Sample Grant Proposals

American Studies and History - Academic Year URG Proposal

Samuel Williams and the Formation of America’s Social Contract, 1795-1804

My project explores how Americans reimagined the social contract, or how individuals relate to their society, following the ratification of the Constitution in 1788. Historians and legal theorists often interpret ratification as the culmination of a national debate that set the new political order in place. But in the first decades after ratification, Americans—as they still do today—continued to discuss and redefine what individual rights, representation, citizenship, and other concepts should mean.

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Anthropology and Economics - Academic Year Group URG Proposal

Analysis of the Prevalence of Iron-Deficiency Anemia (IDA) and the Intervention for its Reduction in Rural Haryana, India

Anemia is currently recognized as one of the most widespread public health concerns globally. Iron-Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is the most common type. In Southeast Asia alone, 65.5% of preschool age children, 48.2% of pregnant women, and 45.7% of non-pregnant women are affected by anemia. Addressing childhood anemia early is essential to avoid abnormalities in cognitive and psychomotor development. Maternal anemia prevention will combat increases in maternal mortality, low birth weight, and preterm delivery.

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Biological Sciences - Summer URG Proposal

HIF and Clock Pathway in Beta Cells

Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels, and is caused in part by insufficient insulin production by pancreatic β-cells. The study of mechanisms governing behavior of pancreatic β-cells is central to understanding how the human body metabolizes glucose and potentially finding a cure for diabetes [1]. β -cells are found in the islets of Langerhans, along with α-cells and δ-cells, which secrete glucagon and somatostatin, respectively.

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Biological Sciences - Summer URG Proposal

A New Structural and Functional Role of Pdlim7 in Mouse Vasculature

Pdlim7, an actin-associated protein of the PDZ-LIM protein family, is found in many actin-rich structures such as vascular smooth muscle and platelets, and has diverse biological functions. In the mouse, the absence of Pdlim7 leads to a hyperthrombotic phenotype in which the mice form blood clots very quickly. Studies of the platelets and the blood coagulation cascade of Pdlim7-deficient mice have not generated a complete explanation for this phenotype (Krcmery et al., 2013).

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Biological Sciences - Summer URG Proposal

Sex Steroid Hormones and Sexual Dimorphism of Circadian Rhythms in Mice

Nearly every cell in our bodies aligns to an internal biological clock. Recently, sex steroid hormone function has been linked to this clock, governed by what is known as a circadian rhythm. These findings have implications for women who experience common conditions such as menopause or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), both of these result in dramatic reductions of estrogen levels. Additionally, PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women and associated with common metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance.

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Biomedical Engineering - Summer URG Proposal

Modular Production of Bispecific Antibodies via Sf-9 Cells

Antibody drugs have become one of the most important classes of targeted cancer therapy because of their ability to specifically bind to receptors on tumor cells and activate downstream processes that disrupt their proliferation. Numerous large pharmaceutical and small biotech companies have invested a significant amount of effort in developing new and more effective platforms based on antibody therapeutics. The majority of these approaches use monospecific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), meaning that the antibody drugs recognize only one target.

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Chemistry - Summer URG Proposal

A Supramolecular Polymer for Organic Photovoltaic Devices

Since 1750, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased from 275 ppm to 392 ppm in 2013, with continued annual increases of 2-3 ppm. This steady increase has been partly attributed to anthropogenic causes, particularly the increased burning of fossil fuels, and the increase in carbon dioxide levels is believed to be a leading cause in global warming. Future energy needs call for abundant, low-carbon technologies to reduce the environmental effects of fossil fuel consumption.

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Cognitive Science - Summer URG Proposal

Investigating the Relationship Between White-matter Brain Connectivity and Orthographic-phonological Letter Integration Ability in Pre-reading Children

As a member of Northwestern’s Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN) lab, under Dr. James Booth, I have learned to analyze brain pathways and regions in relation to reading ability. I also work closely with a post-doctorate scholar, Margaret Gullick, on this project. My independent contribution is my experience with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), a new approach that analyzes the brain connectivity of white matter pathways between brain regions, as opposed to the activity of grey-matter region (fMRI).

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Comparative Literature and International Studies - Academic Year URG Proposal

María Elena Walsh and Lewis Carroll: Transatlantic Resonances of Fantasy and Folklore in Children’s Literature

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, which celebrates the higher sense of nonsense and introduces readers to a Wonderland full of vivid and irrational characters, transformed the genre of children’s literature in the English-speaking world. Although Carroll achieved international fame for his writing, María Elena Walsh (1930–2011), the first Argentine author to write in the nonsense genre for children, is famous in her own country but little known elsewhere.

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History and International Studies - Summer URG Proposal

Lancashire Press and the Irish Famine

The Irish Famine (1845-1852) was a significant crisis during the Victorian era. Discourse in the press about the Famine was prevalent throughout England; yet, as the most Catholic and Irish county of England, Lancashire experienced the Famine in a unique way as the public opinion was influenced by the Irish who had already settled there and also took into account the influx of immigrants during the Famine who either received sympathy by their predecessors or were rejected as a source of instability.

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Human Communication Studies - Academic Year URG Proposal

Short-term Musical Training and its Positive Effects on Neural Pitch Encoding in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Working in the Kraus Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory for the past two years has opened my eyes to the numerous benefits auditory and musical training can have on the brain. Additionally, having worked more than eight years with people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which impairs the capacity for interaction and communication, I began to wonder if training could prove to be beneficial to this population.

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Journalism - Academic Year URG Proposal

Female Social Entrepreneurship in Uganda: The Changing Face of Young Female Entrepreneurs in an Evolving Media Age

For years, women in Uganda have been recognized as the more entrepreneurial gender in the small business sector. The rise of the digital age has seen increasing accessibility to the Internet and simultaneous usage of different media platforms like social media. This evolution of media and its widespread use in Uganda’s capital of Kampala has influenced a steady rise of the young social entrepreneur. Ideas learned from a global platform are implemented and customized for the Ugandan consumer.

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Journalism, Documentary Film - Summer Group URG Proposal

Green Bananas

Along the southwest coastal fields of Ecuador and in the offices of fair trade product distributor Equal Exchange ripens a movement to change the structure of the banana industry. The legacy of bananas in South America is a highly political one, though many U.S. consumers do not know that this nutritious breakfast fruit happens to be the symbol of twentieth century U.S. involvement in Latin America, the region’s capitalist transformation and intense popular struggle.

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Mathematics - Summer URG Proposal

The Logarithmic Sobolev Inequality

(NOTE: Do not use this sample proposal as a formatting model. Current and future URG applications must be 2 pages single spaced with 1 inch margins, and the use of internal headings is discouraged.) The topic of my project is the logarithmic Sobolev inequality, an inequality for a certain type of integral which has numerous applications in both pure and applied mathematics—including partial differential equations, mathematical statistics, and quantum mechanics.

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Musical Language - Summer URG Proposal

e.e. cummings and Contemporary American Art Song

An art song is a genre of classical music traditionally written for piano and voice while setting the text of a poem. The art song has long been considered by scholars to be a look into the cultural and historical context of its originating country; extensive research has been done on the settings of Goethe by Schubert and Schumann (German lied) or the settings of Verlaine by Debussy and Fauré (French chanson). However, the contemporary American art song lacks the same attention.

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