Research Opportunities

Looking for research opportunities? Review the information below for current research opportunities in the sociology department for undergraduate sociology students. Some opportunities may require you to enroll into units, it is recommended to also review the individual study process.

GROW: Social Sciences
Hear from our faculty and students on why they got involved in research and the types of opportunities available to you!


2021-2022 Opportunities:


Summer 2022 Undergraduate Student Researcher Opportunity (PAID)

The Science & Justice Research Center and the Sociology Department are now accepting applications for a:

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow

This position and the research conducted is supported by a Faculty Research Grant provided by the Committee on Research from the University of California, Santa Cruz awarded to Principal Investigator James Doucet-Battle (Assistant Professor of Sociology) under the project titled, “Building Diversity in Sociology and Science and Technology Studies”. The opportunity was established to support summer research conducted by a UCSC Sociology Undergraduate Student.

In consultation with Colleen Stone at the Science & Justice Research Center (SJRC) and the PI (Doucet-Battle), one undergraduate student researcher enrolled in the UCSC Department of Sociology will be awarded $2000 to develop and implement the proposed research project.

The researcher will: 1) assist developing and conducting a local study that compiles campus literature, conduct interviews and collect updates from relevant parties and those leading campus efforts, and helps identify novel mechanisms for strengthening diversity in Sociology and STS in our department, 2) assist with organizing a one day workshop to brainstorm/develop a 1-year action plan to implement at UCSC. Responsibilities may also include: assisting with organizing, planning, and co-facilitating groups and assist with documentation, reviewing research relevant to proposed themes and areas of inquiry, preparing for and conducting interviews, transcription and data analysis, creating outreach materials and reports based on findings or events including infographics, charts, and diagrams, developing and contributing to available communication channels (ie: blog posts, news articles) for sharing research findings. 

More information about the Building Diversity in Sociology and Science and Technology Studies” project can be found in the plan narrative for the UC-HBCU small grant initiative submitted in 2022 (pending award). 

The Student Must:

  • Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz and declared as a Sociology major (all Sociology majors may apply; enrollment during summer is not required).

  • Be interested in strengthening diversity and participation in sociology, science and justice, and science and technology studies.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Will be interested in continuing the project beyond Summer 2022 and through the 2022-2023 academic year.

  • Will be interested in using this research as part of a senior thesis which could be overseen by Doucet-Battle. 

  • Will meet the eligibility requirements for the UC Santa Cruz Building Belonging Program.

The Student Will:

  • Be awarded $2000 [$1000 distributed at the beginning of summer and $1000 upon submitting an end-of-summer report. Equals a 25% effort (10 hrs/week) from July 1 - Sept 30 at $15 per hour].

  • Be offered a summer fellowship with the SJRC and listed on the Project’s webpage.

  • Adhere to IRB standards for working with human research subjects, if applicable.

  • Work closely with a team to develop clear goals, research methods, and intended outcomes with an outline of items to be completed over Summer 2022.

  • Submit an end-of-summer report of project status and/or research findings with suggestions for next steps.

To Apply:

By Monday, May 23 at 12 Noon, email ( expressing interest, letting us know and sending the following:


  1. Your name, major, academic faculty advisor(s).

  2. Your resume/CV.

  3. Why you are interested in the project and how your learning/research/career goals would benefit from the fellowship.

  4. Your experiences with the project topic, if any.

  5. Any ideas briefly describing potential research to be developed or completed over Summer 2022.



Building Belonging Fellowship Opportunity for Spring 2022 with Professor Alicia Riley:

Unequal Loss: Social Impacts of COVID-19 Mortality in Latinx & Spanish-speaking Communities

Apply by Monday, March 14, 2022


Professor Alicia Riley is looking to hire two undergraduates to work with her to launch a new research project in Spring quarter to explore the social consequences of inequities in COVID-19 mortality, with a focus on pandemic-related grief and financial hardship in Latinx immigrant communities in the US. Fellows will help carry-out a mixed-method content analysis of the text of GoFundMe posts asking for funds related to or in the aftermath of a COVID-19 death. The main deliverables from this project will be: a corpus of coded posts, descriptive statistics on the descriptive metrics and codes, analytic memos in a research notebook, and the final presentation slide deck. Fellows will also give a brief final presentation at the Building Belonging end-of-year event.


Responsibilities of fellows will likely include:

  • Meet weekly via Zoom with Professor Riley (Some meetings will be co-working sessions that last 2 hours)
  • Collect and read through many GoFundMe posts in Spanish and English about COVID-19-related loss and expenses
  • Work with Prof.Riley to develop a plan for descriptive coding of the GoFundMe posts
  • Code text from GoFundMe posts in Spanish and English about COVID-19 deaths
  • Write coding memos about themes and interpret findings in research notebook
  • Meet independently with your BB co-fellow via Zoom (or in person) to prepare final slide deck for Professor Riley and brief presentation for BB end-of-year event

Applicant requirements:

  • Undergraduate student in good academic standing (preference for students NOT graduating in Spring 2022)
  • Meets the Building Belonging criteria (highlighted below)
  • Bilingual English-Spanish, especially able to read and understand written Spanish
  • Comfort talking about/reading about COVID-19 deaths, grief, loss, structural racism
  • OK to be remote during Spring Quarter as long as you have good internet access and can turn camera on during weekly Zoom meetings

*Special experience of relevance to the project, but not required: In case you also have programming/coding skills, data analysis skills (R/Stata/Excel, etc.), experience with GoFundMe fundraising, experience with qualitative coding, or experience accessing data via an API - know that this experience would be highly relevant to the project but is not required. Please mention it in your application. Either way, Professor Riley will adapt the fellow responsibilities to your skills.


