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AU Advanced Research Elective

AU Advanced Research Elective


Please watch the introductory video first: "Research Elective."
Also see a recent Air Force News Article discussing some of the impacts the Advanced Research Elective is having "AF Research Elective Article."

The Air University (AU) Advanced Research Elective is an opportunity for a selective group of students to conduct independent research on topics of strategic concern. This is a six and a half week elective requiring approximately 20-40 hours beyond SOS curriculum. Selected students are assigned mentor(s) who guide research efforts and define deliverables. Students researchers receive a bullet on their AF 475 Training Report. Student benefits include advanced study on exciting topics, networking with communities of interest throughout the research experience, and opportunity to shape the Air Force's future.

The specific challenges for the next class and application instructions are below.

*Note: the Think Tank elective is a separate program with a separate application process.  Please only apply to the one that interests you the most.  Both are rigorous efforts that will be noted on Training Reports (AF Form 475) and both will expose you to different areas of Air University. 


Research Topics for Class 20A

ACTS 2.0  - Develop and field current and future map capabilities for the operational community and longer-range strategic planning through new technologies and capabilities.

AF Maker Research  - Advance 3-D printing practice and tools under the mentorship of a leader in the additive manufacturing industry. Work with real AF customers to rapidly prototype deployable solutions.

Airpower Doctrine Wargaming (ADWAR) Development - Provide real world inputs and analysis of weapons and aircraft within ADWAR database to improve realism. Provide recommended interface improvements for a more intuitive user experience.

Augmented Reality App Development - Applied research to analyze previously identified use cases, focus on those that provide the best value for SOS students and develop the next prototype of an AR SOS app.

Grey Rhino independent Space Force  - Research a strategic topic of interest in partnership with the Schriever Scholars Program from the Air Command and Staff College to conduct individual research to help Space Horizons Research Task Force (RTF) requested by the National Security Council.

Mobility Air Forces (MAF) Sustainment & Operation in Contested Environments - Develop research-based solutions for problems sustaining and operating Mobility forces in contested environments for the larger Mobility Forces community, particularly Air Mobility Command and U.S. Transportation Command.

SOS Chat bot Development - Applied research to analyze previously identified uses for an AI chat bot to best support SOS students and develop a prototype demonstrating those uses.


Application Instructions

Applicants should download and complete the application found on Canvas.  After logging into Canvas select AU Advanced Research Elective, scroll to the bottom of the page and click SUBMIT HERE. 

Applications are due NLT 0730, ED-3.

The application includes a two part prompt no longer than 700 words.  Part A asks why you are interested in begin an AU Researcher and any special skills/knowledge you possess that makes you uniquely qualified for the program(s) you are interested in. Part B requires you answer a specific question related to the program(s) you are interested in.

Students will be informed of selection per the calendar on ED-5.

Thank you for your interest and begin to think strategically.

25 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112