Summer Research Opportunities with Columbia Faculty

Thank you for your interest! Applications for Summer 2023 are now closed, and projects are not accepting new applicants.

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URF) offers various funding awards to support Columbia students interested in engaging in full-time research over the summer. While students may develop their own independent research projects, URF welcomes the opportunity to connect students with faculty members who are interested in having an undergraduate researcher contribute to a specific research project of their own.

Through this collaboration, undergraduate researchers have the opportunity to engage in research activities in a specific academic discipline allowing them to learn firsthand about what academic research entails. They will also have the opportunity to develop relationships with experts in their field, enriching their undergraduate experience while allowing them to consider academic goals and postgraduate careers.


Review the list of opportunities below, taking note of any requirements, and then apply for one of the following summer funding awards through URF. Don't see something of interest to you? Check back! URF adds to this list as new opportunities are made available. (Please note the instructions below before starting your application!)

*Please note that these opportunities are only available to Columbia University students.


  • All research opportunities are full-time, in person, on campus, and are six weeks in duration, coinciding with Summer Session A (unless otherwise indicated). Participation in a faculty research project is not compatible with taking courses, working at another job, or volunteering;
  • In your application, please list the title of the project you are seeking to contribute to; explain why you are interested in this project, and describe any past experience you believe relevant to your candidacy. In an effort save faculty inboxes, please do not reach out to faculty directly. We will share your applications with the faculty member connected to the project of interest, and we will be in touch with you regarding the status of your application;
  • Students may only apply to ONE faculty project, and students must apply through URF. Please do not attempt to contact the faculty member directly; if you have questions, e-mail


The Critical Studies in Harm Reduction History Project

  • Department: History, Sociomedical Sciences, and African-American & African Diaspora Studies
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This project concerns itself with the historical analysis of certain events (1950s-1990s) in the United States, including drug policy, the War on Drugs, and mass incarceration; health policy; medical, public health, and structural racism; medico-racial constructions of addiction; addiction/substance use disorder treatment and recovery policy politics; health justice activism; HIV/AIDS and HCV education and prevention; medically assisted treatment (MAT), including methadone maintenance and buprenorphine
    syringe/needle exchange programs (SEPs/NEPs); decriminalization politics.
  • Primary Duties: Student researchers will have the opportunity to do digital archival research toward building an online repository and exhibition offering interpretive essays, images, video, audio, oral histories, primary sources, and a historical atlas. Each student researcher will receive training and supervision in
    digital archive research; writing short interpretive essays (similar to encyclopedia entries); possible coordination with internal and external partners, including the Columbia Libraries’ Digital Scholarship office and members of the National Black Harm Reduction Network.
  • Requirements: Task management and planning, and conscientious attention to detail; writing ability; experience in the use of various online research tools and databases (i.e. JSTOR, EBSCO, ProQuest, Wilson, etc.); academic experience in African-American or Latinx history, or in public health studies
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Lovebirds: Avian Erotic Entanglements in Medieval French Literature

  • Department: French
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This project is about the way in which birds, rather than being mere “symbols” of love, actually contributed to the human experience of eroticism in medieval French literature. For instance, human love songs were modeled formally on bird songs. Birds also provided the model for erotic desire and pleasure, according to the medieval composers who write about them. My main research question, at the moment, is the following: were the writers in my corpus actually attentive to the bird species around them (and to their songs and behaviors) or did they rely primarily on longstanding associations (such as the nightingale with love)?
  • Primary Duties: Depending on area of expertise/interest, the student could work in one or more of three areas: 1) Researching the formal structure of birdsong—especially the songs of the species actually present in medieval France—and trying to find similarities in the melodic structure of human love songs from that region; 2) Researching the actual bird species present in medieval France (this could, for instance, involve reading work by archeologists, paleobotanists, etc.); 3) Making a catalogue of the birds mentioned in medieval love poetry including place of composition and date. The student will then analyze statistical patterns. This will involve reading modern translations. Primary Duties depend on which of the three threads outlined above the student chooses to pursue but the first two tracks would involve reading research by ornithologists, archeologists, paleobotanists, etc.
  • Requirements: reading knowledge of modern French highly desirable. Reading knowledge of German and/or Italian also desirable but less critical. Some background in music, if option 1 is requested, will be necessary.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

