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What is WREN?

WREN, the Women's Research Engagement Network, is a program created through the Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative to promote and celebrate women in research at Northeastern University. WREN not only helps women find research positions, but it also actively supports women in research through providing resources, programming, networking, and presentation opportunities. Ultimately, we hope to fight against the "leaky pipeline" and increase the number of women in academia.

Our Mission

Why was WREN Created?

Women are systematically underrepresented in research. According to UNESCO, just 30% of researchers worldwide are women. This number is even less for BIPOC, low-income, or LGBTQ+ women. WREN seeks to increase the number of female-aligned individuals in research through connecting students with faculty researchers, developing a supportive network of women in research at Northeastern, and providing unique funding and presentation opportunities.


Furthermore, a primary goal of WREN is to provide opportunities and support to those underrepresented in research. The WREN team acknowledges that forces beyond gender, such as racism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, and others, create additional barriers for women hoping to enter the world of research. WREN seeks to help women overcome these barriers, and the program is designed with a diverse team of women in order to support and uplift the entire Northeastern student body, regardless of their background. If you have any ideas on how to make WREN a more inclusive program, please contact us.

WREN's History

WREN, the Women's Research Engagement Network, was founded in Fall 2020 after members of the Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative realized that many students at Northeastern, particularly women, felt that research was inaccessible to them.

The organization was founded with a central goal: to promote and celebrate women in research at Northeastern. Since its founding, WREN has built a robust team of both faculty advisors and passionate students. As of Fall 2023, we have 110 Scholars, 50 Jumpstart participants, and 22 student leaders. We have directly helped provide over 25 students research positions, in addition to establishing a dual internship program with the Northeastern Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research.


WREN, the Women's Research Engagement Network, is the

first branch of the IWC. It was founded to support women at Northeastern involved in

research with the ultimate

goal of increasing the number of women in academia across the disciplines.


TWC, The Women's Council, is

the second branch of the IWC.

TWC works to train future

female leaders at Northeastern.

It also hosts countless events

each semester focused on supporting women and

amplifying female voices. 


IWOC, the Interdisciplinary Women's Organization Collective, is the third branch of the IWC. It is a coalition of women's organizations on Northeastern's campus. IWOC works to support these organizations while also providing them with a space to collaborate.

Research at Northeastern


Northeastern is classified by the The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as Tier 1 research institution, meaning the university ranks among the top institutions in the country in terms of research activity.

Undergraduate students are actively involved in research on campus, frequently working to generate meaningful findings as demonstrated by the many students that present annually at Northeastern's Research, Innovation, and Scholarship (RISE) Expo. However, at Northeastern, there is no defined path to find a research position. WREN is seeking to change that.

Find a Position

WREN's centralized application system gives women at Northeastern a clear path to find research opportunities on campus. However, there are other ways to get involved for students who are not interested in or are not able to participate in WREN.

Some ways to get involved in research on campus beyond WREN include:
1. Connecting with a professor in a class you are taking and asking about their research.
2. Attending research fairs, student organization meetings, and other events to network with students and faculty 
3. "Cold-Emailing" professors whose contact information you find via individual college websites.
4. Performing research while on co-op.
5. For students who are part of the Honors Program, earning an Honors Early Research Award.

Find Funding

Many student researchers in long-term positions work anywhere from 5-15 hours a week on their projects. As such, finding funding to support research is essential for many students, especially for those who rely at least partly on their own income to support themselves during college.

The Northeastern University Office of Research and Fellowships website is a great resource to explore options for funding. A notable highlight includes PEAK awards, which can provide up to $3,000 in funding on a semester-by-semester basis for NU students.

In the future, WREN hopes to be able to offer more opportunities for research funding uniquely to our members.

Meet the Team


Kristie Chan

Hi, I'm Kristie! I'm graduating in 2025 with a Businsess Administration and Psychology major, and I'm the President of WREN. Outside of WREN, I'm involved in research about financial decision making and temporal discounting, workplace decision delegation, and stoicism. Fun fact - I was nocturnal for my first year of college since I was taking remote classes from Hong Kong!

Executive Director of Scholar Program

Katelyn Buckley

Hi! I'm Katelyn, a 4th year Environmental Studies and Political Science major. At Northeastern, I have done research into international political apologies (what makes governments apologize, etc), and was recently published in the Urban Transportation journal for research on the accessibility of BlueBikes in Boston! In my free time, I love trying out seasonal Trader Joe's items.

Executive Director of Jumpstart Program

Kaitlyn Ramesh

Hi, I’m Kaitlyn! I’m a 3rd-year studying Bioengineering. For research, I work in the Lu Lab, where we develop computational algorithms to understand how gene expression drives biological processes like cancer metastasis and wound healing. I’ve also dabbled in microfluidic and biomedical device design. Other facts: I like playing piano, trying new restaurants with friends, and occasionally saying puns.


