February 2022 Newsletter

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February 2022
Director's Message

The URCC recognizes and celebrates Black History Month. You can read about the groundbreaking and history-making contributions of 36 Black women scientists and physicians on this Association of Women Scientists web page. You can also view a list of upcoming events on the Brandeis DEIS Calendar and learn more on this Black History Month website.

For undergraduates who are interested in pursuing a research or creative project in the summer or during the upcoming academic year, many undergraduate research fellowship programs have deadlines in February or March. At Brandeis, a number of programs have an application deadline of March 2, 2022.

Read this newsletter for information on the many undergraduate research fellowships at Brandeis and beyond, URCC and Library workshops to help students with project development and applications, faculty-student academic partnerships, and Brandeis undergraduate researcher and creator stories. In this issue the URCC also shares plans for the Spring 2022 all-disciplines Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium.

With best wishes,

Margaret Lynch

Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships

In This Newsletter:

URCC Announcements

Call for Student Representatives: URCC Symposium Committee

The URCC seeks several undergraduates to serve on the 2022 URCC Symposium Group to help plan the event and offer their input and opinions. Meetings are on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:00 pm on Zoom from March 2 through the end of April.

If you are interested, please contact Margaret Lynch before February 28 and briefly explain why you would like to join the Group.

Spring 2022 URCC Symposium

The Spring 2022 Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium is scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, May 3, 2022 on campus in the Hassenfeld Conference Center. All undergraduates who have engaged in a research or creative project are encouraged to present, and all members of the Brandeis community are invited to attend.

For priority consideration, apply to present  by March 4

Apply to present!

Festival of the Arts: April 26-May 1, 2022

The Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts celebrates the abundant creativity of Brandeis students, faculty and staff, joined by distinguished guest artists.

The 2022 Festival of the Arts celebrates  BUOYANCY. 

Follow the Festival of the Arts on  Facebook and  Twitter for updates. And we're sharing our community's creative moments of music, visual art, and more every day on our Instagram account,  @CreateAtBrandeis

Research Funding for Students: Summer '22 and AY22-23 Fellowships

URCC Application

Do you want to apply for a summer research fellowship?

The URCC summer undergraduate research fellowships application is now open. The application deadline is March 2, 2022.

Need Help?

  • Register for the Apply for Summer Funding Workshop
  • Take a Library Research Skills Workshop
URCC workshop: Apply for Summer Funding Workshop

When:  Feb 11, 2022 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

This workshop is for students who are interested in applying for funding to support a faculty-mentored research or creative project in Summer 2022.

Students can learn about the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fellowship, David & Lola Swede P'89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies, the Jane Kahn '77 Undergraduate Research Fellowship for current and emerging issues in criminal justice reform, and more.

Register in advance for the URCC WorkshopAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The Brandeis Library offers these timely workshops to assist students in preparing their applications

Getting Started on Your Fellowship/Partner Research Project , Wednesday, February 16, noon - 1:00pm

Are you planning on applying to a fellowship or research project? This workshop is part of a “workshop pathway” for undergrads who are interested in research fellowships/projects. We will cover how to think about larger and longer research projects, helping the faculty member in their research, scope, and outlining needs. Get in some thinking before the fellowship deadlines in early March!

A long-term research project will benefit from keeping your citations organized! Register for a Zotero workshop to learn about citation management.  

Introduction to Zotero Online , Thursday, February 17, 10:00am - 11:20pm

Are you typing citations and bibliographies by hand? Having trouble keeping all your references organized? Why not try Zotero? Zotero is a free citation management tool that helps you stay organized, quickly format citations, and generate bibliographies for your research.

Highlighted Research Fellowships

Provost’s Undergraduate Research Summer 2022 Fellowships

  • $5,000 stipend

  • Applications are open to fund undergraduate research or creative projects for students conducting a project with the mentorship of a Brandeis faculty

  • Multiple Fellowships are available for students! In Summer 2021,  more than a dozen undergraduates received a Provost’s Summer 2021 Fellowship. In the Student Undergraduate Research Spotlight section of this newsletter, learn more about student researchers, their projects, and how they got involved.

Selected Discipline-Specific Fellowships

NEW Fellowship!
David & Lola Swede P'89 Research Fellowship for Jewish Studies: $5,000 Stipend for otherwise unpaid academic research projects on topics related to Judaism and/or the Jewish people. Projects from all disciplines are welcome from continuing Brandeis undergraduates.

