Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

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Human Rights Investigations Lab

Summer 2017

Haley Willis : Sociology, Media Studies

Mentor: Alexa Koenig, Human Rights Center, Berkeley Law

The Human Rights Investigations Lab at HRC Berkeley is one of the first of its kind, working with Amnesty International's Digital Verification Corps and three other partner universities to collect evidence of human rights abuses. My summer research involves continuing this process of discovering and verifying social media content, coming out of places such as Syria, to be used in human rights reports and legal cases. I work to verify social media users, identify weapons, and geolocate video and images found on the Internet that can be provided as evidence. I am also working to develop a guidebook and framework for other institutions looking to perform similar research with open source investigations in the future. 

Message to Sponsor:

This research has been the most rewarding experience of my undergraduate career. Through this project, I have met some of the leading innovators in the human rights field, ranging from international human rights lawyers and journalists to investigators for the International Criminal Court. Being a part of such an innovative process and contributing to the wealth of evidence that can hopefully bring peace to victims of human rights atrocities, hold accountable perpetrators, and educate future generations, has been an invaluable experience.