If it shapes our world,
we’re exploring it at GW.
The George Washington University is a global, comprehensive research institution and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). From our location in the heart of the nation’s capital, GW faculty and their students carry out cutting-edge research and scholarship in diverse fields. We partner with community-based organizations, city leaders, industry and our academic peers in the U.S. and around the world to investigate some of the world’s most complex challenges, including climate change, infectious diseases, education and health equity, trustworthy AI, gender-based violence, disinformation, cancer, financial literacy and more.
State-of-the-art research facilities, such as the nanofabrication and imaging center in our 500,000-sq-ft Science & Engineering Hall or our biosafety labs, help foster important discoveries and innovations.
GW Research Year in Review
In 2023, the GW community reached new heights of research excellence and impact. In this GW Research Year in Review, we celebrate a number of highlights, from some of our top research stories to new initiatives tackling the STEM workforce, sustainability and more.
Carnegie Classification signifying “very high research activity” among Higher Education Institutions
Chartered institutes spurring cross-disciplinary research, as well as dozens of school-based research centers
Highest total federal R&D expenditures of colleges and universities in the nation’s capital
Increase in total federal R&D expenditures since 2009
Research in the Nation’s Capital
Our location in the nation's capital means GW faculty and students have unparalleled access to experts, facilities and collections at some of the world’s pre-eminent research institutions. This includes federal research labs and world-class cultural institutions. With great proximity comes great possibility.
GW & NASA
GW's bilateral agreement with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center expands the university's reach into space exploration. With access to NASA labs, equipment and experts, GW faculty and students are helping advance space missions, including building astrophysics instrumentation for next generation telescopes.
GW & Smithsonian
GW and the Smithsonian Institution have long partnered to advance knowledge, education and cultural enrichment. Not only do GW students have access to a wide range of internships within the Smithsonian complex, we collaborate together on joint research projects such as the Slave Wrecks Project and an exhibit on the natural history of the cell phone.
Building on Our Strengths
GW is building a strong STEM enterprise and integrating STEM competencies into areas of historic strengths such as public policy, law and international affairs to advance the public good. Our research enterprise is truly comprehensive.
Public Interest Technology:
Part of the Public Interest Technology University Network, GW combines historical strengths in fields like law, policy and international affairs with technology innovation to advance the field of public interest technology research.
Cybersecurity Law Initiative:
GW’s Cybersecurity Law Initiative brings together the law school’s nationally recognized strengths with expertise from across the university to evolve the field of cybersecurity law.
Drawing upon faculty and experts from education, data science, engineering, psychology, business, public health, and medical informatics, this doctoral program takes an interdisciplinary approach to education and research into how collaborations of people and machines shape the future.
Next Generation Scientists and Scholars
GW is training the next generation of scientists and scholars to be leaders in their fields. Undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs conduct pioneering research, publish in prestigious journals, present at academic conferences and innovate around their research. Each year, students have the opportunity to showcase their research at the GW Research Showcase, which highlights the breadth of innovation and creativity conducted at the university across all disciplines.
“When I first started as an undergrad, I was truly amazed at how easy it was for me to get involved with research. I was able to work on a really cool project developing a new way to pace heart tissue using optogenetics in a way that is more non-invasive. For me to have the potential to have such an impact on the healthcare industry has been truly enlightening and motivating for me as a young research scientist.“
Solving Complex Challenges
At GW, our researchers are working across disciplines to solve complex challenges and address societal inequities and injustices, including through our more than 35+ cross-disciplinary institutes and dozens of school-based centers.
Systems engineers, physicists, political scientists, public health experts, law experts and more investigate digital media’s influence on public dialogue and opinion from the spread of health misinformation and hate speech online to social media users’ electoral behavior.
The Global Women’s Institute bridges research, education and action to advance gender equality, reduce violence and discrimination against women and girls, and identify effective solutions to improve the lives of women around the world.
The Climate & Health Institute is conducting policy-relevant and community-oriented research to advance an evidence-based global response by governments and stakeholders to mitigate the climate crisis and improve public health for all.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
GW’s innovation ecosystem helps interested faculty and students consider the practical applications of their research and supports them throughout the innovation pipeline, from lean startup training to filing for patents and licensing technologies.
Largest collegiate entrepreneurship competition in the U.S. (Times of Entrepreneurship)
Gross licensing income generated from GW inventions in FY20
New ventures created between 2017-2019
GW inventions disclosed in FY20. In addition, 25 patents were issued and 48 patents filed
Research Administration & Resources
GW's Office of the Vice Provost for Research works alongside our talented faculty to support cutting-edge research and scholarship across all stages of the research lifecycle. OVPR leads a number of initiatives and programs with the strategic aim of growing research capacity and boosting the impact of GW-led discovery and innovation.