American Diva Project​

  • Department: Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER)
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This research relates to a book project that will chronicle the impact of divas on American culture in the decades from the civil rights era to the Obama era. Part critical reflection and lyric essay, part memoir and manifesto, part elegy and ode, the book explores how divas have shaped our thinking about feminism, free market principles, and freedom struggles during the last 50 years.
  • Primary Duties: Primary duties include conducting and organizing preliminary research on the role “divas” play in representations and marketing of girl culture during the last 20 years.
  • Requirements: Interest in the topic.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

The Justice Lab Internship Program​

  • Department: The Justice Lab: The Columbia Justice Lab seeks to foundationally reconceive justice policy through actionable research, community-centered policy development, and the sustained engagement of diverse constituencies. We envision a community-centered future of justice in which healing and resiliency, rather than surveillance and punishment, are used to address social problems rooted in racial and economic inequity. The Lab conducts path breaking research on incarceration, prisoner reentry, youth development, community safety, and racial justice.
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: The Justice Lab will welcome 5-10 interns for Summer 2023; this is a 10-week commitment. Each summer intern will work on one of the Justice Lab’s five projects, and participate in professional development and learning activities created specifically for the intern cohort. The interns will also have opportunities to learn from various members of the Lab, both individually and as a cohort.

    Interested students should apply through the URF website. Please do not reach out to the Justice Lab directly. Those selected will be assigned to projects during the interview and selection process based on alignment of skills and interests. Projects seeking summer interns are: the Square One Project, Youth Justice Initiatives, Probation and Parole Reform, Emerging Adult Justice, and the Lab’s research-specific work.
  • Primary Duties:

    Students will work on initiatives within the project to which they’re assigned. The Lab aims to provide students with substantive experience in the justice space by asking students to contribute to the research, drafting, editing, event planning, and outreach of our projects.

    Examples of initiatives that students will be assigned to include:

    · Less is More townhall planning and paper drafting

    · Development of the Square One Project’s Reimagining Justice Locally

    · Contributing to newly developed research initiatives within the Square One Project

    · Supporting with outreach, material development, and event planning for Square One’s National Collaborative on Reckoning and Justice initiative

    · Research, literature reviews, and editing for the Emerging Adult Justice project

    · Supporting Bruce Western and his research team on new and ongoing projects

    · Contributing to the Youth Justice Initiatives site work and narrative change initiatives

  • Requirements:

    Knowledge of, or interest in, criminal justice and social justice reform.

    · Excellent organizational skills with particular ability to prioritize work in an environment with multiple interests and activities.

    · Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

    · Excellent written communication skills - Candidates are expected to work well in a team and effectively communicate the results of their research/work orally and in writing.

    · Competency using a variety of computer software programs including word processing, spreadsheets, and/or databases.

    · Some knowledge of criminal justice laws and policies desirable.

    · Working knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods and experience writing research reports desirable.

    · Candidates with prior experience with criminal justice histories or lived experience relating to criminal justice are encouraged to apply

