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The CIAWC aims to tap into Northeastern’s network of undergraduate and graduate students to help readers understand today’s global challenges by giving a brief history of a current issue/event related to a region of the world or a particular country. The World Explainer series program allows applicants to put their academic expertise to the test by converting it into short and accurate stories without conducting significant research. Applicants are invited to submit 2,000-2,500 word explainers or backgrounders analyzing a particular issue/event in the global sphere. Winners will receive a gift card.  

2023-2024 World Explainers

Interested in participating? How to apply:

Students should submit their world explainers to their professors. The professor will then select the top three papers to be submitted to the CIAWC. The CIAWC will also vet the papers and select from the ones that were sent. The selected winners’ papers will be featured on our website along with their picture and brief biography.

What We Want

The CIAWC invites submissions from current undergraduate students and master’s students studying in any field or major at Northeastern University.

Please refer to the Center’s list of potential topics, or feel free to submit your own.


  • What is the Iran Nuclear deal?
  • How the U.S. Patrols its Borders
  • What is the UN General Assembly?
  • Robots and Artificial Intelligence- How Artificial Intelligence Could Change the World
  • What does the World Health Organization Do?
  • Why is Lebanon in an Economic Crisis?

Style Guide for CIAWC Papers

  • Each submission should start with a brief executive summary (3-5 sentences) that clearly states the problem being evaluated and the solution being offered.  
  • Each submission should have a title.  
  • Each submission should be formatted with 12-point font, basic margins. Other than student name, all other personal information should be removed. Faculty names/course numbers are OK (per instructor approval). 
  • See call for papers for specific word counts. 
  • Papers should be well-edited; all relevant materials appropriately cited.  
  • We may ask that winning essays be edited or reformatted to fit CIAWC website needs. Students will also be asked to submit a photo and brief bio.