Research & Graduate Studies

Bringing the Future into Focus Through Research

Portland State University is your testing ground for putting new ideas into action. As Oregon’s only urban, public research university, we believe in involving everyone—from freshmen to faculty—in solving the problems facing our region and our world. Because the only way to bridge the gap between what is and what could be is together.

Fueling PSU Research

Fueling PSU Research

Research Administration provides the information and resources PSU researchers need for sponsored projects. Support includes funding opportunities and expert assistance with proposal preparation, award management, training, data security, export controls, and the rules and procedures for studies involving human or animal subjects.

Engineering project

Propel Your Ideas

PSU researchers create ideas, technologies, and innovative programs to meet 21st-century challenges. Propel PSU drives the impact of these innovations further with entrepreneurship and commercialization programming from the Portland State Business Accelerator, the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Innovation & Intellectual Property. 

Research Centers & Institutes

Research Centers & Institutes

Our research centers are on the cutting edge, with breakthrough discoveries in fields that include: digital cities, transportation, sustainability, and solutions to homelessness. Our researchers take a multidisciplinary approach to pioneering new territories and leading the way to address the major challenges facing our city, region, and world.

Graduate School

Go for Groundbreaking in PSU Graduate Studies

Lead your own research projects and advance your career in Portland State’s nationally ranked graduate programs. Top national researchers will mentor and inspire you in state-of-the-art laboratories and community projects. Challenge the status quo and make progress across fields such as social sciences, urban planning, engineering, and life sciences. Our graduate research programs give you the chance to improve your life and the lives of others.

Student researcher

Undergraduates show the world how

You can dig deep in your major, grow your research skills and address real-world issues as an undergraduate at Portland State. In programs such as Build EXITO, the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, and Research Experiences for Undergraduates, you can work with world-class faculty mentors on leading-edge projects. You’ll find undergraduate research and learning opportunities in every field, for every student. Explore undergraduate research.

Growing Research

Upcoming events

Research Awards Ceremony

The Research Awards Ceremony is the culminating event of Research Week.…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-07 15:30:00 2021-05-07 17:00:00 Research Awards Ceremony The Research Awards Ceremony is the culminating event of Research Week. The ceremony highlights and honors the remarkable faculty and staff members that make Portland State what it is. Please join us on Friday, May 7, 2021, for the virtual Research Awards Ceremony. This year's event recognizes the recipients of the 2020 and 2021 University and College/School research awards. Research Awards Ceremony Friday, May 7, 2021 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Virtual Event streamed live on the Campus AV YouTube Channel Live-streamed on the Campus AV YouTube Channel - Amy Spring - Amy Spring - America/Los_Angeles public

Webinar: Eliminating Cash Options for Public Transit Fares:…

REGISTER HERE OVERVIEW Many transit agencies plan to automate their fare…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-11 10:00:00 2021-05-11 11:00:00 Webinar: Eliminating Cash Options for Public Transit Fares: Costs, Benefits and Equity Impacts REGISTER HERE OVERVIEW Many transit agencies plan to automate their fare collection and limit the use of cash, with the goals of improving boarding and data collection while lowering operating costs. Yet about 10% of adults in the United States lack a bank account or credit card, and many either rely on restrictive cell-phone data plans or don’t have access to internet or a smartphone.  This webinar will present part of a larger research project exploring these issues in the cities of Denver, Colorado, and Eugene and Portland–Gresham, Oregon. In this part, we explore the tradeoffs between reducing cash acceptance, ridership and the costs of fare collection systems. How much does it save to reduce cash acceptance, verses ridership and equity impacts? We will also present a cost-effectiveness framework that combines a qualitative and quantitative analysis and use this model to explore case scenarios in our three cities. The model shows that adding a retail network to facilitate fare payment as well as preserving cash acceptance on board buses through the farebox are highly effective solutions. The model is customizable for any agency and similar analyses can be run for different configurations of fare collection systems. KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES The extent and dimensions of digital and banking divide in the US and among transit riders; How emerging cash-less fare payment will exclude certain transit riders; Equity mitigations available to include transit riders challenged by cash elimination; The costs and benefits of such equity mitigations THE RESEARCH This webinar is based on a study supported by a pooled-fund grant through the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and conducted at three universities: Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition to NITC, the funding partners were City of Eugene, Oregon; City of Gresham, Oregon; Lane Transit District; moovel NA; RTD Denver; Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, DC; LAMetro; and TriMet. Read more about the research: An Equity Lens on Automated Fare Payments. SPEAKER Aaron Golub, Portland State University Dr. Golub is an associate professor and director of the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His work focuses on the social equity impacts of current transportation planning practices – how people participate in planning, and who wins and loses from transportation plans and investments. Dr. Golub teaches courses on urban transportation policy, planning research methods, transportation finance and public transportation. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT This 60-minute webinar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance. LEARN MORE Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our events. Photo courtsey of TriMet This webinar is hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. The research was funded by the Summit Foundation and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a program of TREC and one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. We pursue our theme — improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer. Register on Zoom: America/Los_Angeles public

