Davidson is a recognized leader in undergraduate research, scholarship and creative work across all academic programs. Faculty members integrate original research and scholarship into the classroom and encourage students to join them in extensive exploration of original work through the academic year and during the summer. Through this collaboration, students and faculty contribute to the growing body of knowledge in a wide variety of fields and add creative achievements to art and literature.
Support for research and creative work comes from the college's annual budget and external grants. Summer research programs have also been supported by a variety of sources including The Duke Endowment, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities ICAN program, the Jesse Ball DuPont Foundation, and individual donors.
As funding support has increased, the number of students participating in on campus research has grown. In the mid-1990s only a very small number of students worked with faculty on research projects during the summer. By 2007, 56 students were engaged in summer research on campus and last summer that number grew to 89 students participating in a vibrant community of scholars.
Davidson offers many opportunities for research that is imbedded within the curriculum. Science students design and complete original experiments in genetics, animal physiology, genomics, and neuroscience. History students collaborate with their professor on articles in law journals that examine North Carolina legal history. English students contribute to an expanding digital database on Little Magazines and Modernism. In addition to classroom research, 243 Davidson students engaged in semester-long independent research or study in 2012.
Summer programs, including the Davidson Research Initiative (DRI), allow first-year, sophomore and junior students to design a research project, engage with a faculty mentor for guidance and collaboration, and present and publish their findings. Davidson provides several grant-funded opportunities to conduct research abroad in geographic locations of the student's choosing or to specific regions of the world. Learn more about the college's unique research options.
The Davidson faculty is dedicated to an immersive higher education experience for their students and themselves. Active research and other scholarly pursuits allow faculty to be on the leading edge of their fields. In the last five years, approximately half of Davidson's tenure-track and tenured faculty contributed to their professional fields through published papers/articles, performances, or artistic creations. In addition, faculty members have been honored with awards for their books, musical compositions, and other professional achievements. Learn more about faculty research.
Davidson provides research facilities for student/faculty research in the sciences, social sciences and humanities with state-of-the-art laboratories, instrumentation, student studio space, soundproof music spaces and more. Learn more about research facilities.