Honors Early Research Awards

Get a Head Start with Honors Funding for Research and Creative Endeavors!

To enable you to become quickly engaged in research and creative endeavors, the University Honors Program offers Honors Early Research Awards (HERAs) to first- and second-year Honors students. Funded projects can be initiated either by students or faculty.

Student-Initiated Projects

Students identify a project they wish to work on and pitch it to faculty member to ask if they are willing to mentor their project. If so, the student completes an application that describes the project and includes a budget request, not to exceed $1000. No more than 50% of the total budget can be allocated towards a student stipend (and must include fringe benefits). The faculty mentor provides a letter of support. Proposals are reviewed by the University Honors Program which will notify the student and mentor of the funding decision.

Apply Here!

Faculty-Initiated Projects

Faculty members may submit a proposal to the University Honors Program that describes the project with which they would like to engage an Honors undergraduate student(s), the responsibilities that the student(s) will perform, and a budget request to cover expenses to support a student’s participation on the project, not to exceed $1,000. No more than 50% of the total budget can be allocated towards a student stipend (and must include fringe benefits). The project descriptions are then posted, and students may apply to work on a project. Applications are reviewed by the posting faculty member, who selects the students with whom they wish to work.

Opportunities for faculty-initiated Honors Early Research projects are listed below! You can apply for individual projects at the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships website. Look for opportunities labeled “Honors Only.”

Project Title: The Dragon Prayer Book Project

Faculty: Prof. Erika Boeckeler

Description & Student Responsibilities: The Dragon Prayer Book Project conducts research into Northeastern’s only medieval manuscript, which was discovered in the archives in 2010. There are numerous projects available for student researchers to become involved in, including:

  • Manuscript Transcription & Prayer Identification
  • Investigation of Manuscript’s Historical Origins in Southern Germany
  • Bacteria Sample Collection
  • Pollen Sample Collection
  • Investigation of Manuscript’s Construction & Binding
  • Calligraphic Recreation of Manuscript with Historical Materials & Techniques
  • AI Machine-Reading (future planned project)

The student researcher’s responsibility will be contingent upon their individual skills and projects of interest.


  • Use critical thinking skills to generate and solve productive questions.
  • Demonstrate a keen attention to detail
  • Ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary setting
  • Observe preservation policies and techniques when working with historical artifacts

Project Title: “Today I appreciated my body…”  Can Mobile Journaling About Body Functionality Improve Body Image?

Faculty: Rachel Rodgers

Description: Appear (Applied Psychology Program for Eating and Appearance Research) has started a new research project that aims to evaluate whether using an iPhone journaling app, focused on appreciation of body functionality, can help to promote positive body image among college women. This project is currently transitioning into its recruitment and engagement with research participants, in which the student researcher will play a significant role.

Body image concerns are unfortunately a near-normative experience in young women, and considerable efforts have been invested in developing programs to help support positive body image. One promising avenue is to help young women to cultivate an appreciation of elements of their bodies other than appearance, such as their body’s functionality. Given the appeal of apps among students, and their usefulness as mobile health interventions, using an app to examine whether journaling about body functionality can be helpful for body image is a creative next step!

Student Responsibilities & Qualifications

The student researcher will be involved in the recruitment of research participants, as well as the tracking, collection, and management of participant data. Additional opportunities are available for the collaboration on poster/research paper creation and presentation.

Successful candidates will be eligible to receive a stipend through this particular research experience.

Successful Candidates Will:

  • Manage interpersonal relationships in a considerate manner
  • Exhibit an acuity for critical thinking
  • Demonstrate a keen attention to detail
  • Possess an interest in the public presentation of research.