Jane Kahn '77 Undergraduate Research Fellowship: $5,000 stipend for 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

Phoebe Rothman Giddon Brandeis Alumna Undergraduate Research Fellowship: Up to $5,000 awarded to Brandeis undergraduate students who have or are currently taking at least one course in the Brandeis Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Department and who, with the assistance and advice of a University Faculty member, propose to research health issues as they intersect with women’s, gender, and sexuality concerns.

The Lurie Institute Undergraduate Fellowship in Disability Policy provides an opportunity for Brandeis University undergraduate students with a strong interest in disability policy to develop research skills and expand their knowledge of disability policy. Undergraduate research fellowship applications are now open! Application information can be found on the Lurie Institute website and all materials are due by March 2. We highly encourage students with disabilities and students of color to apply for this research opportunity.


See All Brandeis Fellowships

Selected External Fellowship for BIPOC Students

McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA

McLean Mental Health Research Summer Program (scroll down the page to see this program)

McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA (4.5 miles from Brandeis) offers a 10-week  summer research experience in mental health to Black, Indigenous, and underrepresented people of color (BIPOC) interested in pursuing or exploring research. 

The program offers support so students may attend and present their work at a scientific conference, such as the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

Applications are due by  February 14, 2022.

External Research Opportunities

The URCC team has compiled listings of paid external undergraduate research opportunities.

Fellowship for AY22-23
Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowships: Funding to sophomores, juniors or seniors together with a faculty mentor to perform an innovative research or pedagogical project primarily during the upcoming academic year, although projects can start in the summer

Deadline to Apply: April 8, 2022. Applications will open in March.

Faculty-Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Mini marine archeological digs created by Dr. Gouge
Diving into maritime archaeology; working in the field by playing in the lab

Charlotte Goudge, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

In Fall 2021, Brandeis Anthropology undergraduates were given new lab-based opportunities to develop hands-on skills in maritime archaeology by working on mini-sites.

During the pandemic, field opportunities for students have become scarce. The epidemic has made it impossible to take students into the field or underwater, so students have had no opportunities to learn the vital technological and research skills required in archaeology.

Therefore, developing new strategies to provide practical, applied experience in archaeological methods and maritime archaeology became imperative. In response to this skills crisis, the Brandeis anthropology department has been working on developing new and innovative ways to teach practical archaeological methods on campus, introducing students to hands-on, functional techniques.

ANTH 124 Maritime Archaeology: The Salty Relationship Between Society and The Sea was developed with this in mind. Supported by funding from the Center for Teaching and Learning, over the summer; Dr. Charlie Goudge (Anthropology) built three confined, scale models of shipwreck sites to create a mini-research project for students to investigate. The sites, each consisting of a historically accurate shipwreck, local landscapes, and artifacts sunk in a transparent acrylic tank, were then sent to the Brandeis lab. Unfortunately, Dr. Goudge was, at the last moment, unable to teach this class in person due to COVID-19 related issues. However, with the help of PhD student Van Kollias, the TA, and wonderful Brandeis colleagues, the in-person lab classes continued. Read the full article!

Undergraduate Researcher and Creator Spotlights

Annabelle Fitch
Annabelle Fitch, '23

Interviews were conducted by Jahnavi Swamy, ‘22, the URCC undergraduate office assistant. Interviews have been edited for concision and clarity.

URCC: Can you tell us a little about your research project?

Annabelle: I am a psychology and neuroscience major, and so a lot of my research and my research interests really center on the brain. One of my primary research interests is looking into different trauma and anxiety disorders. When I entered the Howard lab [ James Howard, Assistant Professor of Psychology], I saw that there was a lot of equipment that would enable us to do behavioral studies with physiology measurements, and it also is a really unique lab in that they have a lot of breathing measuring equipment […] 

Seeing all this equipment [and] knowing my own interests, I looked into the research, and found that there were certain breathing patterns that were associated with more anxiety and panic and that other nasal breathing patterns, conversely, were associated with slowing these hippocampal and amygdala responses. I’m looking not at fear or trauma acquisition, but at the extinction  of the behavioral and emotional responses to trauma in relation to these breathing patterns.

URCC: What sparked your interest in this field, and did you have any projects prior to this one?

Annabelle: I don't really think I had a ton of background coming into this […] I was a mid-year student [when] the pandemic started, so I was never able to do any research until I entered the Howard lab in late spring of my sophomore year. But my dad is a school counseling psychologist, and my mother works in a psychiatric hospital as a psych nurse, so I’d always had all these materials around different books regarding psychology and neuroscience that I would just read and be so fascinated [...] in this sort of anxiety and trauma realm of psychology and neuroscience.

