George Mason University

Research & Economic DevelopmentOffice of Research & Economic Development

Skip navigation

Corporate Outreach

Corporate Research

Mason offers corporations research support at four levels:

  • Student interns who gather work experience and may be involved in paid or unpaid internships that may or may not lead to permanent employment with the sponsoring company. Some internships are for academic credit and may carry a small stipend for the student or pay the student’s academic fees. Mason will be pleased to administer such programs with you or for you and will publicize such opportunities within the Mason Community.
  • Graduate Research Projects where students are sponsored as research assistants whose work is completed as theses for Master’s degrees. In general the university provides the research space and intellectual support (Library facilities, certain equipment, laboratory accommodation, and study facilities). The company is encouraged to supply the student with a laptop computer, a stipend (possibly including fees) and supervision in collaboration with the student’s department and thesis advisor. Specialized equipment may be loaned to the student by the company or purchased for the purposes of the research project. Company personnel with appropriate qualifications may become adjunct or research faculty for the duration of these studies.
  • Contract Research Projects where orporations sign a formal agreement with the University for a Specific Program of research that may involve several students at the Master’s and Doctoral levels and the dedicated time of research faculty and/or post-doctoral research fellows. Such programs usually extend over several years and are covered by intellectual property agreements. Such projects often prove to be a low-cost alternative to the company establishing a research division of its own.
  • Collaborative Research with external Sponsorship that is funded by foundations, government and research agencies where a specific agreement is reached between the university, the company or companies and the funding agencies. Typically funding opportunities are open to public-private partnerships or other collaborative agreements and address large scale research problems of interest to governments, groups of companies or international agencies or NGO’s. The work is performed by groups of scientists drawn from the corporations, the university and a group of master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral fellows appointed for the purpose.

Workforce Development

Corporate Outreach includes the linkages and guidance you need to assess training needs in your corporation. We can advise about new courses or provide appropriate selections of existing courses to meet your needs. In particular we can deal with the selection of courses for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary certificates, degrees or professional training. We do this by offering:

  • Contract Courses Mason professors can teach your own staff on your premises and can offer coursework to degree levels in any existing Mason program. The requirement is that you have a sufficient number of students to make this worthwhile in terms of cost per capita.
  • Certificates Existing academic certificates can be offered through a program as noted above and these courses gain academic credit that can usually be included in a degree program. If you are in a new and growing industry we can design new academic certificates to meet your needs.
  • Degrees for many corporations there is an established pattern of release time for educational purposes and career advancement. We can help you provide a tailored program for your employees.
  • Professional Certificates short courses of one day or up to 5 or even 10 days can be designed to meet the needs of senior staff. These may include reviews of recent developments in a given field and provide trends and updates for executives who otherwise cannot devote the time for a regularly offered academic course. Depending on the nature of these courses Certificates can be awarded through Mason’s office of Continuing and Professional Education.
  • Broader Topics such as STEM, and more general educational development can be addressed through many different combinations of Mason expertise including the Graduate School of Education in cooperation with the individual disciplines required. Programs that articulate the flow through High School into Community College and then University can be built through the existing agreements between the University, Community Colleges and local schools.

Mason is committed to working with the Northern Virginia Community to offer the range of educational programs needed to support the high level of education found in the Northern Virginia Workforce.

Community Support

Where communities have a sponsored activity that can benefit from the participation of Mason professors and/or students we can assist in making your needs known to the Mason community of more than 34,000 people. There are often volunteers with specific interests ranging from bike paths and woodland trails to urban wildlife or clean water issues. Community health programs, learning in retirement and technology transfer and/or assistance with business development for small start-up activities are all examples of the activity that involves Mason personnel.

Please contact the Office of Corporate Outreach to discuss projects of this nature and we will endeavor to guide you in implementation of your project. Clearly the State does not fund us to invest in such projects but Mason will assist as it can by making opportunities for student and faculty volunteers known to the community.