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Undergraduate Research Initiative

The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) encourages undergraduate students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities to carry out research and other creative activities in collaboration with, or under the close supervision of, faculty members with relevant research expertise. With the support of this fund, the College aims to help undergraduate students develop or enhance research competencies, including formulating research questions, developing a theoretical framework, defining the scope of a project and writing a proposal, developing a literature review, collecting data, conducting analysis, and writing up results.

Many exciting NULab projects are able to support URI grants; here are some of the projects currently accepting proposals:

The Early Caribbean Digital Archive

The Early Caribbean Digital Archive is a digital project hosted through Northeastern’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. The ECDA has two primary related, overarching goals: the first is to uncover and make accessible a literary history of the Caribbean written or related by black, enslaved, creole, and/or colonized people. Although the first step in this process is through digitization, the ECDA is motivated by more than a digitization or cataloging initiative. Instead, the project will enable users—both scholars in the interdisciplinary study of the Caribbean as well as undergraduate and graduate students—to view the materials as networks of related texts. One of the ways undergraduate students can take part in this collaborative effort is by authoring scholarly introductions, or short critical editions, that will be published on the project’s archive page. More information on the ECDA can be found at: Or, contact us at ecda.project[at]gmail[dot]com.


Through a unique combination of network analytics and critical readings of tweet texts, #HashtagActivism: Networked Counterpublics in the Digital Age examines how and why Twitter hashtags have become an important platform for historically disenfranchised populations to advance counter-narratives and advocate for social change. We contend that members of these marginalized groups, in the tradition of counterpublics, are using Twitter hashtags to build diverse networks of dissent and shape the cultural and political knowledge fundamental to contemporary identity-based social movements. Student researchers would create a web-based timeline of relevant hashtags and research hashtags of their own. Students will build a dynamic digital platform to house this data in an interactive way. Please email Dr. Moya Bailey at m.bailey[at]northeastern[dot]edu with a brief description of your relevant experiences and an outline of your interests in working with the project. This project is led by Dr. Sarah Jackson, Dr. Moya Bailey, and Dr. Brooke Foucault Wells

The Viral Texts Project

The Viral Texts project seeks to develop theoretical models that will help scholars better understand what qualities—both textual and thematic—helped particular news stories, short fiction, and poetry “go viral” in nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines. In the Viral Texts project, we’re asking: What texts were reprinted and why? How did ideas—literary, political, scientific, economic, religious—circulate in the public sphere and achieve critical force among audiences? By employing and developing computational linguistics tools to analyze the large textual databases of nineteenth-century newspapers newly available to scholars, this project will generate new knowledge of the nineteenth-century print public sphere.

There are a range of possible responsibilities for undergraduates at the Viral Texts project, depending on students’ backgrounds and proficiencies. These would include: data preparation and/or cleaning, historical research into topics of reprinted newspaper articles, or tracing variations. For more on The Viral Texts Project, look here. If interested contact Prof. Cordell at r.cordell[at]northeastern[dot]edu. 

The Women Writers Project

The Women Writers Project, a long-standing research and publication project focused on early women’s writing, welcomes participation from undergraduate researchers with interests in literary scholarship, historical research, women’s writing, digital archives, and the growing field of the digital humanities. Undergraduate research assistants might undertake bibliographic or historical research projects, work on editing and publishing articles for the WWP’s blog and our Women Writers in Context series, or help develop new ways of experimenting with early women’s texts for our WWO Lab. If you would like to get involved with the WWP, please send a message to wwp[at]northeastern[dot]edu with a brief description of your relevant experiences and an outline of your interests in working with the project.

If you’re interested in working on a project and don’t see it here, email sa.connell[at]northeastern[dot]edu.

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Research Projects