About Project AROS Lab

What we do

Project AROS Labs (PAL) is a collaboration between Montclair and the Wilson Center to promote innovative research, experiential learning, and digital literacy. It provides an incubator space for faculty and students to engage in interdisciplinary, collaborative research including external partner organizations and scholars.

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PAL grew from an  interdisciplinary, international research project, Project AROS aimed at expanding the  Digital Archive at the Wilson Center and to improve its visibility and accessibility to a wider public audience, including lawmakers, practitioners, scholars and citizens. With a collection of  over 10,000 historical documents, the goal of expanding the archives is driven by the idea of including new, compelling themes that also include cultural aspects and focus on society during the Cold War, but also in the time period beyond, to better understand the legacy and impact of this era. While diplomatic history and international relations remain topical pillars in the online archive, sociopolitical and human rights related issues during and after the fall of the iron curtain will now also be included.


The initiative is unique because of the Wilson Center’s goal to work closely with  students from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Montclair students have the opportunity to engage in holistic experiential learning, including research, data analysis, and digital methods (e.g. mapping, visualization, and storytelling).

Project AROS Lab is a research hub fueling scholarly exchanges among researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and geographic areas, including faculty through Montclair’s network called Research on Interdisciplinary Global Studies (RIGS), thanks to the remote and virtual platform and work environment. PAL also serves as a catalyst for the Wilson Center’s Digital Archive and engages with external researchers [link to Members page-scholars].

Given the political, historical, and policy-oriented content of the platform, Project AROS Lab embodies a trail-blazing initiative to address pressing contemporary real-world issues against the backdrop of innovative technologies and public dissemination strategies.

PAL builds  on the Wilson Junior Researcher and Leadership program (WJRL), an initiative between the Wilson Center and MSU, which draws on an existing research platform, Project AROS. The latter provides a multi-dimensional, multidisciplinary and multi-purpose virtual space for scholars, practitioners, and students to collaborate, explore, and showcase new technologies and strategies for policy-relevant research with the aim of furthering public knowledge.

Objectives and Outcomes

The mission of Project AROS Lab consists of realizing the following goals:

Honing Research Skills and Experiential Learning Opportunities

Providing underrepresented students with an excellent experiential learning opportunity to hone their applied research experience, introduce them to digital methods, and sharpen their digital literacy skills.

Enhancing Collaborations among Researchers and Practitioners

Connect researchers and practitioners across disciplines and fields.

Employing innovative Technology to Further Public Knowledge

Promote innovative digital visualization technologies and strategies for public knowledge dissemination of social, political, economic and cultural issues.

Fueling Digital Literacy and Digital Methodology

Enhance digital literacy to find, evaluate, and communicate information by utilizing digital media platforms and employing methodologies and strategies to create, evaluate, and share public knowledge.