Luke Donahue Doing Research

What interests you so much that you could imagine exploring the topic further on your own?

More than one-third of Notre Dame students participate in research, as it fosters independence and creativity — and, for students in our department, sometimes the opportunity to travel to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.

German students have received funding to purchase materials or to travel to a German-speaking country in order to:  

  • Study materials in archives or visit a museum;
  • Interview politicians or administrators about a distinctive German policy;
  • See theatrical performances or artworks;
  • Visit universities to identify the best location for a post-graduate fellowship year.

Any topic is open to exploration through independent research — you are limited only by your imagination!

Research opportunities

“My first semester, my German language professor helped me find work in the library cataloguing a series of historic German bank notes. As I became more familiar with the notes, I noticed there was very little scholarship on them, and what had started as a job became the focus of my senior research thesis. It was an extremely gratifying experience to write a thesis on something I had worked with so intimately for so many years!"

—Marcus Liddell ’14, winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to teach in Greifswald, Germany 

During your time at Notre Dame, you could:

  • Write a year-long senior honors thesis
  • Assist a faculty member with a research project — paid positions that could lead to your name being included in the acknowledgments of the professor’s book
  • Have an idea or topic that pursue on your own

Our German faculty take great joy in helping students with their research projects.

Research funding

Notre Dame is distinctive in offering students so many opportunities for funding and mentoring. Grants are available for summers, the academic year, or fall and spring breaks.

  • The Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) serves as a hub for students who want to learn more about getting started in research, securing funding, or presenting research. CUSE offers workshops, online resources, and one-on-one advising to help undergraduates discern their scholarly interests and develop a plan.
  • The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program supports Arts and Letters students. It provides generous funding for research and materials, travel and fees for conference, and senior thesis support.
  • The Nanovic Institute for European Studies has as its primary focus undergraduate students. Funding is available for preliminary research expenses, travel and research, internship and service, and language study.

No matter what topic interests you, Notre Dame has the mentors and funding opportunities for you to pursue your ideas! And it is never too early to begin — simply reach out to a faculty member to discuss your ideas.