URCC: From whom did you receive mentoring and guidance?

: My psychology advisor is Dr. Margie Lachman and my research advisor is  Dr. James Howard.

Read more of our interview with Annabelle!

Jason Frank
Jason Walter, '23

URCC: Can you tell me about the questions you're exploring for your research project?

Jason: My research for the summer was with Professor  Kerry Chase in the Politics Department and mainly about the Kosovo war in 1999 where NATO launched an intervention to stop genocide outside of the UN […] and this is notable because […] NATO had previously acted within the UN.

In this case, they chose to go outside [and] beyond. How did that happen? What diplomacy made it possible? And what was essentially the role of the UN in this? How did they view the UN? I always struggle to concisely summarize it. Essentially, how was the intervention successful without the UN and how do they reach a diplomatic solution that was really accepted while still remaining outside the UN?

URCC: What sparked your interest in this particular research area and did you have  any prior research projects?

Jason: This research project stemmed from a term paper that I wrote for Professor Chase’s class on the same subject. In the Fall of 2020 I took the class called The United Nations and the United States with Professor Chase. The [assignment for the] term paper was to write about an instance of UN action that the US was involved in or something close to that; but the point is to design your own research question about this case and do your own research to support that, and so I wrote mine about the Kosovo war […] I wrote a paper arguing that NATO had sort of legitimated directions in the eyes of the world without use of the UN. Then Professor Chase later came back to me after I wrote that paper and said this connects to a lot of current publications in political science, so we can do some research on this, if you like. So that's what sparked my interest in this, it stemmed from a paper I wrote in his class.

And then did I engage in any research projects before this? Yes, in the summer of 2020 actually through fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021 I was working on a project with Professor Kogan who used to be a professor at the Heller school about the Cuban missile crisis...  Read more of our interview with Jason!

BIPOC Creator Grants

The URCC thanks Brandeis Arts Engagement in the Division of Creative Arts for offering these grants.

In fall 2021, 11 Brandeis undergraduates received BIPOC Creator grants to support creative work that amplifies the voices of BIPOC people. Here are short profiles of two recipients, Alaysia Penso ‘23 and Jacob Krah ‘23.

Alaysia, a theater arts and politics double major with a philosophy minor, used her grant to cover the cost of travel to work as an extra on a professional feature film, a biopic about Whitney Houston, being shot outside Boston.. At Brandeis, she most recently performed in the Department of Theater Arts production of IN THE EMPTY.

Jacob is a STEM Posse Scholar and a chemical biology major with a minor in Creativity, Arts and Social Transformation. In summer 2021, he began work on an independent project called the Stained Glass Show, a series of music performance videos dedicated to inspiring a search for healing and for community. A Remis Summer Study grant enabled Jacob to purchase recording equipment, but completing the project was delayed because of limited access to video editing software. The BIPOC Creator Grant paid for a year's membership to Adobe Creative Suite.

Marginalized students often lack access to resources such as studio space, mentorship, subsidized private music lessons, exhibition opportunities, printing technology, and so forth. In June 2020, the Division of Creative Arts publicly stated its support of BIPOC students’ opportunities to engage with and learn from the arts.

Arts Engagement BIPOC Creator grants support Brandeis undergraduates whose creative work amplifies the voices of BIPOC people. The grants of up to $250 may be used for resources such as equipment, materials, studio time, lessons, workshops and so forth for creative arts disciplines such as (but not limited to) music, photography, curating, filmmaking, design, poetry, spoken word, etc.

Guidelines and the application form are on the Arts Engagement website. Questions? Please contact Ingrid Schorr, director of arts engagement.

Undergraduate Publication and Presentation Opportunities

Do you have a paper or project of which you're particularly proud? We've compiled a database of peer-reviewed journals which publish undergraduate research from across all disciplines. Getting your research out there can be a great way to build your resume, connect with peers and faculty who are interested in your topic, and show off your hard work. You can check out the database here. Be sure to check back frequently, as new journals and new deadlines are being added all the time.
Conference Presentation Travel Award for Arts and Humanities Undergraduates
The Trimmer Travel Fund Award, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), supports arts and humanities undergraduate scholars in presenting their research at professional meetings. The winner will receive an award of $1000.00 and recognition through CUR's media outlets and/or notifications through appropriate higher education publications.

This award is supported by the CUR Arts and Humanities Endowment. Please submit all application materials by March 15, 2022. For questions or additional information about the Trimmer Travel Fund Award, please contact Lindsay Currie.