Skip to main content


research grants and

summer research opportunities


Grant money is either used for research materials (Academic year grant, eligible students are enrolled in 398/399 Independent Studies or Honors Thesis Seminars), or as student living stipends during 8 weeks of full time research (Summer grant).

We strongly advise all students to work with advisers in the Office of Undergraduate Research to apply for grants.

CNAIR summer research opportunities

Interested in gaining research experience and working with a CNAIR affiliate this summer?  Descriptions and contact information is listed below. To apply, please contact faculty directly and include the following information: Name, College/University, Year in Program and brief statement of interest. Program length is 6-8 weeks, with final schedule to be determined by faculty need. Research positions are paid positions, and will vary based on amount of hours and weekly schedule.

Research Project Opportunities

Doug Kiel

Research Assistant position is available for 2018 summer - next academic year. Please send inquiry to: Doug Kiel.

Beth Red Bird

After the massacre at Wounded Knee, a Lakota holy man prophesied that his people would only be healed after seven generations of suffering. With the Millennials coming of age, the Seventh Generation is now becoming the face of Native America. This project explores the economic conditions of modern American Indians, both on and off the reservation, and assesses the effect of broad structural changes occurring across tribes. Even after decades of policy aimed at reducing poverty and encouraging assimilating, Natives still show signs of economic disadvantage similar to African-Americans. Participating students will interview tribes about the support systems each tribal government offers to enrolled members.

Kimberly R. Marion Suisseya

From Presence to Influence: Examining the Politics of Indigenous Representation

In this project, we seek to identify and examine the ways in which marginalized and underrepresented groups effectively influence governance processes that directly impact their ways of living. More information about the project can be found here.

Eli Suzukovich III

Cultural strategies and Invasive Species in Urban Ecosystems

A group of youth at the American Indian Center of Chicago, a few years back, noted that “an invasive species was a species that humans have lost a relationship with.” With this quote in mind, this project will explore management strategies that incorporate cultural perspectives and ecosystem relationships. By examining the cultural aspects of the species, it is possible to develop short and long-term management strategies. This method draws on earlier adoptions of alien species into the cultural knowledge of many American Indian communities throughout North America (e.g. dandelion and broad leaf plantain). Utilizing Northwestern University’s lake-fill area, participating students will monitor four invasive species; European/Asian gypsy moth, round goby, rusty crayfish, and common reed. Along with learning the biological and cultural facets Students will learn field observation and data collection methods, which will culminate into an invasive species status and strategy report."

Kelly Wisecup

Undergraduate Research Assistant position available this summer to help with several collaborative archiving projects, one a partnership with the American Indian Center, and the other a partnership with Native artists in Chicago. Activities include conducting research, writing entries for a website about Chicago's Indigenous stories, assisting with community digitization events, and readying materials for inclusion in a digital archive. No prior experience neccessary, all training will be provided in the course of the RA; coursework or interests in Native American and Inidegnous Studies desirable but not required. Flexible hours and many opportunities to engage the city and communitites of Chicago. 


Heid ErdrichIn November and December 2017, Rosy Simas (Seneca) and Heid E. Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) will be the Center’s inaugural short-term artists in residence. Rosy Simas is an award-winning Haudenosaunee (Seneca Nation, Heron Clan) mid-career choreographer based in Minneapolis, MN; she is a designer and director of dance, solo and collaborative performer, movement-based and multidisciplinary teacher, events curator, Indigenous and multicultural arts advocate, and mentor of diverse artists. Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry including her new book, Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, from Michigan State University Press.

During the residencies, Simas will set a production of her piece Skin(s) on campus on December 1 and 2; Nais SimasErdrich will give poetry readings on and off campus; and both artists will participate in a dialogue about their poetic and performative collaborations.

Back to top