Research & Discovery


At Columbian College, scholars and scientists join student researchers to challenge assumptions and

Advance the forefronts of knowledge.



Discovery and innovation are a Columbian College tradition—from our century-long research partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to our state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Hall. Whether our scholars are observing celestial bodies light years from Earth or examining the roots of diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, Columbian College faculty and students are uncovering age-old mysteries and finding solutions to 21st-century challenges.


CCAS research centers
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annual college research expenditures


permanent full-time faculty members


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faculty media hits



Faculty Research

Columbian College faculty are prolific authors, awarding-winning scholars, innovators and artists. They are recipients of Guggenheims, Pulitzers and NEH fellowships, and are published in top media outlets and journals.


Student Research

From labs and classrooms on campus to field sites around the globe, Columbian College students work side-by-side with world-renowned researchers and scholars on a journey of cultural and scientific discovery.

Centers & Institutes

Columbian College is home to top research centers and institutes that explore an array of issues and ideas such as the origins of humankind, the inner workings of the brain and the growth of solar energy.





"Research has definitely broadened what I know about myself and what I want to do in the future. It's really changed my perspective on my career goals, and I'm very excited to keep going on that path now."

Sarah Schrup
BS '19



Faculty Research Conversations

Ling Hao and Paul Wahlbeck on stage speaking with a Columbian College sign in the background

Chemistry's Role in Studying Brain Disease

In a video conversation with CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck, Chemistry's Ling Hao discusses the role of chemistry, bioinformatics and cell biology in the study of human neurodegenerative diseases.

Andrew Thompson with Paul Wahlbeck talking on a stage with Columbian College Branding

Democracy's Shifting Attitude

In a video conversation with CCAS Dean Wahlbeck, Professor of Political Science Andrew Thompson discusses the impact of threat and anxiety on American Democracy.

Watch More Research Conversations

Research Making Headlines


GW Scholars Honored with Fulbright Fellowships

Four Columbian College faculty members were offered research opportunities with the distinguished Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Many cicadas on the branches of a tree

Cicadapalooza! Historic Insect Convergence Bugs Midwest States

Two broods of cicadas are emerging simultaneously in 17 states—a phenomenon that last occurred more than 200 years ago.

Undergraduate and graduate students displayed poster presentations of their scholarly work at the annual CCAS Research Showcase. (Photos: William Atkins/GW Today)

Student Research Shines at CCAS Showcase

Undergraduate and graduate students across the sciences, social sciences and humanities displayed their scholarly work at the CCAS Research Showcase.

An 1850 illustration depicts Irish immigrants sailing to the US on an overcrowded ship during the potato famine.

History Detectives: Following the Lives of Potato Famine Immigrants

History’s Tyler Anbinder and his student researchers dug through 100 years of bank records from Irish immigrants. What they found rewrote a historical tale.

The fossil skull of Kermitops alongside a modern frog skull, Lithobates palustris.

It’s Not Easy Being Green: New Species Named for Kermit the Frog

Kermitops gratus, an ancient species of amphibians discovered by researchers including GW Biology's Cal So, pays homage to the iconic Muppet.

Physics Ph.D. student Nick Kirschner working with wires in a physics lab

Ready to Launch: A GW Student’s NASA Mission

PhD student Nick Kirschner’s research journey took him from NASA to the New Mexico desert—part of an agreement that is propelling GW astrophysics to new heights.