Need a Research Question?

The following topics have been identified in partnership with University operational departments and faculty from various academic departments to assist students in identifying potential JP, Senior Thesis and graduate research topics using the campus itself as a living laboratory for sustainability problem-solving.

Please browse below, or use the sorting options to the right to narrow your search by topic or discipline. Contact the Campus as Lab team, Caroline Savage and Gina Talt '15, for more information or questions!

If you have a campus as lab research question that should be included on this list you can submit it using our contact form.

Use data about energy systems on campus to understand energy use over time. Plot energy use from different campus systems relative to the academic year or a smaller period of time. Do usage patterns exist?

Topics: energy
Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

Propose an internal carbon pricing scheme for the University with the aim of shifting institutional and/or individual behaviors. 

Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

Use sensors to study whether conference rooms are being underutilized or inefficiently heated, cooled, and lit.

Disciplines: engineering

View research opportunities with the Princeton Vertical Farming Project (PVFP) to tackle challenges around food and sustainable development

Topics: energy, buildings, food, water
Disciplines: engineering, humanities and arts, natural sciences, social sciences

Investigate approaches to stimulating and financing new on- and off-campus renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind power or solar arrays, to aid in the University’s low-carbon planning effort 

Topics: energy
Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

How can the University reduce waste associated with materialistic giveaways while still fostering a sense of community?

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

Study the campus biodigester to explore research opportunities around food waste conversion  

Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences, social sciences

Examine ways of using occupancy sensing for other utilities in campus dorms, such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning systems).

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering