Summer Research

Every summer NYUAD students perform research both in Abu Dhabi and at other universities and centers around the world. Competitive grants are available to support students in their research pursuits and students may also be funded by their faculty supervisor. 

Lending a Helping Hand With the Local Economy in Kumawu

The Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) organizes summer trips to Kumawu, a small town in Ghana, where students work with the local population and develop apps to help improve their lives and livelihoods.


The research has solidified my intention to pursue advocacy for gender-based violence. Gender and sexuality have played a major role in my academic interests but exploring the intersection of gender and violence through multiple lenses has been a rewarding experience so far.

Sakshi Gala, Class of 2021

Case Studies

Training Kalaripayattu with GuruKkal Sivakumar. Kalaripayattu is the oldest martial art form in the world which has originated in the state of Kerala in India.

Theater Mitu's South India Artist Intensive

Shebnem Niazi, Class of 2021 participated in the Theater Mitu's South India Artist Intensive where she was involved in academic, dramaturgical, and aesthetic research in South India. 

Daily physical training includes various South Indian art forms and techniques such as Kalaripayattu, Mohiniattam, Kathakali, and Yakshagana. 

"As a dancer and a theater practitioner, I used my own body as a tool to engage with various classical Indian arts. I was able to describe rsthand the impact these art forms and techniques had on my body and mind." 

Students on a haptic simulation for dental training.

Haptodont Simulation Project 

The project aimed to build a haptodont simulation guidance system that can serve as an educational tool for dental students, bridging the gap between practical training provided for dental students and application of their knowledge in real life patients. 

The final guidance system was built using software CHAI3D, and allows recording and playback of a module, explained Henok Guluma, Class of 2019. This way, a dental professor or trainer can record a typical probing session and the dental student can playback this session, with the help of a haptic feedback, to follow and replicate the session and learn the steps properly. 

Melpomenie (Meni) Doubi, Class of 2021 running an electrophoresis gel to check DNA quality and quantity from an extraction from mangrove leaf tissue.

Marine Biology Research

Sea urchins are important for maintaining the balance between corals and algae. This research project focused on counting the number of sea urchins in different reef sites of the Arabian Gulf to see how climate changed and coral reef bleaching impacts the number of urchins, said Meni Doubi, Class of 2021. 

This research also analyzed how different fish species behave in different water temperature; for example, analyzing their metabolism, boldness and eating habits.
Researchers also applied genomic techniques to study how mangroves have adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of the Arabian Gulf. 

Serra Okumus, Class of 2021 spelling her name in sign language for the hearing impaired students who taught her the alphabet in Zambian Sign Language in an inclusive school in Lusaka district.

Social Research and Public Policy

Serra Okumus, Class of 2021 traveled to Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa to assist research on school violence against students with disabilities there.

"While doing field research, we learned that our purpose as qualitative researchers was not to discover the truth; but rather each individual’s experience is as important as another’s, no matter how different they may be. The most rewarding aspect of our work has been speaking with students with disabilities and their teachers one-on-one to learn from their experiences and ideas for change." 

Undergraduate Research Reports


Historic Research

NYUAD students traveled to Greenland with the NYUAD Center for Global Sea Level Change to watch history in the making: melting glaciers.

Out of this World Internship

Two physics students took part in a three-week research internship at the Italian Space Agency, a first for NYUAD.

Science Matters

Several NYUAD students traveled to an underground laboratory in Italy to participate in an international science collaboration to understand dark matter.