Research

Unlocking the secrets of our universe

Momentous IU breakthroughs and inventions—like the structure of DNA and the fluoride in our toothpaste—are part of a legacy of transforming how we live through research. IU researchers study an enormous range of interests, tackling the big questions in one of the most respected and exciting environments for discovery. It’s no wonder IU is ranked among the world’s 50 most innovative universities.

Through research opportunities that are as infinite as the cosmos, you’ll be inspired by new perspectives that draw on IU’s global expertise and our passion for doing good in the world.

Explore student and faculty research stories
Marlena Fraune

I never thought I would get to study robots. I thought they were just science fiction.

Marlena Fraune, IU Ph.D. student Read Marlena's story

With a thirst for knowledge and a hunger to make a difference

Whether you’re in a chemistry lab studying peptides to find a cure for diabetes, in a 3-D visualization studio mapping brain networks, or on an archaeological shipwreck expedition in the Caribbean Sea, you’ll leave your mark on what you care about. That’s what we do—dig deeply into understanding how our world works, so we can make it a better place.

IU student and faculty researchers are working together on hundreds of transformative studies—promoting human rights and public health overseas, developing life-saving technologies, and improving community resources here in Indiana.

IU journalism student Joy Msiska and Moi University (Kenya) student Pricyttah Kamau report on the health effects of alcohol use in Kenya’s largest slum. Image by IU Professor Jim Kelly
The MILL (Make Innovate Learn Lab)—a new “maker” space at the IU School of Education—combines a DIY philosophy with technological ingenuity to create unique approaches to teaching.

The promise of Faculty who inspire

See how IU is fulfilling the promise

Studying food security

Description of the video:

[Video: The Indiana University trident appears]

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[Words appear: Olga Kalentzidou, Ph.D., Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Global and International Studies]

Olga: Food is the primary driver of our existence, being if we strip ourselves from everything else, food remains what we have to get in order to survive.

I'm teaching a class this semester that is called food security. And food security is defined in the literature as the need of people to have access to healthy, nutritious, culturally appropriate food and to have enough food, to not only survive but thrive.

[Video: Male student works in garden with other students]

First male student: Food isn't just about what you, you know, put in your mouth, there's a whole politics and culture to it, so I've learned a lot of what goes into the plate in front of you and how that differs from country to country.

Olga: During the semester the students have 20 hours of direct service in three different local agencies. With service learning what I'm trying to teach students is that by understanding the text and by going to the community and involving yourself in the day-to-day decisions that all those not-for-profit organizations have to make you will get a much better understanding of what we as academics talk about and how we contextualize it.

[Video: Students working in garden]

Second male student: Not everyone has necessarily the same access to food, but like working at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, I can see how better, like, how, in the United States we address, say topics of food security, food justice.

Olga: So most of the times we don't really define food security in political terms, we define it in terms of food sovereignty, which is the ability of people to decide how they want to cultivate their food, how they want to produce, consume, and even trade their food. So by changing the landscape from food security to food sovereignty, we get into questions of food justice.

I have great hopes that this is gonna be a school that trains its students to be more involved in the community. Experiential learning is at the forefront. Students are already much more involved with this curriculum and they have more of identity with the school.

[Video: The Indiana University trident appears]

[Words appear: Indiana University]

[Words appear: Fulfilling the Promise]

[End of transcript]

200+IU research centers and institutes in all areas of study

200+IU faculty serve on national and international academies

IU professor Alfred Kinsey interviews a subject

Study at world-famous centers

Academic freedom and revolutionary results are hallmarks of world-renowned IU research centers like the Kinsey Institute, where IU Professor Alfred Kinsey forever changed public understanding of sexual behavior in the 1940s. Today the Kinsey Institute is the premier research center for advancing sexual health and knowledge worldwide.

Discover our renowned research institutes
Students work outside surrounded by vegetation.

Make the world a greener place

Our woodland campus is a lab in itself, inspiring students to investigate greener and more sustainable ways of living. Recent student research projects include studies of bat wildlife habitats and the effect of beetles on tree health. Sustainability research internships are available through the IU Office of Sustainability, which hosts our annual campuswide Energy Challenge.

Delve into student research experiences
IU alumnus Jamie Hyneman

Bust myths and stay curious

A culture of endless curiosity encourages exploration that doesn’t always fit the traditional research mold. IU alumnus Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the hit TV series MythBusters, makes a living “having fun,” he says. The inventor, movie special-effects expert, and master of explosions is grateful to IU for nurturing his inner researcher and his taste for adventure.

See how IU nurtures your curiosity