News & Ideas

2023–2024 Radcliffe Research Partnership Program Offers Students a Remarkable Range of Opportunities

Laura Weinrib RI '23 at table in conversation with three Radcliffe Research Partners.
Laura Weinrib RI '23 in conversation with three Radcliffe Research Partners. Image by Alan Grazioso/Harvard Radcliffe Institute

This year’s RRPs will index OutKast lyrics, interview environmental advocates, compile data on amphibians, and much more.

The Radcliffe Research Partnership (RRP) program pairs Harvard undergraduates with Radcliffe fellows to work together on fellowship projects. Fellows provide mentorship and learning opportunities; students provide research assistance and other support as needed. Since fellowship projects vary widely, so too do the tasks expected of RRP students.

This year, several projects open the door to especially unusual experiences for students.

Marcus Wicker, this year’s Mary I. Bunting Institute Fellow, is working on a poetry collection, titled “Dear Mothership,” that “uses speculative narrative, empathy, and a hip hop aesthetic to explore reparations and examine the confounding ways humans treat one another when empowered by history and inheritance.” Wicker’s project investigates issues of policing, adversarial discourse, late-stage capitalism, and injustice, which are filtered through song titles, lyrics, and themes from OutKast’s discography.

Wicker is looking for one or two research partners to index lyrics from the hip hop duo that are relevant to the book’s themes and to research graphic novel narratives that are invested in Black music and culture.

An in-progress book from Rob Verchick, the 2022–2023 Frances B. Cashin Fellow, will encourage readers to harness the power of government, science, and local wisdom to rescue the world’s oceans from harmful climate impacts. “Ocean Fever” aims to “take readers on an engaging and hopeful journey toward the possibilities of ocean resilience, emphasizing the insights and needs of disadvantaged communities.”

Verchick seeks one or more students to research issues at the intersection of law, social anthropology, and marine science. Assignments could include evaluating governance structures for marine protected areas, interviewing environmental advocates, and tracking developments in coral reef assessments.

This year’s Hrdy Fellow, Sathyabhama Das Biju, has discovered more than a hundred new species of amphibian in South Asia. At Radcliffe, he is working to discover and document amphibian species before they go extinct and identify key biodiversity areas for conservation.

He is hoping to employ one to three research partners to assist in compiling and analyzing species distribution, morphometric, genetic, developmental, behavioral, ecological, and conservation status data from previous research; conduct literature reviews; find useful amphibian specimens at the Museum of Comparative Zoology; and generate high-resolution digital X-ray and micro-CT scans from historical types and ethanol-preserved material.

Other RRP projects solicit student assistance with working on a podcast, creating an artist’s book, conducting research for a novel, and developing augmented reality technology to visualize climate change. Be sure to check out the full list of research partnership opportunities for more info.

Applications for the RRP program close on July 24, although additional applications may be accepted after the deadline, depending on position availability.

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