UROP Openings

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How your culture, gender identity, or language can enrich the Institute




24: Linguistics and Philosophy

Faculty Supervisor:

Michel DeGraff

Faculty email:


Apply by:

December 18, 2020 or earlier for student to apply for UROP Funding


Jeffrey Toney, Visiting Professor: jtoney@mit.edu

Project Description

Do you sometimes feel that your culture, gender, or language doesn’t fit at MIT? This could be the UROP for you! We will explore how your culture, gender identity, or language can enhance teaching, learning and research at MIT and beyond. Students selected for this project will incorporate their unique backgrounds into a research project exploring the undervalued currency of culture at colleges and universities. Our work will celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice as we learn together. Examples include the MIT-Haiti Initiative (see: https://haiti.mit.edu/) that is developing educational resources in Kreyòl to promote social justice and to celebrate the mother language of Haiti. The goal of this UROP is to develop (1) an educational resource, such as a lesson plan or a syllabus for a unit in a course, or (2) to complete a creative work such as, a song (imagine reinvisioning popular rap into an indigenous language), a podcast, a one act play, a bi- or multilingual graphic design, or a social media campaign. Each UROP student will be invited to choose which goal that they would like to achieve. See a recent MIT News article, “Exploring the lives of MIT pioneers through drama,” in which my UROP students recently developed a complete theatrical script (see: https://news.mit.edu/2020/mit-pioneers-drama-1006). This project will be conducted remotely and will require a minimum of weekly discussion and presentation sessions. We will explore the MIT Libraries, including the Distinctive Collections, the Harvard Archives as well as other artistic and creative sources to inform the research. We will work closely with Prof. Michel DeGraff, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and will coordinate with other offices and programs at the Institute. Submission of a manuscript to a scholarly journal is an option for students wishing to pursue the project beyond the timeline of the UROP. The IAP sponsored research/credit/volunteer deadline is Thursday, January 14, 2021.


None, except a passion for creative solutions, excellent writing skills and a background that reflects diversity.