Janani Elumalai

Hi! My name is Janani, and I am a 3rd year Behavioral Neuroscience major with a minor in Law & Public Policy. For the last two years, I have been working in the Neuropharmacology Lab under the Center for Drug Discovery, where we investigate the effect of different drugs on neurochemistry and behavior. In my free time, I love to learn different dance styles, read a lot of books, and go to new restaurants around Boston with my friends.

Executive Director of Mentorship

Shruti Kedharnath

Hi! My name is Shruti Kedharnath and I am a third year honors behavioral neuroscience and data science combined major on a premed track. As a research assistant at the Center for Transitional NeuroImaging, I co-lead a study exploring drug neurotoxicology through a brain imaging protocol called “In Vivo Neuroimaging”, gaining important MR imaging skills, rodent handling skills, and procedural skills (like intracardial perfusion and brain extraction). I love to dance, read, and explore Boston. A fun fact about me is that I co-piloted a glider!

Executive Director of Finance

Aurrel Bhatia

Hi! My name is Aurrel and I'm a second-year Business Administration and Mathematics major (concentration in Finance) For research, I had the opportunity to go on a climate/data science Dialogue this past summer for a project looking at startups in the Climatech space. I am currently involved in this project with the SDS laboratory and the AI4CaS initiative to bridge the gap between ventures and academic research by creating partnership networks. Some of my hobbies are reading and buying books (which I maintain are two different things), going on walks, trying new coffee shops, and running.

Executive Director of Faculty Outreach

Chelsey Ntoro

Hey! My name is Chelsey, and I am a 4th year Health Science major with minors in Biology and Nutrition.Recently, I completed my co-op at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where I worked for the PROMISE Study in the Ghobrial Lab. This study tests healthy individuals who are at higher risk for developing multiple myeloma for any precursors so we can learn more about how the precursors can be prevented from developing into multiple myeloma. In my free time, I love to read, watch reality tv shows, and make bracelets (especially paracord bracelets!)

Executive Director of Media & Marketing

Janelle Lardizabal

Hi everyone! I’m Janelle, a third-year behavioral neuroscience major on the pre-med track, and I am WREN’s Executive Director of Media and Marketing! Since freshman year, I have been in Dr. Brenhouse’s Developmental Neuropsychobiology Lab studying how early life adversity leads to corticolimbic alterations and behavioral dysfunction. I’m also helping with a research study looking at lymphatic filariasis, a neglected tropical disease, in Zambia. In my free time, I love hanging out with my friends, going to sports games, and exploring Boston!

Director of Media & Design

Meha Macwan

Hi! I'm Meha, a third-year Behavioral Neuroscience major, and I am the Director of Media and Design for WREN. I am involved in the Apfeld Lab on campus, which investigates how the brain regulates aging and resilience at different biological levels. I am also currently on co-op at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where I perform stability testing on drugs using techniques such as UV-vis and liquid chromatography. In my free time, I love to paint, read, and visit cafes and restaurants!

Director of Scholar Events

Kaela Herzog

Kaela Herzog is a third-year Health Science major on the Pre-Med track. She was previously a Health Equity Intern, and has continued her project in the ReGame-XR Lab titled, "Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality: Representation in Autism Research". She is grateful for having the opportunity to present this research at the Eastern Psychological Association's annual conference and at Northeastern's RISE Expo. Outside of research, Kaela spends her time volunteering with the organization Horizons for Homeless Children, enjoys dancing in No Limits Dance Crew, and spends time with friends and family!

Director of Scholar Operations

Ashley Varghese

Coming Soon!

Scholars Events Associate

Amira Toivonen

Coming Soon!

Scholars Events Associate

Jasmine Elsayed

Coming Soon!

Director of Jumpstart Events

Ashley Roth

Coming Soon!

Director of Jumpstart Operations

Shreya Sankar

Coming Soon!

Jumpstart Events Associate

Janaki Mehta

Coming Soon!

Jumpstart Events Associate

Julia Bettonte

Coming Soon!

Director of Alumni Mentorship


Coming Soon!

Director of Internal Mentorship

Shivani Patel

Coming Soon!

Faculty Outreach Associates

Emma Colaco

Coming Soon!

Faculty Outreach Associates

Shreya Kumar

Coming Soon!

Faculty Outreach Associates

Alexandra Maropakis

Coming Soon!

Director of Fundraising

Manasvini Anjaria

Coming Soon!

Director of Grants & Sponsorships

Sophia Nguyen

Coming Soon!

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