As the foundation of our research initiatives and part of our Strategic Plan, Emerson College's goals include fostering and supporting research and creative work and curriculum development.

To realize these goals, we are continually reimagining teaching and learning in the communications disciplines at Emerson, integrating the liberal arts with the fields of arts and communications, planning for the development of multi-disciplinary Centers for research and creative expression, and supporting an excellent undergraduate and graduate experience at al of our campus sites.

Office of Research and Creative Scholarship

In support of superior research, creative activities, sponsored programs, and innovative scholarly pursuits, the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship (ORCS) provides leadership in research development and serves the Emerson community to assist those seeking financial support for scholarly endeavors. The Office accomplishes this mission by providing numerous services including help in obtaining external funding to support research studies; by offering workshops and programming to enhance the scholarship skills; and by ensuring that appropriate research - related policies and procedures are in place and observed by faculty and students.

Emerson Engagement Labs

The Emerson Engagement Labs (EEL) are a collection of labs for research and design that focus on bringing together media and civic engagement. This will include both existing and newly developing labs, including the evolving Global Engagement Lab which will facilitate cross-border and cross-cultural media production and exchange.

Engagement Game Lab (EGL)

The Engagement Game Lab (EGL), one of the labs under the Emerson Engagement Labs, is an applied research lab focusing on the development and study of games, technology, and new media to enhance civic life. These play-based programs are designed to facilitate official processes and education, and simulate as well as become real-world actions. Our various projects teach users ways to civically engage with communities, find solutions for climate change and flooding, and even digitally explore Boston's Chinatown.


The research conducted at the FACElab focuses on non-verbal social communication of children with high-functioning autism. Using cutting-edge technologies, such as eyetracking and infrared motion-capture kinematics, faculty, research staff, and students investigate how children with autism process the facial expressions of others, how they produce their own facial expressions, and how those expressions are perceived by their typically developing peers. The ultimate goal of this research is to inform treatment approaches that will help children with high-functioning autism become more successful social communicators in everyday interactions.

CSD Research Lab

Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders focuses on the emergence, use, loss and re-acquisition of human communication skills across the lifespan. We aim to address core questions about communicative cues (particularly nonverbal ones, like facial expressions/movements and gestures), and how variations in the use of communicative cues might be associated with deficits, or, conversely, support healthy development.

Science Communication Collaborative

The Science Communication Collaborative brings together faculty, students, and other researchers from science, environmental studies, and health communication under one virtual umbrella, maximizing their combined visibility and impact. The focus is on three elements: production of scientific content, dissemination of that content to the public and policymakers, and analysis of the consumption of those messages. The Science Communication Collaborative dovetails with various institutional priorities articulated in the College’s strategic plan including: academic excellence and enhancing Liberal Arts; interdisciplinary interactions of faculty and students; Liberal Studies tempered by application in the real world; and civic engagement. Participating faculty include: Wyatt Oswald, Bob Nesson, Jon Honea, Nejem Raheem, and Brooke Knight and Amy Ansell.