working to improve our understanding of this disorder and identify new treatments and prevention strategies.







Engineering Inspired by Nature

GW researchers are studying biological phenomena, like sea lion swimming and human birth, to engineer solutions for a variety of problems. Faculty members interested in fluid dynamics, the study of how objects and animals travel through liquids, gasses and plasmas, sometimes look to phenomena of the natural world to better understand the basics of movements such as swimming.



Bethany Perez in front of Speech and Hearing Center

Bethany Perez

Class of 2018
Major: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

“In my first semester of freshman year, I was able to do research with one of my professors at the National Building Museum every week working with children. It was really exciting to be involved in research so soon because I wasn't really sure where speech and language could take me.”