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
and institutes


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

Professor David DeGrazia and CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck having a discussion on a stage with CCAS branding.

A Question of Ethics

In a video conversation with CCAS Dean Wahlbeck, Elton Professor of Philosophy David DeGrazia discusses "moral status" and the role of ethics in policies relating to AI, healthcare and more. 

Elizabeth Vaquera and Paul Wahlbeck speaking on a stage together with the CCAS seal

The Impact of Immigration Status on Wellbeing

CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck discusses the impact of immigration status on an individual’s education and wellbeing in a conversation with Elizabeth Vaquera, director of the Cisneros Institute.

Watch More Research Conversations

Research Making Headlines

Program Coordinator Nico MacDougall (second from right) with Harlan scholars (from left) Cole Christensen, Valerie Chen, Zoe Ilgenfritz, Martina Tsimba, Maggie Connolly and Margarita Kyza-Karavioti  at the Botanic Gardens. Not shown is Harlan scholar Kiana Kamrava.

Summer School: Bio Students Thrive in Harlan Fellowship

A cohort of biology students spent their summer in the lab and the field thanks to a CCAS program that supports undergraduate research opportunities.

The "Cellphone: Unseen Connections" exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History is partly influenced by the research efforts of GW scholars and students. (Photos courtesy Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History)

Cellphone Central: Smithsonian Exhibit Dials into GW Collaboration

With input from GW scholars and students, a new exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History charts how cellphones have changed our lives and our planet.

Brendan O'Connor

Unique Jet Structure of Gamma-Ray Burst: 3 Questions with Brendan O'Connor

Physics graduate student Brendan O'Connor was interviewed in a video about the unique jet structure of the brightest gamma-ray burst of all time.

Biology and statistics major Chaitrali Patil discussed her project on designing safer pesticides with CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck at the CCAS Research Showcase. (Photos: William Atkins/GW Today)

CCAS Showcase Celebrates Student Research

More than 125 undergraduate and graduate students across the disciplines displayed their scholarly work at the inaugural CCAS Research Showcase.

History doctoral candidate and U.S. Marine veteran A.J. Cade. (Photo William Atkins)

History Restored: The Untold Story of Black Civil War Soldiers

History PhD candidate and Marine vet A.J. Cade was inspired by a forgotten Civil War regiment of all-Black soldiers. Now, he’s bringing their legacy to life.

David DeGrazia

Should AI Systems Have Rights? 3 Questions with David DeGrazia

David DeGrazia, Elton Professor of Philosophy, was interviewed in a video about the potential consciousness of artificial intelligence.