This project is supported by Building Belonging, a program of the Institute for Social Transformation.

The program aims to support undergraduate students in Social Sciences who are: EOP eligible, first-generation, low income, under-represented/BIPOC, undocumented, orformer foster youth. 

A Building Belonging fellowship award is $1,500 per student for the quarter. This equates to approximately 100 hours per quarter (10 hours/week). 


To apply: Please email a statement describing how the proposed project aligns with your experience and/or future plans (no more than 250 words) and resume to Prof. Alicia Riley by Monday, March 14th:


Summer Introduction to Undergraduate Research Program

Apply by: February 28, 2022 by 3pm


The Summer Introduction to Undergraduate Research Program, coordinated by the GANAS Graduate Pathways HSI Initiative, is a summer residential program that exposes Latinx and other underrepresented students to undergraduate research, graduate school pathways, and careers in academia. 


What: Summer Introduction to Undergraduate Research Program (SIURP)

When: July 10-23, 2022. Application opens February 1, 2022.

Where: The program will run on the UCSC campus.

Who: Latinx, EOP, and other underrepresented frosh and sophomore students interested in research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  

Students can: 

  • Check out our website starting on February 1 to access the application. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2022 at 3:00 pm.

  • Register for our Virtual Information Session taking place on February 4 from 2:00-3:00 pm.

  • Save the date for our Application Drop-in Office Hours, February 16 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm. The Zoom link for office hours will be posted on our website.

A flyer linked here


If you have any questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions and feel free to reach out to: Sara Sanchez at


Community support for girls’ health and well-being: A partnership with Salud y Cariño

Building Belonging Project with Professor Rebecca London

Apply by: Thursday January 6 at 5pm,

Professor Rebecca London is looking to hire two undergraduates to work with her, a doctoral student, and the non-profit organization Salud y Cariño in winter and spring quarters. Salud y Cariño’s mission is to “open doors for girls to take action and gain confidence through physical activity and healthy choices to live their best lives now and in the future.” The partnership includes two key goals: (1) to document the ways that participating girls experienced the program during its remote/hybrid phases in the pandemic; and (2) to support 7th grade girls in conducting a youth participatory action research project.

The responsibilities of the undergraduate students will include:

  • Attend Salud y Cariño activities during after school hours, especially on Tuesdays from 2:30-4:00. The program is in Live Oak and students can get a ride with Prof. London or the doctoral student.
  • Conduct and film short interviews with participating students about their pandemic experiences.
  • Gather photos and other evidence from pandemic-period programming.
  • Create a short film that documents Salud y Cariño’s pandemic programming and girls’ reactions to it.
  • Support 7th grade girls in developing a photovoice project.
  • Work with 7th grade girls to create a photo exhibit for the end of their school year.

This project is supported by Building Belonging, a program of the Institute for Social Transformation. The program aims to support undergraduate students in Social Sciences who are: EOP eligible, first-generation, low income, under-represented/BIPOC, undocumented, or former foster youth. A Building Belonging fellowship award is $1,500 per student for the quarter. This equates to approximately 100 hours per quarter (10 hours/week).

Applicant requirements:

  • Sociology student in good academic standing
  • Meets the Building Belonging criteria (above)
  • Has passed Socy 3A
  • Interested in working with youth, especially Latina girls

Please email a cover letter indicating your interest and experience and resume to Prof. Rebecca London by Thursday January 6 at 5pm,



Apply by Friday, October 1 2021

Three faculty from Sociology and Environmental Studies are seeking one EOP-eligible student, ideally a sophomore or junior, with interests in issues of environment, sustainability, and social justice, for a Building Belonging Research Project. With faculty support and supervision, the fellow will carry out research about current efforts and needs on campus surrounding issues of environment, sustainability, and justice. The fellow will be asked to design, disseminate, and analyze the results of a Google survey with the goal of identifying faculty with relevant interests (across divisions), relevant courses and syllabi, and current/ongoing student-led and faculty initiatives. Then, the fellows will visit faculty office hours to collect more in-depth information regarding current needs and what kinds of resources would be most helpful in supporting their current efforts and facilitating better collaboration and coordination across campus around issues of environment, sustainability, and justice. Deliverables for this project will include a written report and a website or database containing their findings to be hosted by the Sustainability Office that can be accessed by campus faculty and administrators and used for future reference.
The fellowship award is $1500 per quarter. It is likely that a third quarter of fellowship will be offered in spring. Contact or with a short statement of interest to apply, and with any questions. 


