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Workers raise a remotely operated underwater vehicle onto the deck of a research vessel.

Real-World Researchers

As the Gulf South's premier research institution, The University of Southern Mississippi continues to meet head-on the intellectual and human issues of the day. The challenges are formidable, and university professors and students are tackling the issues through relevant research that translates into real-world applications and learning opportunities.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies Southern Miss as an R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity. Research funding in fiscal year 2016 totaled nearly $60 million.

USM is one of 130 universities included in the “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” category by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.


Advanced Helmet Cushioning Technology

See how researchers are addressing the need for improved helmets to protect the U.S. military.

Length: 2:04

Home to One of Only Two U.S. Blue Crab Hatcheries

Longtime research at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory yields hundreds of thousands of hatchery-grown crabs.

Length: 1:26

Excavating a French Colonial Cemetery

Researchers' discovery leads to a better understanding of settlers in Biloxi and along the Gulf Coast from the 1720s.

Length: 1:47



Test tubes in an algae research lab at Stennis Space Center

Student-Faculty Collaborations

Our students have the opportunity to learn from expert faculty in a variety of fields as they develop their own research interests. The University hosts two annual research symposia, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, where many students present their original research or showcase creative work.

The Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research

The Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research enhances the academic experience for the University’s undergraduate students by fostering student-faculty collaborations in research, creative projects and scholarship.

A key component of the center is the Eagle Scholar Program for Undergraduate Research (Eagle SPUR). Based on the quality of their research proposals, Eagle SPUR scholars receive up to $1,000 for research grants to be used for scholarly or creative projects done in collaboration with a faculty mentor, the findings of which are later presented to an academic audience.

Nearly 150 undergraduates have received Eagle SPUR funding since 2013.


Supporting Innovation

Dr. Gordon Cannon

Vice President for Research Dr. Gordon Cannon promotes research, creative activities, and scholarship within the University community through a variety of services including:

  • Ensuring compliance with government regulations through the
    • Office of Research Administration, which assists faculty in identifying and applying for external support and provides post-award administration of contracts and grants;
    • Office of Research Integrity, which manages the University’s Research and Scholarly Integrity Assurance Program and oversees the Institutional Review Board and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, among other functions;
    • Office of Technology Development, which assists faculty, staff, and students to protect and commercialize innovations that emerge from USM’s research enterprise; and the
    • Office of Environmental Health and Safety, which promotes a successful research enterprise, a safe teaching environment and minimizes health and safety impacts to surrounding communities.
  • Serving as a liaison with research institutes, foundations, government agencies and industry.
  • Providing faculty support for travel to meetings with federal agency program officers in Washington, DC and other locations.
  • Providing proposal development support and research start-up funds to faculty.