A network for sharing discovery


Increase in external research awards, 2006–2018


  • External research funding
  • 2006–2007


  • External research funding
  • 2011–2012


  • External research funding
  • 2014–2015


  • External research funding
  • 2017–2018
learning funding statistics

Propelling solutions through faculty partnerships

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GRI associate director Jennie Stephens and Peter Frumhoff, the chief climate scientist and director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, are challenging the idea of climate engineering as an ideal solution to climate change. Stephens and Frumhoff noted in a joint paper that there is inadequate international governance to oversee such large-scale efforts to manipulate global temperatures. Optimizing the climate in one part of the world could harm another region, leading to geopolitical strife, they said.

A new study by Samuel Muñoz of the CSI and colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the University of Alabama, and Southern Illinois University showed that human activity is increasing the risk of catastrophic floods. The researchers found that the probability of a 100-year flood occurring in the Mississippi River system has increased 20 percent in the past 500 years, mostly because of river engineering and other human activities. Their research lends support to a movement to de-engineer rivers back to something closer to their natural states.

A team of researchers from Northeastern and the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that apps on mobile phones can secretly record screenshots of users’ activities and send them to third parties. The study, led by David Choffnes and Christo Wilson of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, noted that because screenshots may include personal information like passwords, a phone’s privacy window could be exploited for profit. In all, 9,000 of the 17,000 apps the team analyzed had the potential to take screenshots.

In April, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory announced a location for its new, northeast regional hub: the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts. ARL researchers will work with faculty and other academic and industry partners to improve warfighter safety by speeding the transfer of technologies from the lab to the battlefield, according to Senior Vice Provost for Research David Luzzi.

Northeastern broke ground on new facilities to advance the mission of the Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts: partnering with industry and government researchers to develop technologies vital to national security, intelligence, and defense. The expansion includes the Unmanned Aircraft and Ground Systems Lab, where researchers will develop autonomous drone and ground technologies; and a 104,000-square-foot building that will house classrooms, convening spaces, and research laboratories.

Northeastern is spearheading the Coastal Universities Coalition, a consortium of more than a dozen of the world’s leading universities focused on solving the shared challenges of coastal sustainability. The CUC’s research network will identify societal challenges unique to coastal communities and advance the development of solutions through research collaborations, public policy recommendations, and coordinated advocacy for increased federal funding. The coalition members include other leaders in the field, such as the University of Miami and the University of Washington.

NSI researchers collaborated with 16 international teams on a groundbreaking epidemic modeling study, the RAPIDD Ebola challenge. Northeastern’s team, led by NSI director Alessandro Vespignani, the Sternberg Distinguished Professor of Physics, Computer Science, and Health Sciences, used its model based on the 2014 West African Ebola epidemic to recreate crisis-level conditions. The other teams then sought to develop models forecasting the evolution of the simulated epidemic. The study, published in the journal Epidemics, yielded findings that will improve the predictive modeling of future outbreaks.

Select research grants


$1M+ faculty awards since 2006

Faculty Excellence Recognized

Northeastern’s 2017–2018 recipients of national grants and awards recognizing significant contributions to science, engineering, and computer science by junior faculty.

  • Accomplished Senior Faculty
  • Defense Department Awards
  • National Institutes of Health Awards
  • National Science Foundation Awards
Induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Lisa Feldman-Barrett

University Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Barrett has dedicated her career to challenging conventional wisdom in the field of affective neuroscience. Her research focuses on the nature of emotion from the perspectives of psychology and neuroscience, and takes inspiration from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics.

Election to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Romanian Academy of Sciences

Albert-László Barabási

Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and Distinguished University Professor of Physics

Barabási is a pioneer in the growing field of network science, which focuses on understanding complex networks, such as computer networks, biological networks, and social networks. He has spent his career studying complex systems such as sub-cellular networks and the extent to which they can be controlled.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Scholarship

Theo Davis

Professor of English

Davis will use the fellowship to continue work on a book focusing on the connections between specific qualities of language and aspects of emotional, mental, and bodily behavior.

Jessica Silbey

Professor of Law, co-director of the Center for Law, Innovation, and Creativity

With the fellowship, Silbey will work on a new book that considers intellectual property debates in law and culture as a bellwether of changing social justice needs in the 21st century.

Fulbright Award

Miriam Leeser

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Under the Fulbright, Leeser will study wireless and networking technology in Ireland, at Maynooth University and the CONNECT Centre at Trinity College Dublin.

A new experiential PhD

"During my experiential fellowship in the Office of Opinion Research at the U.S. State Department, I analyzed public opinion data from the Middle East and South Asia and wrote analyses that put complex political issues into context for senior policymakers. This experience strengthened my analytical skills and helped me frame my own dissertation research to be as policy-relevant as possible."

Dylan Maguire
doctoral candidate, political science

"At Microsoft Research, I explored how intelligent conversational agents can support information workers’ emotional well-being and improve their task management and productivity. My mentors and I developed and evaluated a software program that assisted users in scheduling tasks, reflecting on their work, minimizing distractions, and remembering to take breaks. My experience reinforced my interest in designing conversational agents and advanced my dissertation work."

Evelyne Kimani
doctoral student, computer and information science

"At GSK, I work on DNA-encoded library technology, which makes it possible to screen billions of chemical compounds for potential use as pharmaceuticals. I focus on designing and synthesizing large libraries of compounds that target a wide range of enzymes and receptors. Joining Professor Michael Pollastri’s group at Northeastern allows me to learn drug discovery and medicinal chemistry in ways that can be used for screening projects across GSK."

Jing Chai
doctoral student and GSK scientist


Doctoral fellowship at the State Department


Doctoral internship at Microsoft Research


Doctoral research at GSK

Expanding a faculty of creators


Tenured and tenure-track hires since 2006, including 48 in 2017–2018


Undergraduate and graduate programs of study in emerging fields added since 2006

Donghee Jo

Assistant Professor of Economics

An affiliated faculty member of the Network Science Institute, Jo specializes in political economy and media economics. The primary focus of his research is the causes, consequences, and potential remedies of political polarization.

Venkat Kuppuswamy

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Kuppuswamy's research interests fall into two broad areas: the biases and forms of discrimination confronting minority entrepreneurs—particularly on crowd-based platforms like crowdfunding, and the performance consequences of corporate diversification decisions.

Psyche Loui

Assistant Professor of Music

Loui studies the intersection of music and emotions. She aims to understand the networks of brain structure and function that enable musical processes: auditory and multisensory perception, learning and memory of sound structure, sound production, and the human aesthetic and emotional response to sensory stimuli.

Alireza Ramezani

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ramezani’s research interests include articulated robot movement (aerial and terrestrial) and applied nonlinear control theory. He’s studying the flight specialization of bats to develop an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) with bat morphology called Bat Bot.

Hillary Robinson

Associate Professor of Law and Sociology

Robinson’s research concerns the interaction between technological change and legal decision-making in the construction of social order, particularly as legal institutions engage in decision-making about technological things and practices .

Hao Sun

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hao Sun's research uses analytics and machine learning combined with internet-of-things enabled sensors to track the resilience, sustainability, and safety of buildings. The overall aim of this interdisciplinary work is to develop intelligent infrastructure systems and buildings, enhance the resilience and sustainability of our living communities, and make our structures safer.

Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli

Professor of Psychology

Whitfield-Gabrieli seeks to understand the brain basis of psychiatric disorders—such as schizophrenia and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder—and to promote translation of this knowledge into clinical practice.

Ecosystem of invention


Among national universities for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review


Among national universities for graduate entrepreneurship programs, ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review