  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 10 weeks

Women in World Film History Database Research​

  • Department: Film
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Online and archival research on women writers, actresses, and producers instrumental in founding international film industries in years 1910 - 1920, with emphasis on diversity – Early African American as well as U.S. immigrant women and national industries: China, Germany, Russia, France, Brazil, Mexico, for example.
  • Primary Duties: Photographic research online, writing press releases & descriptions of key figures & films, digitizing moving image clips, scanning and uploading images and documents. Students are building online database, the Columbia Libraries Women Film Pioneers Project:, drawing from a source for already scanned documents such as fan magazines and historical newspapers, the massive Digital History Media Project, now in 8 languages: Research individuated as students can concentrate on select historical figures whose careers will be illustrated with historical still and moving images on website or connect with international scholar to develop video essays on the model of the “Projections” feature of the Women Film Pioneers Project.
  • Requirements: English, History, Journalism, Film and Media, Computer Science majors preferred. Background in web design a plus, writing skills essential.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Studying the effect of prior knowledge on prediction and memory using a board game​

  • Department: Psychology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: When we experience an everyday event, such as going to a restaurant, we often have a sense of what is happening and what will happen next. We can draw on our prior knowledge (called a "schema"), which is built through repeated experiences and plays an important role in how we perceive and remember events. In this project we will have participants play a board game to understand how a complex and novel schema influences memory, using functional MRI, eye-tracking, behavior, and computational modeling.
  • Primary Duties: The student's responsibilities will include participant recruitment and scheduling, independent behavioral data collection with eye-tracking, and assisting with fMRI data collection. Additionally, if interested, the student can also be involved in data analysis and computational modeling.
  • Requirements: Excellent communication and organizational skills are essential. No particular background is necessary, though some knowledge of statistics and/or basic programming would be helpful for analyzing data.
  • Time commitment: 40 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Portuguese Labor Migrants to Angola​

  • Department: Anthropology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This research project is to study the phenomenon of labor migration from Portugal to Angola in the wake of, and post-period to, the 2008 financial crisis. Between the years of 2010 and the present between 200 000 and 250 000 Portuguese young professionals migrated to Angola attracted by the country’s oil boom (2011-2014). This is by far the highest number of migrants moving from a former European colonial power to a former African colony. This massive return to Angola by citizens of Portugal, in a moment of economic breakdown, unsettles the dominant trend in migration studies by shifting the geo-direction in flows from Global north to Global south.
  • Primary Duties: The student will interview Portuguese labor migrants to Angola, record, and transcribe interviews concentrated in the city of Lisbon. The student would do digital ethnography which migrant Portuguese and Angolans use as a platform of exchange of/for information concerning various aspects related to ongoing flows between Portugal and Angola.
  • Requirements: Speaking ability in Portuguese is preferable but not required. The student should have a background in anthropology, sociology or political economy.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Novel Si detectors for dark matter research

  • Department: Physics
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: The GAPS (General Antiparticle Spectrometer) Antarctic flight program aims to deliver a first-time detection of cosmic antideuterons, an essentially background-free signature of new physics, as well as a precision antiproton spectrum in an unexplored low-energy (<0.25 GeV/n) region and leading sensitivity to cosmic antihelium. The heart of the GAPS instrument is a large-acceptance silicon detector system. Establishing low-cost fabrication methods for these novel Si detectors, using on-campus facilities, will expand the sensitivity of GAPS for future flights.
  • Primary Duties: The student researcher will work with a team to establish a facility for Si detector manufacture on Columbia campus. This involves design and construction of thermal/vacuum and ultrasonic machining systems, as well as training in acid bench, profilometry, and metal deposition techniques in the Columbia nano lab.
  • Requirements: An interest in construction, design, or fabrication.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Visual mental imagery: an English-language assessment battery for different perceptual and imagery domains

  • Department: Psychology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Do visual mental imagery (VMI) and visual perception share common cognitive mechanisms when processing domain-specific information? To address this question, we created an updated English version of the French enhanced Imagery and Perception battery (eBIP). We present preliminary results from healthy participants (n = 14) comparing domains of imagery and perception. Method: We used Psychopy to build a test battery consisting of four blocks: Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ), Imagery, Perception, Abstract words. VVIQ estimated the subjective vividness of VMI. The imagery and perception blocks included 5 domains each: color, shape, maps, faces, letters. Imagery items are auditorily presented while perception items are audio-visually presented. Abstract words are presented auditorily as control stimuli, not requiring imaginal or visual processing. Data Analysis: Non-parametric correlation analyses on accuracy and response time (RT) between imagery and perception were estimated.
  • Primary Duties: The student would be responsible for data acquisition, analysis, and manuscript writing.
  • Requirements: Experience with the software programs PsychoPy and R.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Investigating the Effect of Mental Rotation on Bistable Motion Perception​

