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Knowledge Creation

Where professors and students are partners in discovery.

William & Mary attracts the type of student who's itching to explore a topic beyond the textbook. We've found that W&M undergrads are ready — from day one — to work closely with our experienced faculty on research projects of real academic consequence.

In an intellectual environment as fertile as W&M, a good research idea can come from anywhere: professor, graduate student, undergrad or member of the community. The result is an intellectual partnership where each member of the team brings something important to the table, whether it’s the youthful idealism of the undergrad or the sharp analytical eye of the professor.

Let's take a look at some of the incredible student-faculty collaborations:

  • A group of undergraduate chemists are helping figure out how to make bricks on Mars. (We’ll need houses and shielding from radiation if we’re going to colonize it.)
  • We send a team to compete in each year’s iGEM Jamboree — the “World Cup of synthetic biology.” In 2015, our team won the grand prize, beating out teams from around the world and in 2017 we secured the number two position.
  • William & Mary’s peculiar (in a good way) research culture makes room for undergraduates to become co-authors on papers in peer-reviewed journals …
  • …and, it’s becoming more and more common for a student to be lead author on these papers. Yes, it looks pretty good on a grad school application.

External funding and faculty-student research also power the work of many on- and off-campus research centers and professional collaborations, including: