Research

Resources for Researchers

The University of Southern Maine (USM) supports the research, scholarship, and creative activity of our faculty, staff, and students as they pursue knowledge and discovery.

Below you’ll find the facilities, offices, and online resources available to support your research. If you’re not sure where to begin, Contact Us.

University Resources

  • Digital Commons: This digital archive service, offered through the University Libraries, offers open access to thousands of research publications by our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (OML): The cartographic collections at OML contain original maps, atlases, globes, books, and scientific instruments, dating from 1475 to the present.
  • Special Collections: This branch of the University Libraries collects and preserves rare materials, including books, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts. The Department is made up of three meta-collections: General Rare Books and Manuscripts, the University Archives, and the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.
  • University Libraries: Our libraries provide collections, services, facilities, equipment and programs in support of the highest possible levels of University teaching, learning, research, and public service.
    • There are library locations on all three campuses, as well as a wealth of online resources.

In addition to the General Resources listed above, we recommend our students connect with faculty and explore campus facilities and programs.

  • Our faculty: Your number one resource for knowledge, inspiration, and guidance is our renowned faculty. Connect with the faculty in your academic program to learn more about the opportunities available to you.
  • Innovative labs and technology: Our campus labs offer a dedicated space for your research projects, whether you’re engaging in coursework or an extracurricular project.
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP): UROP offers scholarly fellowships for undergraduate students to pursue research or creative activity alongside a faculty member.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Many of our graduate students work in collaboration with faculty and professional staff researchers as graduate assistants, providing an opportunity to get involved with hands-on research, training, and program implementation.

In addition to the General Resources listed above, several offices are dedicated to supporting faculty and staff research.

Finding Funding, Developing and Submitting your Proposal, and Managing your Grant

  • Research Service Center (RSC)
    • Funding: The RSC can support you in the pre-proposal stage as you develop a concept and seek out funding opportunities to implement your research.
    • Proposals: The RSC will provide support as you develop, complete, and submit your proposal to the funding organization.
    • Grants: If you are awarded a grant, the RSC will serve as a liaison between you and the grant-funding organization, in addition to managing all other aspects of the grant.

Compliance and Auditing

Data and Survey Services

Scholarship and Creative Activity

  • Center for Collaboration and Development: The Center is a physical and virtual space for faculty and instructional staff to uncover new possibilities and strengthen existing teaching, research, scholarship, and creative activities. The Center hosts a series of events throughout the year that promote networking, intercultural diversity, advanced practice for scholarly presentations, and many elements of teaching both in the classroom and online.
  • Annual Research and Scholarship Symposium: Held each Spring semester as a collaboration between the Office of Research, University Libraries, and Center for Collaboration and Development, the symposium offers engaging skills-based workshops, networking, and opportunities for our faculty & staff to share their research, scholarship, and creative activity with the University community.

Our campus facilities provide access to advanced technology where both students and faculty pursue research as part of coursework as well as extracurricular collaborative projects. Our research-dedicated labs include:

Geography/Anthropology Labs

  • The Archaeology Laboratory located at 317 Bailey Hall provides facilities for research in archaeology and related areas. Various research collections are available, primarily from Maine, Alaska, and the Caribbean. The Archaeology Laboratory also houses collections of materials excavated by USM and a small library including books, journals, slides, and maps.

  • The Environmental Archaeology Laboratory located at 318 Bailey Hall provides resources for research and teaching in archaeology and related areas. Current collections include a comparative faunal collection specializing in fish, birds, and shellfish of the Gulf of Maine and the Caribbean. The laboratory also houses comparative and excavated plant remains and a small library including books, journals, slides, and maps.

  • The Biological-Zooarchaeology Laboratory located at 316 Bailey Hall provides facilities for research and teaching in biological anthropology, zooarchaeology, human osteology, and human evolution. Current collections include casts of nonhuman primates and fossil hominids, and a comparative faunal collection specializing in mammals, birds, and fish reptiles of the Northeast.

  • The Qualitative Research Laboratory is housed in 315 Bailey Hall and is dedicated to qualitative analysis, training, and instruction, including the use of digital media.

  • Map Collections: A regional map collection is housed in 318 Bailey Hall. Holdings include Maine maps, topographic maps, and various world regional maps.

    Our students have access to the extensive and remarkable map collections of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education (Portland campus) and can study maps and mapping through dedicated courses taught by program faculty, internships, and independent studies.

  • The USM Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratories, located in 302 and 304 Bailey Hall (Gorham) and 128 Wishcamper (Portland), provide dedicated access to USM GIS resources and activities. The GIS Laboratories include a variety of data resources, geographic information systems, remote sensing, and global positioning systems software, high resolution and large format scanners, high precision survey gear, and large format color printing.

College of Science, Technology, and Health Research Labs and Facilities

  • Biology Labs: Located in the Science Building on our Portland campus, our Biology Lab features equipment related to cell imaging, molecular biology, and growth chambers for plants and marine algae.

  • Chemistry Labs: The Science Building on our Portland campus hosts several chemistry labs including:
    • Analytical and Physical Chemistry Lab
    • General Chemistry Lab
    • Organic Chemistry Lab

  • Composites Engineering Research Laboratory: The Composite Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), a collaboration between the Maine Composites Alliance and the University of Southern Maine, is an industry-focused consulting and research laboratory. The mission of CERL is to provide New England composites industries with applied engineering expertise for manufacturing, process development, and optimization; complete, advanced analytical services; focused educational training; and prototype manufacturing. This broad spectrum of services allows CERL to fulfill the needs of regional manufacturers and the composites industry as it strives to compete in the global marketplace.

  • Computer Science Labs: This space on our Portland campus is available for Computer Science majors to study software development, operating systems, and computer networks.

  • Engineering & Technology Labs: The John Mitchell Center on our Gorham campus is home to a suite of labs including:
    • Computer-Aided Design Lab
    • Digital Arts and Technology Lab
    • Electrical Engineering Circuits Lab
    • Environmental Safety and Health Lab
    • Mechanical Engineering Lab
    • Power & Automation Lab
    • Technology Education Lab

  • Environmental Science & Policy: The Department of Environmental Science and Policy has several research labs including The Aquaponics and Greenhouse labs, with research into high-density aquaculture and hydroponics; An Insectarium engaged in collaborative research projects with the Maine Medical Center Research Institute Vector-Borne Disease Lab, a Chemical Ecology/Environmental Entomology Lab, Aquatic Systems Lab, and an Environmental Impact Assessment Lab. Research technologies available include trace element analysis of environmental samples with XRF, air, and water quality metering, and pheromone characterization, among others.

  • QC2 Lab: The Quality Control Collaboratory (QC2 Lab) provides testing, research, and education to breweries, and offers students a hands-on educational experience.

  • The USM Maker Innovation Studio (MIST Lab) in the Science Building, encompasses a large Makerspace, a 3D Printing and prototyping area, a Digital Immersion Lab, and a Digital Media Lab. The MIST Lab hosts classes, workshops, entrepreneurial and commercial projects, and walk-in availability for any USM student interested in using the facilities. Available technologies include 3D printing and scanning equipment, laser cutters, desktop CNC machining, UV printing, thermoformers, Virtual Reality systems, and digital media equipment. MIST is also home to the burgeoning USM CSTH Cubesat Groundstation where the capability to communicate with future USM Cube satellite missions is being developed and tested daily.