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:

  • Biology Lab: 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.
  • CI2 Lab:  Located on our Portland campus, the CI2 Lab (Creative Intelligence + Innovation + Collaboration) is a makerspace for undergraduate students from all majors to pursue their own creative and entrepreneurial ideas through individual or group projects.
  • 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
  • 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
  • QC2 Lab: The Quality Control Collaboratory (QC2 Lab) provides testing, research, and education to breweries, and offers students a hands-on educational experience.