Contribute to cutting-edge scholarship and gain valuable research skills in a supportive community of peers and professors with the Pillars of Research Learning Community (PRLC).
Become a World-Class Researcher
Open to all students, the Pillars of Research LC offers the opportunity to gain hands-on research and analytic skills while contributing to topics of interest and gaining class credit. Students in the semester long community will earn 1 credit of GOVT 399.
As a part of Pillars of Research, students have the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) conducting a hands-on research project under the mentorship of a Schar School faculty member. Students serving as an undergraduate research assistant earn 1-3 additional credits of GOVT 399.
Pictured, left: Former Pillars of Research student, Delaney Soliday, presenting her award-winning research project entitled “The Taliban Over Time: A Diachronic Case Study of Governance in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”
"I joined the Pillars of Research Community in the fall semester and decided to continue throughout the spring because it gave me so many useful research resources. I also loved the opportunities to talk to non-government organizations, such as Freedom House!"
- Ruth Wolde-Semayat
A Community of Scholars
Students will have a wide-range of professional development opportunities, including:
- Weekly discussions on research topics with speakers, scholars, and experts;
- Facilitated coffee-house conversations around topics related to research and scholarship, including methodology, research design, data management and analysis, and working with institutional review boards;
- Skills workshops on poster design and presentations for both professional and academic audiences;
- Presentation practice sessions with peer feedback and facilitated workshopping of ideas; and
- A trip each semester to a Washington, D.C.-area research organization such as the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Council on Foreign Relations, or Brookings Institution.
A Memorable Year
Past events have included:
- A class field trip to the Library of Congress for a customized tour and a chance to pick up a Reader Card
- Notable speakers including senior editor at Foreign Affairs Justin Vogt, and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and Schar School professor Steven Pearlstein
- An opportunity to present at the Schar School Research Fair. Read more about the Spring 2022 winner, a Pillars of Research student, here