Students curious about the scholarly work their professors do outside the classroom might be irked to find that getting these answers requires a bit of research on students’ end, too.

Georgetown takes pride in its classification as an institution of Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the university secured more than $200 million in research grants and awards in the 2010 fiscal year. Professors, graduate students and undergraduates all contribute their time and effort to these endeavors. But for students with no prior exposure, there exists no consolidated resource with information about the university’s research.

Instead of an integrated system, there are a number of mechanisms used to publicize faculty research. The Georgetown website research page contains information about completed projects but provides no resources for those that are planned or in progress. Students are often informed largely by luck, if a professor chooses to publicize his projects to his students or if a particular department provides resources directly to students majoring in the subject.

The university would benefit from launching one comprehensive directory of all current and planned research projects. With relatively little difficulty or expenditure, a directory would enrich Georgetown’s intellectual landscape. For those writing theses or intending to pursue a specific topic in postgraduate work, it would be especially useful. For new undergraduates, rather than having to declare a major or slowly develop an “in” with a specific faculty member to find research opportunities, this would facilitate such connections.

Such a directory would serve faculty just as much as students. Enabling faculty members and students to search by topic, rather than department, would keep professors informed of projects their coworkers are pursuing.

A directory that increases connectedness would further motivate collaboration and could only strengthen Georgetown’s already impressive research community.

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