  • Department: Psychology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Mental rotation is the process of using visual mental imagery to manipulate an imagined item into a different mental position. Mental rotation is a widely studied aspect of visuospatial mental imagery, but its effects on perception of visual motion (e.g., perceiving a wheel rotating) are debated. Visual motion perception can be closely examined using bistable stimuli that can be interpreted as moving in either of two directions. We will introduce an experimental paradigm to study the effect of mental rotation on subsequent visual perception of a bistable rotating circle. The task requires to perform a mental rotation of an item in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (T1), and then indicate the direction of motion of a bistable rotating circle (T2).
  • Primary Duties: The student would be responsible for data collection, acquisition, plotting, and manuscript writing.
  • Requirements: Experience with the software programs PsychoPy and R.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Cueing Spatial Attention Within Visual Mental Imagery and Perception​

  • Department: Psychology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Is it possible to cue spatial attention within visual mental imagery? We will test this relationship against well-known effects in visual perception, by presenting 7-letter target words (750ms), containing a letter that protruded above or below an imagined number line (e.g., the letter “g” in manager). In each trial, participants (n=10) explored the target word presented on the screen (visual word) or imagined (auditory word). A 500ms number cue (either visual or auditory/imagined) preceded the target word by 400ms, spatially orienting participants towards one of the letters. Valid cues (56 trials) oriented towards the protruding letter, while invalid cues oriented away from that letter (16 trials). A center cue (16 trials) drew participants’ attention towards the 4th letter in the word, providing temporal but not spatial information. We conducted a 3-way repeated measures ANOVA with cue modality (visual, imagined), target modality (visual, imagined), and cue validity (valid, invalid, center) as factors.
  • Primary Duties: The student would be responsible for data collection, analysis, and manuscript writing.
  • Requirements: Experience with the software programs PsychoPy and R.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Precision: Developing a Novel Parameter that Quantifies Performance on Random Dot Kinematograms

  • Department: Psychology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Global pooling is the process of inferring a direction from individual moving parts, and is studied using random dot kinematograms (RDKs), a paradigm requiring participants to report the majority direction (e.g., leftward or rightward) of moving dots. Performance is analyzed across coherence levels (i.e., percentage of dots moving in a single direction) with higher values associated with better performance. Yet, previous results are inconsistent, especially when comparing performance between groups, possibly due to lack of sensitive measures previously used (e.g., accuracy). We want to introduce a new measure of performance: Precision, defined as the standard deviation of angle difference within correct answers. This parameter derives from discrete global pooling models, and could be interpreted alongside traditional performance parameters.
  • Primary Duties: The student would be responsible for data collection and analysis of acquired data, plotting, and manuscript writing.
  • Requirements: Experience with the software programs PsychoPy and R.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Research on American Public Opinion

  • Department: Political Science
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: In this research project students will do research on trends in public opinion and their causes and possible political consequences in the United States. The motivation for this is the role of public opinion and political behavior more broadly as they bear on the workings of American democracy. It will introduce students to important theoretical and empirical aspects of public opinion and opinion change, focusing their contemporary history, their causes, and their possible consequences. The assigned readings and those tailored to each student’s research will focus on individual and aggregate level public opinion in the United States as measured through national public opinion surveys (polling).
  • Primary Duties:

