A core mission of the AFIT Graduate School is to conduct cutting-edge research of significance to the United States Air Force, the Department of Defense, and other U.S. government agencies. These organizations are highly encouraged to engage AFIT about possibly sponsoring research to meet their future technology needs. Sponsoring organizations often propose research topics conducive to master’s or doctoral-level graduate work. The research is typically unclassified, but AFIT does have the capability to support classified research efforts.
Benefits of Being a Thesis Sponsor
An individual or organization who submits an idea for a thesis topic, provides research funding, or who otherwise endorses a student’s thesis topic, will be identified as the sponsor of the thesis if the topic proposal is selected (confidentiality may be requested). Identification as a sponsor does not necessarily imply financial sponsorship, although many projects require some resources not available at AFIT. The sponsor’s organization benefits from the use of AFIT student and faculty expertise to investigate solutions to current challenges. Sponsors receive a copy of the completed thesis, and typically report cost avoidance averaging over $100,000 per thesis. Briefings and/or other products, from the research activity such as computer code or empirical models may be provided to sponsors as appropriate. In the longer term, AFIT graduates return to operational billets with an in-depth understanding of the sponsoring organization’s challenges and methods of addressing those issues.
Thesis Topic Submission Process
If you are considering sponsoring AFIT research, you may contact a faculty member for research or related expertise, in the AFIT Faculty Directory, to identify potential areas of match between your requirements and AFIT capabilities. If you find a potential area for collaboration, then please contact the faculty member with related expertise directly to discuss your idea for a thesis topic. This discussion is essential because students may only select topics that are of appropriate difficulty and are sufficiently matched to faculty expertise. Thesis topic proposals are accepted continuously, but should be submitted by the fall quarter for timely consideration. Students typically select their thesis topics during the fall or winter quarter. Following topic selection, thesis research completion requires approximately 12-15 months. A formal thesis topic proposal may also be submitted by email.
For further inquiries:
Commercial: (937) 255-3633
DSN: (937) 785-3633