William & Mary

Research & Scholarship

Because it takes a research university.

  • High-energy Physics at W&M
    High-energy Physics at W&M  Physics graduate student Leo Aliaga Soplin works on the MINERvA neutrino experiment at Fermilab. Our {{http://www.wm.edu/as/physics/news/2011-12/theneutrinophoneitsnotforyou.php, scientists}} are involved in some of the biggest (and most talked-about) investigations of the {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/key-neutrino-behavior-observed-at-daya-bay-123.php, smallest}} (and {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/science-and-technology/theyre-cold-enough-now4871.php, coldest}}) pieces of the universe. We’ve also helped explain to {{http://www.wm.edu/as/news/2012/neutrino_conference.php, scientists}} and the general public everything from neutrinos (they’re {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/wm-physicists-help-close-the-door-on-faster-than-light-neutrinos123.php, not faster than light}}) to the {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/media-turn-to-wm-physicist-for-higgs-boson-explanations123.php, Higgs boson}}.  Photo by Reidar Hahn/Fermilab
  • Undergrads in the Lab
    Undergrads in the Lab  Our research culture provides plenty of opportunity for undergraduates to participate in research. {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/issues/2011-spring/dreyfus-scholar-b.php, Elizabeth Harbron}} (center) is one of many scientists and {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/arts-and-humanities/the-hunt-for-the-mystery-diarist3187.php, scholars}} who collaborate with students. The result? Many undergraduates {{http://www.wm.edu/as/biology/news/2012-13_archive/boulardWM12_published.php, publish}} in peer-reviewed journals. We encourage all our students to do research {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/student-faculty-research/how-they-spent-their-vacations7158.php, early}} and often.  Photo by Joseph McClain
  • Basic Research Saves Lives
    Basic Research Saves Lives  Most of our genes have counterparts in yeast, so we can address cancer and other issues of DNA damage by studying {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/science-and-technology/yeast-kerscher-1960.php,plain old yeast}}. Clinical advances are built on a foundation of basic research and that's where W&M researchers excel. Another example is {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/neuroscientists-develop-technique-for-zapping-brain-cells-individually123.php,neurodegenerative disease}}, such as {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/issues/2011-fall/warrior-against-alzheimers9458.php,Alzheimer's}}. Treatment—and cure—start with work in basic-research labs.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • External Funding
    External Funding  William & Mary’s {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/english-professor-blank-named-national-humanities-fellow-.php, scholars}} and {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/sonic-nets123.php, researchers}} attract considerable {{http://www.wm.edu/sponsoredprograms, external support}} from both private and governmental sources. Among the big news on the funding front is the {{http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2012/wm-receives-25-million-award-for-center-for-development-policy123.php, $25 million}} from USAID to enhance work of the W&M-based AidData to bring transparency to foreign aid. Other funding supports our {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/stem-outreach/stem-education-alliance7498.php, initiatives}} to {{http://www.wm.edu/research/ideation/arts-and-humanities/its-also-how-you-say-it6447.php, advance learning}}.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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We're called the College of William & Mary, but we're actually a university. Part of what makes us a university is that we make more than our share of a university's contributions to the creation of knowledge—otherwise known as research and scholarship.

Our research culture places an emphasis on quality, selectivity and innovation. Our size fosters both collaboration and efficiency. We're big enough to contribute effectively to many of the solutions of problems at national and global levels, yet small enough to keep overhead costs from ballooning.

The scale of our research operation is ideal for the development of collaborations. Because of our size—and because of the complexity of the problems we address—we've developed a model of working based upon teamwork and collaboration. Interdisciplinary, interdepartmental and inter-institutional partnerships are a hallmark of our philosophy.

Our collaborative philosophy extends to the involvement of undergraduates in research at the highest levels. It's quite common at William & Mary to find projects on which professors, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates all work together—great illustrations of our research.

How to get involved in research at William & Mary
As a partner or collaborator

We encourage you to contact any researcher, department or program directly. You can get a good overview of what’s going on by reading Ideation, our research magazine and by browsing web pages of our programs. Some good contacts for potential partners/collaborators:

As a graduate student

Grad students should pursue research opportunities from within their own departments, but there is a large amount of helpful information on the web, including this rundown of funding sources.

As an undergraduate student

Research opportunities for undergrads are plentiful, but many projects get filled. Here's some advice:

  • Ask! If you know a professor who is doing research (and most of them are), ask to get involved.
  • Remember, you can do research outside your major.
  • Check out the opportunities available through the Roy R. Charles Center.