    Two short research papers are required: (Paper 1) A descriptive historical research paper tracking over time public opinion based on opinion survey data concerning a political or public policy issue or topic of the student’s choosing. The paper should be modelled in the format and style of articles appearing in ‘The Polls—Trends” section of the journal Public Opinion Quarterly. The goal is a manuscript possibly suitable to submission for review for publication in POQ. (Paper of 8 pages or more plus tables and figures/graphs).(Paper 2) One of the following types of papers, including a brief literature review (A) A research paper examining statistically, using multivariate analysis, the possible influences on individuals’ opinions concerning any national political or policy issue or topic during any time period for which cross-sectional or panel data are available. This can be the related to the topic of Paper 1 or another issue of interest. (B) A research paper examining statistically, using multivariate time series analysis, the causes and/or consequences of national opinion trends for any national political or policy issue or topic. This can be related to the topic in Paper 1 or another issue of interest. (C) A paper that builds on Paper 1 or on a different political or public policy issue or topic, focusing on demographic and/or other subgroup differences and changes in opinion over time. (D) Or an alternative research paper to be approved. (Paper of 8-12 pages or more of text, not counting tables, graphs, references/bibliography, etc.)

    For research on trends in public opinion, a primary data resource is the archive of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, using the “iPOLL” online search facility, which is available through the Columbia Library. Other online sources available through Columbia are the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and “Polling the Nation.” Publicaly available online sources include the polling archive at the Odum Institute of the University of North Carolina, and websites of major polling organizations such as the Pew Research Center, Gallup, news media organizations, and others. Survey data sets that are readily available include the American National Election Study (ANES) surveys, NORC General Social Surveys (GSS), and recent U.S. exit polls (National Election Pool, NEP); several years of these data are available through all the CUIT computer labs on campus. Others are available through the Digital Social Science Center (DSSC), whose consultants and computer facilities are located on the second floor of Lehman Library/International Affairs Building.

  • Requirements: A preference for students who have taken a course or courses on quantitative research methods, or who have some familiarity with quantitative research skills.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks.

Digital Humanities Project: Exploring the Work of Anthropologist Michael Gilsenan

  • Department: Anthropology and Middle East Studies
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Several faculty in anthropology are building a website together about Professor Michael Gilsenan, a distinguished and wonderful anthropologist and historian of the Arab and Muslim worlds whose research has been conducted over five decades in Egypt, Lebanon, and more recently, Singapore and Indonesia on the colonial history of Yemeni Arab families that moved to Southeast Asia. We have recorded 13 interviews with him about his life and work, along with a diverse group of prominent Middle East and Southeast Asian anthropologists and historians (and even scholars of music). We want to edit the recordings and the transcriptions of the recordings for inclusion on a website we have built. The research work involves listening to the recordings to make podcasts and helping to roughly edit the transcriptions for a future e-publication. The interviews are all in English but would only really excite and interest someone interested in Middle Eastern studies and the anthropology of Muslim Societies.
  • Primary Duties: Editing podcasts and transcriptions of very engaging interviews with a major scholar of the Middle East and Muslim world.
  • Requirements: A wonderful opportunity for someone specializing in Middle East studies or anthropology who wants to edit the transcriptions of the recordings and go back to the sound files to edit those, or at least indicate the ways they should be edited for someone with the technical skills.
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Climate Change & Environmental Law Project

  • Department: Columbia Law School, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law develops legal techniques to fight climate change, trains students and lawyers in their use, and provides the public with up-to-date resources on key topics in climate law and regulation.
  • Primary Duties: This project will connect students to Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law,. 1-2 undergraduate researchers will work on issues concerning the implementation of climate change-related laws and regulations. Among other things, the student(s) will help to build-out several Sabin Center databases, including our New York State and New City Climate Law Trackers, which track implementation of climate law at the state and city levels, respectively. The student(s) will conduct research into, and prepare summaries of, relevant actions at the state and local levels. The student(s) may also assist with the development of databases tracking federal action on climate change, including a new database focused on implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Requirements: Ability to research on-line databases.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Dark Prelude: Black Life Before Mourning

