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Areas of Research Strength at Boise State University

The success and vitality of Boise State’s growing research programs are listed below. Here, you’ll find fact sheets that highlight the university’s research strengths – areas where we have acquired the critical mass of faculty expertise, grant funding, private and public partnerships and innovative projects to make substantive impacts.

The linked fact sheets provide a brief explanation and summary of each of our research strengths, and also feature a few of the many Boise State faculty and students who are pursuing research in these exciting and diverse areas.

The Division of Research and Economic Development at Boise State has identified five areas of research strength. They include:

MATERIALS SCIENCE: From nylon to silicon chips to DNA strands, new materials are the sparks that fire technological revolutions. Boise State is Idaho’s leader in developing and testing advanced materials for a broad range of applications.
GEOSCIENCES: Through research that advances understanding of the surface, near surface and deep Earth environments, Boise State geoscientists are addressing critical issues such as climate change, human-environment interactions, alternative energy sources and basic materials.
SENSORS: From quickly detecting trace amounts of substances in the environment to diagnosing disease and imaging the Earth’s subsurface, Boise State researchers are developing new sensing systems with expanded capabilities.
PUBLIC POLICY: Economic development, access to health care, strong civic leadership, a clean environment and affordable energy affect the quality of life for all Idahoans. Boise State oversees a broad array of research programs that provide policymakers, citizens and agencies with the information and skills they need to advance and protect the interests of our citizens.
CREATIVE WRITING: Boise State University is home to a nationally ranked MFA program in creative writing, led by a talented and award-winning faculty. With degree tracks in fiction and poetry, the program emphasizes the art and craft of literary writing and has a strong publishing focus

Our research in these key areas is spurring the development of new technologies and products, the acquisition of new scientific knowledge to address a range of critical issues, and the formulation of studies that advance and protect the interests of the citizens of our state and nation.

In addition to our identified research strengths, our university has a number of emerging research strengths in areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, biomedicine, hydrology and raptor biology. As Boise State continues its progress as a metropolitan research university of distinction, we look forward to expanding our list of research strengths in the years ahead. Vice President for Research Mark Rudin

Why Identify Research Strengths?

Research Strengths provides a strategic focus for promoting the university’s research programs with diverse groups, from state officials to the media to businesses to prospective students to other universities. In a time of diminishing resources for higher education, this approach can also help set the strategic direction for the university by identifying which research programs have the most potential for significant impact and success in the years ahead. Promoting a university’s Research Strengths provides opportunities to recognize the outstanding work of faculty and staff. By providing a “window into the university,” Research Strengths can also inform the public about the importance of research in general and the overall excellence of the university.