• Davidson College Ecological Preserve

    Many professors take advantage of the Davidson College Ecological Preserve, located behind the campus, to conduct research.

  • Larry Ligo Art Class

    Prof. Larry Ligo's "Earth Art" course provides students with an opportunity for firsthand experience with garden design.

  • Psychology Department Neuroscience Lab

    Research is essential for hands-on learning, and undergraduate research experiences are now required for admission to many graduate and professional schools.



Every Davidson student enjoys the opportunities to investigate or explore a topic of special interest. They also learn to understand the power of collaboration, cross-fertilization and synergy. Davidson offers many opportunities for classroom and grant-funded research research both in the summer, over semester breaks and during semesters.


Davidson Research Initiative

The grant-funded Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) allows first-year, sophomore and junior students to design a research topic, engage with a faculty mentor for guidance and collaboration, and present and publish their findings. Last summer 27 students conducted research through Davidson Research Initiative grants. Students have explored cancer therapy, adolescent behavioral health in Korea, collaborative devised theater, and bluebird responses to parasitic cowbirds. Learn more about the Davidson Research Initiative.

Research and Study Abroad

The Dean Rusk International Studies Program provides several grant-funded opportunities to conduct research abroad in geographic locations of the student's choosing or to specific regions of the world such as Kenya and Peru. Past Dean Rusk grant recipient Edith Nicolaou-Griffin '15 documented youth narratives of the Greek debt crisis that led to an article published in the Huffington Post. Learn more about Dean Rusk grants.

Other Opportunities

In addition to the DRI and Dean Rusk Grants, students have other options to explore a topic of interest for research through grants and programs outside of normal academic coursework, i.e. Abernethy Research Grant, BOA/Kemp Scholars, Research in Science Experience (RISE) program, the Vann Fellows and more. For most of these opportunities, grants are available for specific areas of study.

Semester Opportunities

Classroom Research

In the classroom students are exposed to research projects that enrich their learning experience and may lead to publication in print or online. Three examples are mentioned here, but there are many others that can be found throughout Davidson's curricular offerings each semester. To complete course assignments in anthropology, students explored the lack of ethnic and racial diversity in local farmer's markets and the idea of community in the local food movement. Students in a biology class are collaborating with the North Carolina State University to sequence the blueberry genome. While studying classic antiquity in Greece, Turkey, and Italy, students in Davidson's Classics Semester Abroad are using iPads to examine and analyze ancient site plans.

Discipline-specific Research Opportunities

All academic areas provide robust opportunities to participate in research or in-depth studies with faculty members that lead to journal publication and hands-on experiences. Visit the Majors and Academic Programs section of the website to review what students are doing in their selected field of study.