Deadlines approaching for students to apply for research awards, global scholarships

Students walk by the Egan Research Center in September 2017. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Deadlines are approaching for Northeastern undergraduates to apply for awards, scholarships, and fellowships to conduct research, study abroad, and pursue creative endeavors.

This Friday, July 27, marks the deadline for students to apply for one of the fall semester’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards, which provide financial and academic support to students of all years, majors, and colleges. “Early” awards of up to $1,000 support research or creative endeavors early in students’ academic careers, while “advanced” awards of up to $3,000 allow students to expand upon their current endeavors. Students can visit the awards’ website to learn more about eligibility, criteria, the application process, and more.

“These are the top awards that students can receive from Northeastern to pursue research and creative interests,” said Jonna Iacono, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at Northeastern.

She said the university’s scholarships office provides a variety of workshops throughout the year to help students complete the application process. Workshop topics include developing a research question, cultivating relationships with faculty mentors, and learning how to launch a project.

We are looking for students who can connect what they’ve done at Northeastern both inside and outside of the classroom with a vision of what the world can be.

Jonna Iacono, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

Northeastern gives out approximately six-dozen awards to students each year to support their work across a diverse array of disciplines. Take two recent students, now both rising seniors, who earned awards for the Spring 2018 semester: Minhal Ahmed, a bioengineering major, and Jameson Johnson, a combined major in political science and communication studies with a minor in art history.

Ahmed earned the award to advance his research on the gut microbiome in the lab of assistant professor Abigail Koppes. Ahmed, whose career goal is to become a physician scientist, is examining the mechanisms by which enteroendocrine cells of the gut communicate with the enteric nervous system.

Johnson used her award to launch and print the first edition of Boston Art Review, a magazine that promotes discussion of contemporary art in Boston and beyond. Johnson worked on the project during her self-directed co-op in the spring and printed the first issue in April.

Jameson Johnson created Boston Art Review, a magazine aimed at cultivating a contemporary art scene in Boston. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Both students acknowledged the help they received to prepare their research award applications. “The process of creating a proposal and applying for grant funding myself was really a meaningful and formative experience,” Ahmed said.

Added Johnson: “Dr. Iacono provided really important feedback that pushed me to write in greater detail about what the Boston Art Review is and will be in the future. That process to guide me through some of the nitty-gritty areas was super helpful.”

Other deadlines are looming for Northeastern seniors who want to apply for prestigious external awards and scholarships to work and study abroad after graduation. These awards and deadlines include Knight-Hennessy Scholarships (Aug. 10) as well as Fulbright Fellowships and Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Schwarzman Scholarships (Aug. 22).

In the past year, Northeastern students earned a record number of Fulbright awards (six) to study in Spain and England, and teach English to youth in Vietnam, Colombia, and Thailand.

Iacono encouraged students to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to learn more about these opportunities, register for workshops, or schedule meetings to begin the application process.

“We are looking for students who can connect what they’ve done at Northeastern both inside and outside of the classroom with a vision of what the world can be,” she said. “We want to help them to use their education to be leaders and innovative thinkers to make the world a better and more interesting place.”