February 2021 URCC Newsletter

The February 2021 start of the Spring Semester classes created Intersession, a time in January during which there were no classes, but a rich variety of activities for students. The URCC offered undergraduate programming and advising, including another session of the popular one-hour workshop, Research 101, our all-disciplines Apply for Summer Research Funding Workshop, and a Brandeis Undergraduate Researcher Alumni Panel. Spring Semester ushers in new events and programs. Read on to learn more about past and upcoming undergraduate research activities.

Warm wishes during this Winter Season,
Margaret Lynch, Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships 

Our Office:
The Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Office (URCC), launched in 2020, is a unit in the School of Arts & Sciences, led by Dean Dorothy Hodgson and Senior Associate Dean Wendy Cadge. Through a grant* from the Davis Educational Foundation, the URCC is building an infrastructure to support Brandeis undergraduates’ access to research and creative opportunities. For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships, Margaret Lynch, at margaretlynch@brandeis.edu.
*The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc.

In This Newsletter:

URCC Upcoming Events

Brandeis all-disciplines Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium

Save the Date for the first Brandeis all-disciplines Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium on April 30, 2021. This online event will provide a forum for undergraduates to present and share their research and creative projects to the Brandeis Community. The URCC thanks the Davis Educational Foundation for grant funding to support this event. 

URCC Past Events

Undergraduate Alumni Panel Discussion

Alumni who engaged in research and creative projects as Brandeis undergraduates shared how their experiences informed and impacted their current professional and career paths. Read more.

Funding Opportunities for Undergraduates

Application Workshops Coming Soon!

Summer 2021 Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Kahn Fellowship, and Schiff Undergraduate Fellows, 2021-2022

Thursday, February 11, 5:30-6:30 pm ET on Zoom with a Repeat of this workshop occurring Friday, February 19, 1-2pm ET on Zoom

See the Events page for more information, including registration details.

March 2nd Deadlines

New this year, Brandeis is making it easier for applicants to keep track of deadlines for research funding programs. Many internal (within Brandeis) grants and other applications are now aligning deadlines, and thus due dates for programs you have seen in the past may have changed.

The next major application deadline is Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Many of the programs with this due date fund research conducted over the summer. You can find a full list of all upcoming funding opportunities on the URCC website. Of particular note are the following grants sponsored by the URCC that fund projects across multiple disciplines.

Provost Undergraduate Research Fund (summer funding): Funding open to students from all disciplines with a Brandeis faculty sponsor to oversee their summer research project. A $5,000 stipend is awarded.

Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowships: Funding to perform an innovative research or pedagogical project together with a Brandeis faculty member primarily during the upcoming academic year (2021-2022), although projects can start in the summer. Current first-year, sophomore, and junior students can apply.

Jane Kahn '77 Undergraduate Research Fellowship: This fellowship will award up to 2 undergraduates a $5,000 stipend for summer research examining current and emerging issues in criminal justice reform and the rights of individuals with mental illness, disability, and socio-psychological factors frequently associated with incarceration.

Division of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs): Brandeis students (classes of ’22, ’23, ’24) who are working in a lab in the Division of Science at the time of application are eligible for a SURF. Each Fellow will receive $5000 in stipend support to do summer research (housing support is not included).

Many other funding opportunities are available for specific kinds of projects. For example, students conducting research related to Latin America or Latinx studies can apply for the Jane'’s Travel Grant. See the URCC funding opportunities page for a full list of these programs currently accepting applications.

  • A different option: Students can work as a paid hourly research assistant. Students can search for open student research assistant jobs opportunities in Workday. Students can apply to these positions as soon as they are posted, and jobs are posted throughout the year.
  • Students: Contact potential faculty research mentors as early as possible, and make sure to reach out at least several weeks in advance to request letters of recommendation or feedback on your applications.
  • Undergraduates interested in funding opportunities to support academic study (including scholarships) outside Brandeis, post-baccalaureate studies, and external grants can visit the Academic Fellowships website.

Student Funding Awarded

Congratulations to the recipients of the following funding opportunities!

Provost’s Senior Thesis Research Awards: Spring 2021

Recipients receive up to $250 for research expenses essential  for the completion of their seniors theses. We are glad to announce that this program is reopening for Spring semester and the deadline has been extended to February 23, 2021.

Wanchen Zhao, Psychology, Philosophy, & Neuroscience ‘21

Faculty Mentor: Angela Gutchess (Psychology)

The influence of culture on boundary extension: how culture and semantic consistency interact

Lauren Komer, Theater Arts ‘21

Faculty Mentor: Dmitry Troyanovsky (Theater Arts)

Lulu: Challenging the Portrayal of Female Sexuality and Ambition Onstage

Jane Kahn ‘77 Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awardees: Spring 2021

This fellowship is awarded to current Brandeis undergraduates whose research examines current and emerging issues in criminal justice reform and the rights of individuals with mental illness, disability, and socio-psychological factors frequently associated with incarceration.

Leah Fernandez, Psychology and Human Factors (IIM), ‘22

Faculty Mentor: Thomas Shapiro (Heller School for Social Policy and Management)

Investigating Educational Access for Incarcerated Juveniles with Disabilities in Massachusetts

Caroline O, English, American Studies, ‘22

Faculty Mentor: Rosalind Kabrhel (Legal Studies)

Podcasting and Theater as Diversionary Programs [in the juvenile justice system]

Graduate Researcher and Mentor Spotlight

A Conversation with Graduate Student, Mentor and Research Associate Zora Haque
In this edition of the URCC newsletter, we highlight the research and mentoring contributions of Zora Haque, a Research Associate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management who is also a graduate student in the Master of Public Policy Program. Read the full interview.

Alumni Spotlights

Current Brandeis Student Kristi Ho '22 interviewed two recent Brandeis alumni about their research experience at Brandeis and where they are now. Read the full interviews with Alana Hodson '19 and Talia Loeb '20 on the URCC Alumni Spotlight page

URCC Updates and Resources


URCC Pilots Faculty Research Assistant Program: The URCC is offering a competitive pilot faculty research assistant program which can support up to 10 undergraduate research assistants in Spring 2021. The URCC is currently accepting funding applications from faculty.


The Brandeis Library has staff and a wealth of resources to support undergraduates interested in research and creative inquiry. The Library has workshops for students at all stages in the research process, and many are one hour or less. Sign up now!

The SciComm lab offers workshops, coaching, and more to the Brandeis Science community.

See the URCC calendar for events of interest and research workshops, including the Library’s workshops series. Check back throughout the semester for upcoming events. 

For Faculty

Call for Mentoring Award Nominations

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Social Sciences Division awards a competitive Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Social Sciences (EMURSS) award.

The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2021.

For more information, eligibility criteria, and a link to the submission form visit the CUR webpage.