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FAQs for Undergraduate Research

Mentored Research Opportunities 

Opportunities at UIC: 

Undergraduate Research Experience page for a list of faculty who have signed up to welcome undergraduate students to join on their research team.

A comprehensive list of undergraduate research opportunities on campus

External Opportunities 

The BAD (Black Academic Development) Lab at Stanford offers summer internships for undergraduate students who pursue research in Black language and culture. Read more here.

The Linguistic Society of America maintains a list of undergraduate research and service opportunities 


Useful tools for linguistics

NLP Tools for Social Sciences (an aggregated resource page curated by Dr. Kristopher Kyle, University of Oregon and Dr. Scoff Crossley, Georgia State University).

Praat – analyzing sounds

Voyant – visualize word patterns in texts

Elan – Annotating audio-video recordings

NLTK: Natural Language Processing Toolkit  and the free book-length tutorial

R free software for statistical analysis; commonly used in textual analysis

Otranscribe – web-based manual transcription of speech data with built in automatic looper

Fontssoftware and tools for linguistics

CLOX – an automated transcription tool developed by faculty at the University of Washington Sociolinguistics Laboratory

Online keyboard for IPA symbols

IPA Chart with Sounds

Draw syntax trees online


Surveying the World's Diverse Languages World Atlas of Language Structures Online

Ethnologue  documents world’s diverse languages


Corpora and Datasets

TalkBank.  Database of talk in audio and video

Max Planck Institute Resources and Projects 

Google Research Datasets (for NLP projects)

CORAAL (Corpus of Regional African American Language; hosted by the University of Oregon; large audio data, transcribed and free to download for research purposes) Also see the corpus' online explorer tool and the CORAAL supplements

International Corpus of English 


What kind of research is done in Computational Linguistics? 

A fun way to get acquainted with research topics and methodologies in computational linguistics is to browse the conference proceedings and homepages of various annual conferences of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).  You can browse by topics, read the papers and watch the video presentations or read the latest Call for Papers.  A number of highlights are:

Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)

Proceedings from the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL)

Proceedings from the Annual Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Proceedings of the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC)

Proceedings of the Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL)

Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING)

Proceedings of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL)

Workshops on Figurative Language Processing

Workshop on Scientific Document Understanding

Workshop on Simple and Efficient Language Processing

International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories

Amazon Alexa TaskBot Challenge 

Amazon Alexa SocialBot Challenge 

Workshop on Knowledge Augmented  Methods for NLP

Construction Grammar and NLP Workshop 

International Workshop on Semantic Recognition 


What publication styles should I use? 

In Computational Linguistics, see ACL Style Guidelines

In Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, follow LSA Style Sheet and cross-reference the Generic Style Rules for linguistics.

For interlinear glossing standards, follow the Leipzig Glossing Rules. 


I'm interested in pursuing graduate studies in NLP. What resources can I look into? 

CSGrad4US Graduate Fellowship 

The CSGrad4US scholarship supports new graduates to apply for graduate schools. Fellowship includes mentoring during the application process and 3-years funding support.

Read about programs on this list (filtered for NLP)


Are there conferences that are more linguistic and undergraduate student-friendly? 

Granted conferences typically gear toward advanced levels, but increasingly undergraduate students are involved in research and encouraged to do so. Perspectives and passion are important for conducting research. It's never too early to get involved!

The Annual Conference of the Illinois Language and Linguistics Society is an annual graduate student-run conference  at UIUC aimed primarily at providing graduate and advanced undergraduate students a friendly venue in which they can present and discuss research on any topic related to language and linguistics. Their Call for Application is typically is October and the conference is typically in March the following year.

The Intersection of Linguistics, Language and Culture (ILLC). This is a National Science Foundation initiative supporting undergraduate research in linguistics. Its in-person programming focuses on the Greater New York area, but its annual conference has been hybrid, a good opportunity to disseminate your research. You will also find leads to national and international research opportunities for undergraduate students.

This Student Portal of Linguist List aggregates resources for conducting research in linguistics.

The UIC Bilingualism Forum is a long tradition organized by graduate students in Spanish Linguistics and dedicated to research in any area related to bilingualism, including theoretical linguistics, code-switching, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive sciences, heritage languages and bilingual acquisition.

The In/Between Conference is an annual conference organized by the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics at UIC.  The conference is interdisciplinary by design and includes an undergraduate poster session.


I'm interested in a research experience abroad. How do I get started? 

Check out the research and teaching opportunities offered by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. A key for Fulbright application is to plan early, almost two years in advance. Read the instructions and make an appointment The excellent staff at the UIC External Fellowships office can help you navigate the complex process.

Fulbright Student Program

Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Award

(For Fulbright, note there is a UIC internal deadline before the national deadline. See the local advisor here)

The Voyager Scholarship: the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service (new of 2022). Collaboration between the Obamas and Airbnb CEO to support college students from diverse backgrounds to be further leaders in public service with a global perspective.

External Scholarships 

UIC Office of External Fellowships 


Are there other resources I should be aware of?

UIC Office of Undergraduate Research 

College of LAS Undergraduate Student Research 

Guides for Writing-in-the-Discipline (Source: Harvard University's Writing Project)

Databases (This link is a UIC library proxy link. At this databases page, Look under L, "Language and Linguistics E-books Online" and "Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLAB)")

Annual Reviews in Linguistics (a UIC library link).

Research Guides in Linguistics (a UIC library link)