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Student Research

AU students are motivated, passionate, and intellectually curious.

Exciting Student Publications


The World Mind Magazine is an undergraduate organized and produced publication at American University.

Each issue, contributors seek to write cutting-edge analyses on pertinent topics in the international community: foreign affairs, domestic politics, economics, military conflict, humanitarian crises, and political theory.

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The Public Purpose is an organization comprised of graduate students at American University’s School of Public Affairs (SPA) that provides insightful perspectives on public issues and events. The publication strives to produce relevant, thoughtful, and accessible insight on issues in public affairs, politics, and public policy through two published mediums: The Public Purpose Journal, a peer-reviewed academic journal, and The Public Purpose Online, which features analysis, research, and commentary by SPA graduate students.

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Student Research News

Yami Payano

Alumni ·

Alumna’s Tech Startup Wins $100,000 in Google Funding

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The AU Latino and Hispanic Mentorship Program is one of the longest running its kind among affinity groups.

Student Life ·

Mentorship Program Provides Vital Connections for Latino and Hispanic Students

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Headshot of Karla Santillan, SIS/BA ’22, wearing a gray blazer and white dress shirt while standing in front of a window.

Alumni ·

Karla Santillan, SIS/BA ’22, Wins Latino Alumni Alliance Book Award

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Undergraduate Research Funding Resources

CAS Conference Travel
College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students who are giving papers or presenting research at scholarly conferences may request up to $400 per year from the College to help defray the expense of attending the conference. Undergraduate students must apply for the Provost's Undergraduate Research Travel Funding before applying for CAS funding.

Rolling Undergraduate Research Support: Students may apply for research and research-related funding on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. Funding may support:

  • Academic conference attendance in the student’s discipline (preference will be given to students who will present at the conference)
  • Travel related to research activity or academic conferences
  • Equipment or materials related to research activities (equipment will be returned to the AU Honors Program for future lending where appropriate)
  • Software or other technology directly related to a research project
  • Nominal payments to interview subjects (with IRB approval)
  • Academic poster printing
  • Books and other publications needed for research

For more information, please contact the AU Honors Program at honors@american.edu.
 
Please note: Research funding is available to all undergraduate students regardless of their affiliation with the AU Honors Program.

The AU Entrepreneurship Incubator assists graduate students, undergraduate students and recent alumni in building successful profit or nonprofit/social entrepreneurial ventures that are sustainable and can scale over time. From the idea stage to investor pitches, the Incubator supports ventures with the tools to successfully launch.

The Educational Enhancement Fund provides support for Kogod students to participate in professional development opportunities, including business-focused professional conferences, case or other competitions, leadership development activities, and other experiential opportunities. Portions of this fund are generously provided through the Richard and Shelley Glanell Birnbaum Education Enhancement Fund as well as the Derek and Cheryl Jones Experiential Learning Fund.

More specifically, the Jones Experiential Fund supports unpaid internship or global experiences for students from historically underrepresented populations who demonstrate strong connections to the black, African-heritage, and Caribbean communities through academic engagement, leadership, or community service.

Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities (via Provost)
Students presenting their work at conferences or scholarly events may apply for funds to partially defray the costs of registration and travel. Applications may be submitted as early as six months in advance of the conference and as late as two weeks before. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

University Library Research Paper Awards
Papers written by undergraduates during spring and fall semesters will be accepted for consideration. Students may submit more than one paper, but only one award will be granted per individual.
 

Undergraduate Faculty-Student Collaborations

AU Summer Scholars and Artists Program (via Provost)
Scholars will receive up to $4,000 to conduct full-time research that demonstrates the potential to lead to significant scholarly or creative work. Applicants must be rising juniors or seniors. SSAs will work closely with faculty mentors in ways that enhance faculty research or creativity. Faculty mentors will receive a $500 stipend to guide students through their research apprenticeship.

CAS Undergraduate Scholarships

  • Buell Scholarship (for collaboration with a faculty member on scholarly or creative work during the academic year)
  • Robyn Rafferty Mathias Undergraduate Summer Fellowships (for scholarly or creative work done under the direction of a faculty mentor during the summer)

Peace and Violence Research Lab
The purpose of the lab is to support undergraduate and graduate research on topics related to peace and political violence. The lab is seeking applications from motivated undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in conducting scholarly research under the mentorship of a faculty researcher.

As a fellow in the lab, you will work with a faculty mentor whose interest matches your own. You will have the chance to develop your own research project, present the research at conferences, and collaborate closely with faculty. There will be research workshops and meetings throughout the year to gain research skills and feedback on your project.

All fellows will receive $2,000 to pursue their research project. There are four slots for undergraduates and four for graduate students.

SIS Faculty-Student Conference Collaboration Travel Awards (FSTAs)
The purpose of the award is to underwrite expenses related to faculty and student travel for presentations of their jointly authored research before professional academic conference, workshops, and other scholarly meetings. FSTAs are designed to further supplement SIS's current faculty travel support. Students may also apply for FSTAs if their research is not necessarily tied to a faculty member collaboration allowing for individual research presentations, but students should be endorsed by a faculty sponsor under this option.  

