Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations

David & Lola Swede P'89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies

This fellowship was created in 2021 by Marci J. Swede ’89, PhD in memory of her parents David and Lola Swede P’89, both Holocaust survivors from Lodz, Poland. David and Lola Swede dedicated their lives to Holocaust education, supporting Israel, the values of Tikkun Olam, and had a chief mission in life to make sure that the Holocaust was never forgotten.

collage of several Swede family photos

Photos of David & Lola Swede P’89, including their first Rosh Hashana card (left), and the two of them in Hamburg, Germany, shortly after they were married (right).

After the war, David and Lola emigrated to Israel where David served as a captain in the Israeli Army after the war, stationed near Yad Mordechai. Later, they emigrated to Buffalo, New York, to raise their family of four daughters, Renata, Helen, Sari and Marci. He and his wife Lola founded and managed two successful businesses. Lola became the founding president of the Ima Club, a philanthropic organization of Holocaust survivors raising funds for those, who like her, were Jewish war orphans. Lola served as Hadassah Chapter President in Buffalo, and later received the Israel Leadership Award from the Israel Bond Program in Buffalo. In 1984, Lola was part of the Buffalo delegation to the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Washington, DC.

Throughout her life, Lola spoke about her experiences living through the Holocaust, including her own contribution of an oral history interview to Stephen Spielberg’s Shoah Institute and the Holocaust Resource Center in Buffalo, now archived at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Through their example and their words, David and Lola worked in partnership to build a better world and taught “that if goodness is not present, you have the power and obligation to create it for yourself and others.” This fellowship seeks to inspire the next generation to continue the work to which David and Lola Swede dedicated their lives. 


Application Deadline for Summer 2024 Fellowships

Apply here for the Summer 2024 David & Lola Swede P'89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies.

Applications are due by Wednesday, March  13, 2024 at 6 PM ET. 

Students are invited to apply for the David & Lola Swede P’89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies. This fund provides a student with a $5,000 stipend for otherwise unpaid academic research projects on topics related to Judaism and/or the Jewish people. 

Students are required to fill out an I-9 in order to receive the stipend. International Students are encouraged to review the steps for beginning on-campus employment found on the International Students and Scholars Office website. 

How to Apply

Your completed application should contain the following:
  • Student applicant information
  • Transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • One-page resume that highlights your qualifications to conduct this research
  • Research proposal (2,000 words or fewer, excluding reference list)
    • Organize your proposal as follows:
      • Project summary (a 250-word overview of your proposed project)
      • Background and introduction to the research or creative topic and project, 
      • Project aims and goals (specify exactly what you plan to do), 
      • Methods or approach (how you plan to do it), 
      • Project output, outcomes and deliverables
      • Project timeline (outline what you will work on and when)
      • Project significance and impact
      • References cited (recommended if standard in the research area)
  • Contingency plan
    • If your project involves travel, field- or laboratory-based research, in-person human or animal research, or in-person group studio-based projects or performances, please submit a brief contingency research plan in the event that travel and research restrictions are in effect in Summer 2024 for the location of your project.
  • Mentoring plan
    • How often will you meet with your faculty mentor over the summer?
    • Will you be able to attend group research meetings or communicate with other researchers or creative professionals in your field of interest?
    • What type of training will your mentor provide (either directly or by referral to other people or resources)?
  • Students should direct their faculty mentors to submit their letter of recommendation via the Faculty Letter of Recommendation Form (Brandeis email required to access).
  • Fellowship awardees will be required to submit a project summary at the end of the summer and present their research to the Brandeis community at the URCC Symposium.

If you have general questions or want to discuss your application, contact Margaret Lynch, director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships.


Congratulations to the David & Lola Swede P'89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies recipients: 
Academic Year 2023-24 Recipient
Matt Shapiro '24
  • Major: Politics, Psychology 

  • Title: "The Role of Past Memory in the Formation of National Identity"

  • Faculty mentor: Kristen Lucken

Summer 2023 Recipient

Micah Heilbron '24

  • Major: NEJS, Education Studies

  • Title: "Melech David and Morah Steiner: Teaching Psalms through a Waldorf Lens"

  • Faculty mentor: Ziva Hassenfeld

Summer 2022 Recipient

Yael Perlman '23

  • Major: Politics
  • Title: "Senior Thesis — Israeli National Identity: A Study Through the Lens of Immigration"
  • Faculty mentor: Eva Bellin