Montana State University

Research at MSU

MSU is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as one of 108 research universities with "very high research activity." The ranking signifies that the opportunities for research, scholarship and creative work at MSU are comparable to those found at other highly prestigious universities.  This nationally and internationally recognized research and creative work at MSU provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to link their learning with the discovery of knowledge.

Read about our many research centers, programs, facilities and institutes here or learn more online.

Agricultural Marketing Policy Center
The Agricultural Marketing Policy Center sponsors research on agriculture and natural resource trade policies and their economic effects. It communicates this information to the public through various media.

American Indian Research Opportunities (AIRO)
AIRO provides educational and research opportunities for American Indian students in career fields where they are significantly under-represented. AIRO cooperates with Montana's seven tribal colleges (Blackfeet Community College, Chief Dull Knife College, Fort Belknap College, Fort Peck Community College, Little Big Horn College, Salish Kootenai College, and Stone Child College) and MSU, Bozeman.

Animal Resources Center
The center is a modern, centralized, laboratory animal facility for the care, use and production of laboratory animals used in teaching, research and testing at MSU.

Burns Technology Center
The Burns Technology Center, a division of MSU Extended University, strives to create a more accessible and effective university for the 21st Century through public access to lifelong learning, especially for isolated individuals and communities. BTC studies how innovative technologies can enhance teaching and learning, build partnerships between MSU and public/private organizations, and better share MSU's resources through public outreach.

Burton K. Wheeler Center
The Burton K. Wheeler Center at Montana State University in Bozeman promotes the public discussion, analysis, and eventual resolution of critical issues facing Montanans. The Center holds an annual conference and business roundtable, sponsors lectures, publishes conference reports, and maintains a Web page at

Center for Biofilm Engineering
The Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) fosters a new approach to university engineering/science education. Multidisciplinary research teams find solutions to and applications for bacterial communities called biofilms.

Center for Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials
The Center for Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials (CBIN) at Montana State University is a multidisciplinary research and education center focused on utilizing our fundamental understanding of the formation and hierarchical construction of biological materials such as viruses, cells, and biominerals [bones, teeth, seashells, etc].

Center for Bison and Wildlife Health
This is a regional center for information exchange and research on all aspects of the biology and management of the American bison.

Center for Computational Biology
This interdisciplinary unit develops and applies complex computer methods to research on biological systems such as neurosystems. A major feature of the Center is its use of advanced, high-speed computer communication channels to the worldwide network.

Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West
The College of Business established the Center for Entrepreneurship for the New West to connect students with actual entrepreneurship in the early stages of businesses development. Through partnerships with TechRanch, a business incubator, and TechLink, a NASA funded technology transfer organization, students gain research experience and skills in assessing technology applications in the market place. The entrepreneurship course work is offered to students from any major in the University through a thirty credit hour entrepreneurship minor.

Center for Learning and Teaching in the West
The Center for Learning and Teaching in the West (CLT West) is one of seven Centers for Learning and Teaching established by the National Science Foundation. CLT West helps to address a regional and national shortage of qualified science and Mathematics educators at all levels, from middle and high schools to community colleges and universities. The Center administrative headquarters is located at MSU in Bozeman, and science, Mathematics, engineering, and education faculty at MSU in Bozeman and The University of Montana participate in all aspects of the Center Program.

Center for Native Health Partnerships

The mission of the Center for Native Health Partnerships is to create an environment to improve Native American health through community-based participatory research. CNHP is committed to developing true partnerships between tribal communities and academic partners to conduct health disparities research. We focus on building research capacity within tribal and academic communities.

Energy Research Institute (ERI)

The Energy Research Institute conducts research and pilot projects in wind energy, biofuels, fuel cells, carbon sequestration, and algal biofuels, and pursues broader basic energy research.  Projects typically involve multi-disciplinary teams, student research opportunities, and partnership with private industry.  The ERI also conducts outreach to the general public and provides technical input to decision makers on topical energy issues.   

Image and Chemical Analysis Laboratory (ICAL)
ICAL provides analytical facilities for the physical, biological and engineering sciences. These facilities are open to both academic researchers and the general public.

Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)
The Local Technical Assistance Program fosters a safe, efficient, environmentally sound transportation system by improving skills and knowledge of local transportation providers through training, technical assistance and technology transfer.

Montana Area Health Education Center
Montana AHEC is one of six regional AHEC Centers of the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSM). AHECs provide educational programs for health care students and professionals and assistance in improving health care access.

Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit
Research at the Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit is problem oriented and provides our cooperators (Montana State University, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, U.S. Geological Survey) and other agencies with useful and practical information needed to understand and manage fishery resources in the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains.

Montana INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence)

The Montana INBRE Program focuses on increasing the biomedical research capacity of Montana by building research infrastructure, supporting faculty and student research, and fostering a statewide collaborative network.  MT INBRE supports research in environmental health, infectious disease, and health disparities and is funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The statewide INBRE network includes Montana State University (the lead institution), University of Montana, Montana State University-Billings, Montana State University-Northern, University of Montana-Western, Carroll College, MT Tech of the University of Montana, Rocky Mountain College, Blackfeet Community College, Chief Dull Knife College, Fort Belknap College, Fort Peck Community College, Little Big Horn College, Salish Kootenai College, and Stone Child College.

Montana Office of Rural Health - MORH
MORH works to improve the quality of life for all rural Montanans by ensuring affordable, accessible, high quality health care; facilitating enhanced self-care and supportive care in the rural home setting; and promoting healthy lifestyles that prevent disease, disability and premature death. The MORH seeks to improve the health care of all rural Montanans through advocacy, networking, partnerships, education, outreach, research, and service.

Montana Space Grant Consortium
The consortium enhances aerospace research and education in Montana through research initiation grants, education enhancement grants, undergraduate research grants and a scholarship-fellowship program. The central consortium office acts as a statewide clearinghouse for information on NASA and other aerospace-related programs and takes an active role in alerting consortium faculty about opportunities in research and education with NASA and other space agencies.

Montana Water Center
The Center oversees water research, educates future water professionals and develops training materials for working water professionals. The Center is one of 54 located at land-grant universities in each state, authorized by Congress through the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.

MSU TechLink Center
TechLink helps the private sector commercialize NASA, federal laboratory, and university technologies, to solve industry problems, to create or exploit business opportunities, and to stimulate economic development in the five-state region of Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
The Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NRMSC), formed by the U.S. Geological Survey, conducts integrated, interdisciplinary research in support of natural resource management in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, identifies, develops and utilizes the state's academic science and technology resources. The program is designed to stimulate local action that will result in lasting improvements to the state's academic research infrastructure and increased national R&D competitiveness.

Optical Technology Center (OpTeC)
OpTeC conducts research in the rapidly growing field of electro-optics. Multidisciplinary research teams work with industry and other research centers to find solutions to industry problems and discover new application potentials in optical fields.

Plant Growth Center
The Plant Growth Center includes 29 greenhouses environmentally controlled by microcomputers, an insect quarantine unit, an indoor arboretum, labs and classrooms.

TechRanch is a hi-tech business incubator specializing in software and internet related businesses. An incubator is an engine of economic development that gives a jump-start to fledgling businesses so that they can go from inception to self sufficiency in 18 months or less. This includes building a business model that will enable start-ups to attract capital and compete in the highly competitive environment of the new economy.

The Big Sky Institute
The Big Sky Institute for Science and Natural History (BSI) promotes the distribution of science-based knowledge related to natural ecosystems and the human communities that depend on them.

The Spectrum Lab
The Spectrum Lab was established in 1999 to do state of the art research and development in optical electronics, to transition that new technology to Montana corporations, and to provide enhanced educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Thermal Biology Institute
The Montana State University Thermal Biology Institute (TBI) is a multidisciplinary program for studying thermal biology. The TBI conducts and promotes research and education focused on the biology and interrelated physical and chemical processes of geothermal environments in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The long-term goal is to understand how organisms respond and adapt to unique physical and chemical features of the thermal environment.

Tradeoff Analysis Project
The Tradeoff Analysis (TOA) project, part of the USAID Soil Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SM-CRSP), has developed a decision-support system for assessing tradeoffs between agricultural production and the environmental and human health impacts of agriculture for different agricultural, environmental, and health technologies and policies.

Western Transportation Institute
The Western Transportation Institute (WTI) forms cooperative alliances of public and private partners interested in implementing ITS technology on rural highway systems. WTI provides a location for research, development, testing, demonstration and deployment of rural ITS technologies and systems.

Women in Research and Teaching
This site highlights the research and instructional accomplishments of women at MSU, Bozeman. It includes updates on grant opportunities for women as well as events, workshops and diversity links.

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