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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 flyerMATERIALS 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 flyerGEOSCIENCES: 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 flyerSENSORS: 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 flyerPUBLIC 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 flyerCREATIVE 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

The act of generating new knowledge is fundamentally human. Research at Boise State University is a reflection of that creative spirit, which is committed to improving our collective well being in a sustainable way. Our faculty and students are at the core of making that possible with every piece of innovative research and every artistic creation that propels us forward.Interim Vice President for Research Harold Blackman

Why Identify Research Strengths?

Research strengths provide 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 also can 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 also can inform the public about the importance of research in general and the overall excellence of the university.