  • Department: English and Comparative Literature, Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This project is an experimental recovery of Black life in the wake of spectacular state and vigilante violence. Traffic stops and other chance encounters are prefaced by the music that the subjects (such as Sandra Bland and Daunte Wright) enjoyed before their fateful ends. As creative nonfiction, the book will attend to the musical choices made and joys experienced by Black women and men on the brink in order to reveal conditions of power and their refusal.
  • Primary Duties: Internet searches (newspapers, social media, blogs, protest organizations) for obituaries, commentary, opinion pieces, family announcements, hashtags, dirges; listening to/for music referencing the deceased; preliminary archival searches and requests for car and stereo manuals, police reports, trial transcripts; collecting and organizing music industry information from music charts, radio play, etc; secondary source curation and annotated bibliographies.
  • Requirements: Interest in Black/Ethnic Studies and music; previous research experience; knowledge of contemporary social movements and the ability to read music a plus.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Searching for Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Sources

  • Department: Astronomy
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: We will be looking for a characteristic X-ray "echo" produced by X-rays emitted at the time of the merger of two black holes (giving rise to a burst of gravitational waves) scattering off the dust in our own Galactic interstellar medium. Such an echo will pinpoint the precise position of the source, an issue of fundamental importance in astrophysics and cosmology; the gravitational wave data alone cannot tell us. There are now over fifty black hole-black hole gravitational wave events to examine.
  • Primary Duties: All X-ray and gravitational wave data we require are in the public domain, easily accessible to anyone with a laptop. We will identify and assemble the data to be searcged, Simple software to visualize and manipulate data is available for download. We may need some simple customized calculations on the images we inspect, so a bit of (very) basic programming experience is necessary (having written simple code in, for instance, Python or something similar). We will publish the results of the search collectively, with the group of undergrads who have worked and are working on this problem.
  • Requirements: Simple programming skills in Python or comparable language
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Partisan Polarization and "Culture War" Issues

  • Department: Political Science
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Over the last generation partisan polarization on “culture war” issues has become a defining feature of American politics, with the Democratic Party embracing social liberalism and the Republican Party embracing social conservatism. This was not always the case; for much of the 20th century, social issues such as abortion rights and LGBT rights played virtually no role in politics. Today, of course, they are central to partisan conflict. This transformation, despite its importance, is not well understood. In fact, there is little consensus among political scientists as to its timing, sequence, or causes. Using a variety of data sources, particularly a newly compiled set of historic state-party platforms, we aim to answer a number of crucial questions: Where and when did the partisan divide begin on abortion and gay and lesbian rights? Which party ``moved first"? Was there a critical moment, or was position change incremental? Do abortion and gay rights follow the same pattern? While it is possible that the rise of social issues took place entirely on the national stage, then later spread to state and local politics, we set out to explore the possibility that these debates took place first at the state level.
  • Primary Duties: A student researcher would assist with data collection and analysis. The data we will be collecting this summer include state legislative roll call votes on relevant bills, local media cover of abortion and LGBT rights, and debates within the political parties about position taking on these issues. We will focus on four case study states---California, Texas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts---during the 1970s and late 1960s.
  • Requirements: No specialized skills are necessary.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks.

Ambedkar Initiative

  • Department: History, Human Rights
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: B. R. Ambedkar is arguably one of Columbia University’s most illustrious alumni, and a democratic thinker and constitutional lawyer who had enormous impact in shaping India, the world’s largest democracy. As is well known, Ambedkar came to Columbia University in July 1913 to start a doctoral program in Political Science. He graduated in 1915 with a Masters degree, and got his doctorate from Columbia in 1927 after having studied with some of the great figures of interwar American thought including John Dewey. Columbia University awarded Ambedkar with an honorary LL.D. in 1952. This project links Columbia with the anti-caste legacy of Ambedkar, and seeks to explore genealogies of radical democracy outside the North Atlantic. Learn more about the Ambedkar Initiative.
  • Primary Duties: Research will focus on collections in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Burke Library that contain uncatalogued correspondence relating to B.R. Ambedkar's time as a student at Columbia.
  • Requirements: The project is ideal for anyone with an interest in digital humanities, archival practice, American intellectual history, South Asian culture/history/politics. Student will be expected to engage with texts, join weekly or bi-weekly meetings, and take on other responsibilities as requested.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks.

