Sample Grant Proposals

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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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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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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Mechanical Engineering -- Academic Year URG Proposal

Improving Mechanical Characterization of Biofilms

Biofilms are communities of microorganisms such as bacteria that attach to boundaries separating different phases of matter, such as a solid surface in contact with a liquid (Wimpenny et al., 2000). Characterizing the structure and mechanical properties of microbial biofilms is highly important to understanding their overall function, but current methods are individually insufficient to fully characterize the biofilm and there are large inconsistencies between methods (Böl, 2013).

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Music -- Summer URG Proposal

Latina Riot Grrrls: Louder than ever? How the Riot Grrrl label functions for legacy bands.

The most attractive thing about punk is its dedication to stand against the status quo in hopes to create a more just world. Punk has been a vehicle for political movements against poverty, sexism, homophobia, racism, and other forms of systematic inequality. It is the art of rebellion, but also of deep care and love for the well being of marginalized and oppressed peoples. Punk rock has roots in activism, but like many other genres, has been converted into a commodity that lost its justice seeking purpose in order to appeal to a larger audience.

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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Political Science and International Studies - Academic Year URG Proposal

Enforcement of the Russian Smoking Ban

This study seeks to examine the political development, legislative enactment, and government enforcement of the intended Russian public smoking ban. This new law, in effect since June 1, 2013, has made it illegal for people to smoke in universities, schools, government buildings, and outside metro stations in a country where smoking is ubiquitous.

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Psychology - Summer URG Proposal

Not Just For Kids: The Advantages of Adult Play

In a child’s world, nearly everything seems related to play. Every new person, sound, and object is somehow exciting and captivating, and it is from this stimulation that the child develops new cognitive capacities and builds interpersonal relationships. As such, an entire field of psychology is dedicated to studying child play and the ways in which it contributes to psychologically and physically healthier children (Ginsburg, 2007; Vygotsky, 1967). Research among adults, however, is limited and inconclusive.

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