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The CIAWC aims to tap into Northeastern’s network of undergraduate and graduate students to help shed light on today’s global challenges.  The World Cultures Explainer series invites applicants to submit a clear and accurate account or brief history of a current issue/event related to a region of the world or a particular country.  Essays should be 2,000-2,500 words.  After a competitive selection process, authors of essays selected for publication 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. The deadline for submissions is May 6th, 2024.

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 Hamas?
  • What is the International Court of Justice?
  • Why is there an economic crisis in Venezuela?
  • What is Artificial Intelligence?
  • Who are Iran’s Revolutionary Guards?

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.