Udi Butler's research has been mainly with children and young people living in a context of urban poverty in Rio de Janeiro, in particular those living on the street and in the favelas. A recent topic in this body of research looks at young people's perceptions of and engagement in public action in Brazil (NGOs, social movements, cultural groups, community organizations). On this theme, he has also conducted two collaborative projects, one through writing and one through photography, with young activists living in Rio's favelas, in association with the International Center for Research and Policy on Childhood in Rio de Janeiro where he is a Research Fellow.
Udi is interested in different forms of collaborative research and in creative ways of communicating research that go beyond the academic text. Udi was a lecturer in the Visual Anthropology course at ISCA and has made a number of documentary films, most recently with the Haida Nation, exploring their relationship with museums. Udi is also interested in the anthropology of science and in his most recent work he is pursuing research on recent encounters between neuroscience and Buddhism.