Anti-mafia investigative journalists in Sicily

  • Department: Anthropology
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: This project involves indexing and digitalizing the entire legal case from a murder of an investigative journalist in 1988. The trial took place in 2011-2014. The entire case and relevant others have been scanned.
  • Primary Duties: The student researcher will collect jpeg images in pdf files and index them in Zotero, connecting them to other multimedia files collected over the years. In addition to examining and indexing files, the undergraduate researcher will conduct research into online newspapers and media sites that have discussed the life, and death, of this investigative journalist, and the questions that were raised at the trial.
  • Requirements: Intermediate Italian reading and writing skills; some familiarity with spreadsheets, image-pdf conversion, and the online bibliographic platform Zotero
  • Time commitment: 30 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks.

Self-critique improves laboratory technique

  • Department: Chemistry
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: Laboratory techniques are important for obtaining reliable experimental results, understanding how equipment functions, and gaining hands-on training as a chemist. This study investigates the role of discussion and self-critique in the development of hands-on chemistry skills in a general chemistry laboratory environment. At the start of each experimental session, students observed a teaching assistant's live demonstration of new techniques while discussing and co-creating a list of key steps/aspects of the technique. During experimentation, students filmed themselves carrying out the new technique and then used this video and the co-created list to reflect on their execution. By pairing this discussion and self-reflection learning strategy with a pre- and post-course practical assessment, students were able to self-identify areas for improvement, document their progress, and increase their confidence in the lab.
  • Primary Duties: The student researcher will assist with a complete Chemistry Education Research study which includes: participant recruitment, experimental design, data collection/analysis, and discussion of the study limitations/implications. Students without CITI training will begin the project by learning about the IRB process and completing CITI training.
  • Requirements: An interest in chemistry learning and critical reflection is required. Completion of the general chemistry lecture series or a strong high school chemistry background is preferable but not required. Completion of a general chemistry laboratory course is also recommended but not required.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks

Performance Tasks: Identifying Practices to Reduce Inequality in Accountability for Immigrant Students and English Learners

  • Department: Urban Studies & Education
  • Status: Accepting Applications
  • Description: High school exit exams culturally and linguistically disadvantage immigrant students and English learners, perpetuating inequitable access to the high school diploma, higher education, and the labor market. This study investigates how recently arrived immigrant students and English learners make sense of accountability practices that involve preparing for exit exams and performance assessments. The questions guiding this inquiry include, how do different assessment types impact English language learning (reading, writing, speaking, listening)? And, how do recently arrived immigrant students make sense of accountability practices in U.S. schools? Few studies of school accountability examine how students experience both high-stakes exams and performance assessments. Fewer still investigate the use of multiple assessment types in terms of educational equity for immigrant students and English learners. Using innovative ethnographic methods and 360-degree cameras, this pilot study examines how one high school that exclusively serves recently arrived immigrant youth is preparing students for high-stakes tests and performance-based assessments simultaneously.
  • Primary Duties: The student would be responsible for traveling to the school, recording performance assessment tasks, adding notes on non-verbal interactions to interview transcripts, and coding the video data using qualitative analysis software.
  • Requirements: Students will need to be fingerprinted through the DOE and will have to take a CITI course to work with human subjects. Speaking ability in Spanish or Mandarin is preferred but not required. A background in anthropology, sociology, education studies, or a related field would also be helpful.
  • Time commitment: 35 hours minimum / week, 6 weeks