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Ripple effects

As a university, one of our greatest opportunities to make a difference — in our students’ education and in the community — is through the vast array of research, scholarly and creative activities we conduct.

Since 2014, SFA faculty members have participated in more than 500 grant-funded research projects, enhancing the instruction they provide and making valuable contributions to their fields. Currently, funding for active research projects exceeds $30 million.

We believe involvement in research furthers students’ educational and career opportunities, so we create numerous opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students to collaborate on projects with our professors. Students also participate in structured research and creative projects that are integrated into program curricula, as well as faculty-led extracurricular projects.

STEM Research and Learning Center

SFA has made a significant commitment to expanding research opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our new $46.4 million STEM Research Center supports collaborative research within the STEM disciplines — and among researchers in STEM and non-STEM fields.

The four-story STEM Research and Learning Center building bolsters SFA’s efforts to support STEM education at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Additional goals for the center include:

  • Increasing STEM awareness
  • Facilitating innovation in university STEM education
  • Providing support for student mentoring during transitional periods in their education
  • Guiding STEM teacher induction during the first three years in the classroom
  • Empowering STEM teachers and leaders to transform their districts’ STEM programs

Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest

Established by an act of Congress in 1945, the 2,560-acre Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest is owned by the USDA Forest Service and was created to conduct research in silviculture, the art and science of managing forests for desired outcomes.

Research topics at this forest range from wildlife to soils to hardwoods to birds. Through the years, researchers here have established effective control methods for undesirable hardwoods, and they’ve contributed much of our knowledge about managing southern forests for wildlife.

Early Childhood Laboratory

In addition to providing public childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, our early childhood lab helps more 2,000 students each fall and spring prepare for careers working with young children and families. The lab’s curriculum is intended to develop intellectual and personal competence, rather than strictly training children to perform a specific set of academic skills.

Research focuses at the lab include:

  • The autonomy and assessment of young children
  • Classroom management and environment
  • Learning centers and academic choice

Research facilities

Our university has more than a dozen research centers, institutes and specialized laboratories, from our Soil, Plant and Water Analysis Laboratory to the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops.

Center for Regional Heritage Research

At the Center for Regional Heritage Research, scholars and researchers from SFA and across East Texas investigate and document the region’s natural and cultural heritage. Together, they’ve expanded our capacity to conduct research in several vital fields, including historic preservation, archaeology, geography, heritage tourism, resource interpretation and community development. Start-up support provided by the Research Development Fund

Cole STEM Building

The new Cole STEM Building intensifies STEM-related research that has been conducted for years through SFA’s STEM Research and Learning Center. Activities there are designed to recruit students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and prepare them to excel in STEM careers. Start-up support provided by the Research Development Fund.

Rural Social Work Research and Development Center

Rural Social Work Research and Development Center supports activities that foster the development of community-based social services and enhance the leadership capabilities of rural service providers.

Specialized laboratories

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

SFA has recently acquired a Joel ECS 400MHz NMR Spectrometer. Nuclear magnetic resonance has applications ranging from medicine and chemistry to non-destructive testing and quantum computing. Supported by the Research Development Fund.

Anthropology and Archaeology Laboratory

Since 1985, Anthropology and Archaeology Laboratory has provided student training and teaching opportunities through field and laboratory work. Archaeological researchers work in Texas and adjacent regions. The lab also educates the general public about anthropology and archaeology, provides cultural resource management services and furnishes long-term care for collections that are “held in trust” for the people of Texas and the United States.

Other approved centers at SFA

Center for Economic Education

The mission of the Center for Economic Education is to provide K-12 teachers with quality professional development and curriculum materials for the purpose of promoting the seamless integration of economic education for K-12 students. This mission is accomplished through collaborations and partnerships with classroom teachers, curriculum coordinators, administrators, businesses, and the community at large.

Center for Sustainable Community Development

To engage students with experiential, field-based learning, assist communities and institutions with achieving their sustainable development goals (domestically and internationally) and to publish related research.

Human Services Counseling Clinic

The Human Services Counseling Clinic is a university based training program which provides counseling services and professional training opportunities for graduate counseling students and quality service provision for the client. The Human Services Counseling Clinic provides graduate counseling students the opportunity to gain practical experience as a counselor in a supervised clinical setting.

Poultry Research Center

The Poultry Research Center allows the SFA poultry program to conduct poultry industry driven research investigating feed additives, poultry health products, nutrition and environmental stewardship, among other topics.

Rehabilitation Services Career Planning Laboratory

Founded in 2002, the Rehabilitation Services Career Planning Laboratory is recognized by the State of Texas as a Community Rehabilitation Program. In support of the mission of both the Perkins College of Education and the Department of Human Services, the objective of this laboratory is to prepare competent, successful, caring, and enthusiastic professionals by active involvement in training, research, and service.

SFA Gardens

This 62-acre horticultural resource includes the SFA Mast Arboretum, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden and the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. The SFA Gardens support the conservation, selection and use of the native plants of Texas. In addition, they promote plant diversity in the landscape, serve as a living laboratory and provide an aesthetic and educational environment for students and visitors.

Vocational Rehabilitation Laboratory

The department will use the facility as a testing laboratory for students enrolled in COU 507 and RHB 407 to practice and complete vocational assessments.

Student research opportunities

Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

The Research Experience for Undergraduates Program supports active undergraduate participation in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.

National Institute of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institute of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in health-related research in the areas of biomedical, behavioral or social science. Scholarships include a 10-week paid summer internship followed by 1 year of full-time employment following graduation.

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for Sigma Xi research grants of up to $1,000 to support investigation in any field of science and engineering, including the social sciences.

Mayo Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Each year, 90-100 undergraduate students from around the United States travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to work beside both young and established scientists on a broad range of biomedical research questions. A limited number of fellowships are also available at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona.


Office of Research and Graduate Studies
Fax: 936.468.7369

Graduate Studies:
Grants and Sponsored Programs:
Research Advisory Council:

Physical Address:
404 Aikman Drive
Dugas Liberal Arts North, Room 419
Nacogdoches, Texas

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13024, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962