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 -- Summer URG Proposal

Surviving the Collapse: Design in the Ancient Maya City of Aventura

Half of the world lives in cities today. A critical question for scholars and political planners alike, is how can a city maintain itself for a long period of time? Archaeology is the one discipline that can study the often millennia long history of a city. My research site is the ancient Maya city of Aventura, which has a long 2,500 year history. Founded around 1000 BC and occupied at least until AD 1500 (Spanish Conquest) this Pre-Columbian city offers a unique opportunity to study how a city changes through time.

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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

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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Computer Science (design project) -- Academic Year Group URG Proposal

Dynamic Tutorials: Creating Readily-Available Worked Examples for Novice Programmers

Modern professional web development relies heavily on frontend frameworks, such as AngularJS, and techniques designed to augment and simplify the capabilities of native web technologies. Although these tools and techniques provide helpful abstractions for experienced developers, their complex interaction protocols present a steep learning curve. Learners must not only understand how to use features of a particular technology, but also when to apply usage patterns and techniques to specific cases.

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Computer Science (design project) -- Academic Year URG Proposal

Low-Effort Sensing Methodologies for Crowdsourcing

Large-scale crowdsourcing systems such as SeeClickFix, FixMyCity, and FixMyStreet uese everyday citizens to sense the physcial environment, by asking them to report potholes, graffiti and non-functioning street lights in the community [8,9,10]. The data benefits researchers and city planners who cannot otherwise collect it without resorting to expensive surveys or machine sensing systems. While many similar systems exist for measuring pyscial space [1,6,7], all exhibit a tradeoff between user participation, data coverage, and data fidelity.

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Computer Science -- Academic Year Group URG Proposal

Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in Computer Science by Rewarding the Growth Mindset
As computer programming, or coding, becomes a skill that is seen in almost every industry, people are quickly flooding computer sciences courses in universities and online. Beginning coders face frustration. Computer Science (CS) is a large field, making it difficult to teach every concept. CS also involves combining previously learned concepts to come up with novel solutions, so the answers often times don’t exist; they must be created. It is therefore very important to promote learning through failure and comfort with struggling, or a growth mindset.
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Creative Writing -- Summer URG Proposal

Exploring the Quaker Spiritual Search Through Poetry

Note: This proposal is several years old and is formatted in a way that is not necessarily a good model for current proposals. I.e., it does not include citations and is not a full two pages single spaced with one inch margins. It is included, however, as an example of research in a creative major.

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History -- Summer URG Proposal

Minority environmentalism: black churches of Chicago

My project investigates how black Chicago residents have used communal Christian institutions to engage with environmental issues, and the ways their perspectives differ from conventional environmentalism. This inquiry is set from the late 1960s to the early 2000s. I chose this range because I am interested in describing how the African-American Civil Rights movement, especially from 1954 to 1968, contributed to the founding of churches that currently promote minority participation in discussions about the environment.

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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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