The Public Affairs and Policy Lab is a program for undergraduate students who are seeking advanced research experiences in collaboration with an SPA professor.

Every Fall semester SPA faculty will be invited to provide a 300-word description of a research project they are working on and a 200-word description of what an undergraduate research assistant could do to advance the project.

In November, December and January, SPA undergraduate students will be invited to review the proposed faculty projects. The faculty research projects are posted on the website and students are encouraged to determine which project best fits their academic interests.

The Dean’s Office will review the applications including the faculty project descriptions, the student applications and the letters of reference. The Dean’s Office will award faculty student teams. Each team would get $1,000 for the faculty member and $3,000 for the student.

The student will conduct research for the faculty member over the summer up to 20 hours a week. Students will write a research brief of their work, due at the end of September. Student awardees will be encouraged to engage in an independent study research project with their paired faculty member that might result in a published research project for which the student would get formal recognition in the publication. Students would write another research brief of their work.

From the Office of the Deputy Provost & Dean of Faculty
Faculty-Student Grant Awards Pilot: Faculty may apply for one of two new funding pilots for inclusive teams composed of up to 3 full-time faculty plus up to 3 undergraduate and/or master’s students. Instructions are available. Deadline for applications is November 12, 2021.

Graduate Research Funding Resources

Adel Ait-Ghezala Graduate Research Fellowships
The Adel Ait-Ghezala Graduate Research Fellowships are available to graduate students who are full-time enrolled students in a master's or doctoral program at American University. The fellowships are intended to support applied, educational or policy-relevant research programs designed to improve the lives of the citizens of developing countries.

CAS Graduate Student Research Fund Competition- Graduate students may compete for funding of up to $1000 per academic year from the College in two categories:

  1. To support funding for research materials, data collection and/or field work necessary for the successful completion of a thesis or dissertation
  2. To fund international travel for thesis or dissertation research.

The Educational Enhancement Fund provides support for Kogod students to participate in professional development opportunities, including business-focused professional conferences, case or other competitions, leadership development activities, and other experiential opportunities. Portions of this fund are generously provided through the Richard and Shelley Glanell Birnbaum Education Enhancement Fund as well as the Derek and Cheryl Jones Experiential Learning Fund.

More specifically, the Jones Experiential Fund supports unpaid internship or global experiences for students from historically underrepresented populations who demonstrate strong connections to the black, African-heritage, and Caribbean communities through academic engagement, leadership, or community service.

The AU Entrepreneurship Incubator assists graduate students, undergraduate students and recent alumni in building successful profit or nonprofit/social entrepreneurial ventures that are sustainable and can scale over time. From the idea stage to investor pitches, the Incubator supports ventures with the tools to successfully launch.

Doctoral Student Research Scholarship
The Office of Graduate Studies provides competitive intramural research scholarships to doctoral students to support their dissertation research. The scholarships are managed by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Hart A. Massey Fellowship
The Hart A. Massey Fellowship is awarded each academic year to one or more incoming Canadian students (enrolled as traditional or online students) pursuing graduate studies full-time at American University. The fellowship is applied to tuition charges. Online students are eligible to apply for this award.

Graduate Faculty-Student Collaborations

Peace and Violence Research Lab
The purpose of the lab is to support undergraduate and graduate research on topics related to peace and political violence. The lab is seeking applications from motivated undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in conducting scholarly research under the mentorship of a faculty researcher.

As a fellow in the lab, you will work with a faculty mentor whose interest matches your own. You will have the chance to develop your own research project, present the research at conferences, and collaborate closely with faculty. There will be research workshops and meetings throughout the year to gain research skills and feedback on your project.

All fellows will receive $2,000 to pursue their research project. There are four slots for undergraduates and four for graduate students.

Boren Fellowships

The Office of Merit Awards

The Office of Merit Awards assist undergraduate and graduate students identify appropriate opportunities and compete for national merit- based scholarship and fellowship opportunities. These awards offer students the means to accomplish a variety of goals, including studying abroad, funding graduate education, and gaining research or high- level work experience.

Some of the prestigious awards that their experienced advisors are eager to help you with include the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Boren Scholarship and Fellowship.

Information for:
Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students
Scholarship Information Sessions

Community Based Research

AU Student's Are Passionate About Community-Based Research

Community-Based Research (CBR) is a partnership of students, faculty and community members who collaboratively engage in research to inform solutions for a pressing community problem, identify avenues to effect social change or evaluate program impact.

In spring 2020, AU undergraduate students developed and facilitated an Action Research 101 curriculum for high school students. The students were in the process of designing and implementing a survey on an issue of concern to the HS students’ community.

Learn about past Spring Semester Community-Based Research Projects.