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


average annual
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



Research Making Headlines

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Using Ancient DNA, Researchers Unravel the Mystery of Machu Picchu

Dramatically perched on an Andes mountain ridge some 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru, Machu Picchu is a visual wonder and a technical masterpiece. “It is breathtaking,” said Brenda Bradley, an...

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Researchers Publish First Draft of Tree of Life That Will Map All Known Species

A first draft of the “tree of life” for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes has been released. The tree is a collaborative effort among 11 institutions,...

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Researchers Identify Signature of Microbiomes Associated With Schizophrenia

In the most comprehensive study to date, a research team led by Eduardo Castro-Nallar, a Ph.D. candidate at GW’s Computational Biology Institute (CBI), have identified a potential link between...

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New Grants Pave Way for Columbian College Research and Discoveries

From scientific examinations of turtle ant colonies and orb-weaving spiders to research investigations delving deep into the cells of developing embryos and the brains of people with schizophrenia...

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Making Law and Courts Research Relevant

Brandon Bartels, associate professor of political science, argues that research can be more directly relevant to broader audiences outside of academia. A significant part of this...

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Research Grants Pave Way for Columbian College Discoveries

From scientific investigations on the origins of diabetes and the climate consequences of melting Arctic ice, to historical perspectives on the Ottoman Empire and D.C.’s African-American cultural...