United States Air Force Academy

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Research at a Different Altitude

Enhancing the cadet learning experience by fostering the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed as leaders in the Air and Space Forces and beyond.

Lasers in Lab
Cadet grinding project
cadet working on expiriments
Cadet working on FalconSat
Cadets doing experiment
U.S. Air Force Academy -- (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)
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Research Overview

Enhancing Cadet Education

Research is a critical component of the innovative spirit our cadets must foster when they graduate. Whether cadets are involved in laboratory research in one of our 27 Research Centers and Institutes, participate in a capstone research project, take part in the Cadet Summer Research Program, or present their research at a scientific conference, every single cadet now has the opportunity to participate in research during their four-year program.

Our future leaders must be prepared to make difficult decisions using reliable data, sound scientific principles, and innovative best practices. This is what the research program at the United States Air Force Academy provides. These skills will prepare cadets to be more adaptive, innovative, and successful leaders. Our Air and Space Forces will be better as a result.

To see information from the Office of Research click here.

At a Glance


27Research Centers and Institutes

450cadets in Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP)

217National and International Research Agreements





The Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach Program exists to engage, inspire and attract the next generation of STEM talent through K-12 programs. Faculty and cadets work with the local community, schools and teachers to provide outreach and increase the effectiveness of the Air Force’s investment in STEM. Cadets have the opportunity to mentor the next generation of potential cadets through involvement in these efforts.

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An Air Force research pioneer and former high school chemistry teacher, Col Frank J. Seiler was a strong advocate of in-house research and the effective use of young scientific officers and officer-candidates. Civilian university students had always participated in the research, and Seiler envisioned that if Air Force Academy cadets could be involved in real-world research efforts, they would be better prepared for their future assignments.

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Cadet Summer Research Program

The Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP) provides opportunities for cadets to solve relevant problems, learn through real-world application of classroom principles, and build lasting collaborative relationships while participating in research at the various military, government, and civilian facilities throughout the world. CSRP participants receive credit for a military summer training program through this career-broadening assignment. Cadets interested in competing for a CSRP slot should contact Maj Brian McReynolds, CSRP Director, for more information.

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