National and Global Research

Discover new frontiers in visual learning, technology, neuroscience and more.

As the world’s only university designed for deaf and hard of hearing students, Gallaudet University leads global advances in research and education. Undergraduate students have unparalleled opportunities to collaborate with faculty whose research is changing lives throughout the world.

Here you will find brief descriptions of major research centers at Gallaudet. Visit their sites or the Research Support site for details on projects, funding and resources.

Explore our majors and graduate programs for more information on research opportunities in specific fields.


National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2)

VL2 is an international center at Gallaudet that explores visual learning and applies research findings to develop advanced educational techniques and technology. It includes BL2 and ML2 (descriptions below) as well as the Early Education Literacy Lab (EL2) and the Translation for the Science of Language and Learning Lab (TL2).

Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2)

The research team at BL2 uses some of the world’s most advanced experimental equipment, such as functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging, to advance knowledge and help improve deaf education around the world. Internships in BL2 enable students to become certified in operating fNIRS. Director Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto has lectured throughout the world and been featured in leading media publications.

Motion Light Lab (ML2)

The newest hub of VL2, the Motion Light Lab uses motion capture technology to create bilingual learning tools in American Sign Language. See the NPR article

Technology Access Program (TAP)

TAP advances technologies that serve individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. A recent $4.7 million federal grant is supporting projects to develop online rehabilitation and training technologies for individuals with cochlear implants and hearing devices.

Molecular Genetics Laboratory

The $1.2 million Molecular Genetics Laboratory sponsors undergraduate research, for course credit or through paid summer internship opportunities. Projects cover congenital deafness, ecology and cancer research.


A few examples of undergraduate research possibilities:

Explore sign language in Brazil.
Test whether face-to-face or virtual meetings are more productive.
Improve the power of cochlear implants