The Global Understanding Research Initiative (GURI) focuses on the impact of globalization, the ubiquity of communication technologies connecting diverse populations, and the growing movement of people across national borders.

The GURI stimulates interdisciplinary collaborations that transcend disciplinary and geographic boundaries, and focuses on solutions to problems of global concern. Those faculty working in this area represent several colleges, including the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, the College of Architecture & Environmental Design, the College of the Arts, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the College of Communication & Information, the College of Education, Health & Human Services, the College of Nursing, the College of Podiatric Medicine, and the College of Public Health. Collaborative research teams investigate a range of topics, including intergroup relations; social, national, and cultural identities; intercultural communication and relations; conflict mitigation; global development and sustainability; the role of (and controls on) the media in a global information society; group marginalization; and issues related to refugee crises and mass movements of people.