Adapting to the Era of Megafires: A Community & Expert…

Wildfire ravaged much of the western United States in 2020. Towns were…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-12 10:00:00 2021-05-12 11:00:00 Adapting to the Era of Megafires: A Community & Expert Summit on Catastrophic Wildfire in Oregon and Beyond Wildfire ravaged much of the western United States in 2020. Towns were destroyed, homes and businesses evacuated, forests incinerated, and lives lost. In Oregon, vast swaths of rural communities like Talent and Detroit were devastated by sweeping megafires. But every Oregonian was impacted by widespread evacuations, life-threatening smoke, damage to vineyards and other crops, and staggering costs siphoning critical tax dollars away from other essential public services. As with all matters related to climate change, the greatest impacts were on our most vulnerable communities: low-income families, communities of color, the sick, the elderly, and the young.    These megafires also accelerated their climate effects, with carbon emissions from wildfires in the U.S. alone increasing 30% over the previous year. The 2020 season was the latest record-breaking year in the West, continuing a 20-year trend that is only worsening. But there is hope. As wildfire impacts broaden, so has the coalition of parties seeking solutions. Small town mayors and tribal leaders, experts in public health and social justice, CEOs and scientists are speaking up. World Forestry Center is convening representatives from this broadening coalition in a five-part virtual summit focused on the Oregon example. Matt Donegan, chair of the Oregon Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response, will be joined by community leaders Charles Wilhoite and Katrina Holland, to lead this series of virtual talks.   We will hear from community leaders to understand the full impacts of megafires on our state and our region; discuss real solutions shaped by decades of experience across the globe; and address barriers to achieving these solutions.  This free public series is for anyone who cares about the health of our society, our environment, or our economy. Catastrophic wildfire impacts us all. But together we can end the era of megafires. Interested in Attending Tickets for this free, five-part virtual event are now available. Reserve Your Ticket to the Series Episodes Episode 1: Understanding the Era of Megafires and the Threat Ahead, 4/14 Panel Participants Dr. Paul Hessburg (United States Forest Service) Russ Hoeflich (1,000 Friends of Oregon) Dr. Werner Kurz (Canadian Forest Service) Episode 2: Protecting People: Creating Fire-Adapted Communities, 4/21 Panel Participants Mayor Sally Russell (City of Bend) Oregon Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) Oregon Sen. Lynn Findley (R-Vale) Commissioner Mark Bennett (Baker County, Oregon) Episode 3: Protecting Forests: Building Resilient Landscapes, 4/28 Panel Participants Dr. Chris Dunn (Oregon State University) Susan Jane Brown (Western Environmental Law Center) Nils Christoffersen (Wallowa Resources) Bobby Brunoe (Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs) Episode 4: Protecting Firefighters: Responding Safely and Effectively to Wildfire, 5/5 Panel Participants Mariana Ruiz-Temple (Oregon State Fire Marshal) Travis Medema (Oregon State Fire Marshal) Doug Grafe (Oregon Department of Forestry) Oregon Rep. Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass) Episode 5: Building a Movement and Implementing Solutions, 5/12 Governor Kate Brown (Oregon) U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon) U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) Dean Takahashi (Yale Carbon Containment Lab) Anastasia O’Rourke (Yale Carbon Containment Lab) Oregon Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) Virtual Summit - Reserve Your Ticket: America/Los_Angeles public

2021 PSU Environmental Science Students Research Colloquium and…

Join the Association of Environmental Science Students (AESS), in…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-17 23:00:00 2021-05-08 00:14:43 2021 PSU Environmental Science Students Research Colloquium and Alumni Lecture Join the Association of Environmental Science Students (AESS), in collaboration with the Environmental Science & Management Department and OBC Speaker's Board, for the 2021 Student Research Colloquium and Alumni Lecture. For more information and to submit an abstract, visit the colloquium website. Schedule: May 17 4-6 p.m., Student Lightning Talks May 18 4-6 p.m., Student Lightning Talks May 19 4-4:40 p.m., Graduate Student Oral Presentations  4:50-5:50 p.m., Keynote Address with Dr. DeAnna Beasley Healthy Cities: What insects tell us about urban living Dr. DeAnna Beasley is an assistant professor at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She researches the impacts of anthropogenic stressors, in particular urbanization, on environments and the subsequent consequences for biodiversity. Her lab uses insect populations as model systems, examining changes in their diversity and development. Dr. Beasley also studies the interactions of sociological and ecological processes to understand urban biodiversity and the development of resilient cities. She received her PhD from University of South Carolina in 2013. Remote America/Los_Angeles public