Project title: Whiteness and International Academic Mobility: The Impact of Living and Studying Abroad on the Racial Identity and Network Capital of White Brazilians
Deadline: October 11th, 2021
For EOP Students

Prof. Pinho’s project analyzes a massive study abroad program called “Science without Borders” where the Brazilian government funded the international academic mobility of thousands of college students between 2012 and 2016. Applying the insights of Critical Whiteness Studies, the project investigates the program’s reproduction of structural racism that inadvertently benefited white Brazilian students who were able to benefit from a transnational professional network unavailable to the majority of Brazilians. The selected student will learn how to carry out a literature review. More specifically, the student will learn how to identify, compile, and catalogue publications on the Science without Borders program as well as on the topics of race, racial privilege, whiteness, international education, academic mobility, and other related topics. Students interested in global race studies and mobility should apply. Proficiency in Portuguese is highly desired, but not required. The project has a position available for one student for fall and winter quarters.
To apply: contact Patricia Pinho, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies ( by October 11, 2021.
This is part of the Building Belonging Program, administered by the Institute for Social Transformation. The program is designed to increase belonging and engagement for students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects. Fellowship awards are $1,500 for the academic quarter (this equates to approximately 100 hours). The program aims to support undergraduate students who are: EOP eligible, first-generation, low income, under-represented, or former foster youth.  For more information visit:

The UC Santa Cruz Science & Justice Research Center: Call for Undergraduate Individual Study

Deadline: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 by noon

The Science & Justice Research Center (SJRC) invites undergraduate students to join a cohort of researchers for the  Fall 2021 term. The Individual Study can range from 2-5 units and are part of a group. Independently, students can also work on senior thesis projects in areas related to Center themes (ie: forensic genomics, queer ecology, CRISPR, data privacy and biosurveillance, health care disparities and incarceration, the future of public goods, artificial intelligence and ethics, reproducibility and diversity in research).

SJRC student researchers help inform collaborative research, contribute to co-authored developing blogs, podcasts, and websites, opinion pieces, papers and proposals as well as help design Center programming. Students may track, collect, and organize articles from prominent theorists of race, inequality, and science and technology studies to continue our study of the social, political, and economic dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, opportunities include: working with a current cohort of students, staff and faculty affiliates to continue work in progress, conduct interviews and prepare transcriptions, edit interviews, create outreach materials sharing findings of research activities with the broader public (ie: writing blogposts, articles or reports, creating infographics, podcast episodes, animations, illustrations, interactive documentary websites, etc.).

Those interested in broadcast journalism, social documentation, digital and online student and public engagement via blogs, podcasts and additional mediums (ie: animations, soundscapes, illustrations, etc.) and promotion methods (ie: social media, charts, graphics, photographs, maps, other new or historical oral and written materials) are especially encouraged to apply.

Available Fall 2021

Incarcerated Care – up to 4 students will work directly with Film and Digital Media Professor Sharon Daniel’s team of researchers to expand the Unjustly Exposed interactive documentary website on COVID-19 in prisons and jails. Learn more: Unjustly Exposed, Public Art and Carcerality.

To Apply:

By Tuesday, October 12 at 12 noon, students should email ( with their resume/CV to express interest. We’re excited to learn about you, teach you what we’ve learned from each other, and incorporate your ideas! Please let us know the following:

  1. your name, major(s), any faculty advisors.

  2. any experiences with related items, why you are interested in being involved and how your curriculum, research, or career goals would benefit from the internship.

  3. propose any ideas or intended outcomes you would be interested in completing over Fall 2021, including your preferred methods and mediums.

Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship

Due October 22, 2021

Apply now for a $2,000 Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship award! Koret Scholarships are available to students in any major and in every discipline who are looking for financial support to pursue a research question or creative activity in winter and/or spring 2022. For more details and to apply visit: The application is currently open and the deadline to apply is October 22, 2021. Questions can be directed to



Pathways to Research (P2R)

Apply by November 5th, 2021
Pathways to Research (P2R) is a UCSC research mentorship program offered through EOP. Each year we match undergraduates in the social sciences with a graduate student mentor who will guide them through the research design and graduate school application processes. Students are awarded a research stipend and present their work at our Spring Symposium in May. 
Applications are due 11/5: 
The PDF flyer includes program contact information, eligibility details, and the links for upcoming information sessions. 
Why apply to P2R?
- Holistic mentorship from dedicated grad students
- Encouragement from a cohort of peers and EOP staff
- Stipend $$
- Support for designing a research project and applying to grad programs
- Present your research at the spring symposium 
Drop-In Info Sessions: 
9/28, 5pm-6pm: 
10/6, 4:30-5:30pm: 
10/12, 1pm-2pm: 
Application workshop:
10/25: 4pm-5pm: 

Symposium for Undergraduate Research at UCSC

SURU (the Symposium for Undergraduate Research at UCSC) is held annually and offers students the opportunity to speak about their research, or research that they are interested in, while in a formal and friendly setting. This is a free event, available to the public. All are welcome, even if students do not present your own research, all are invited to come to learn and support their peers! There are many benefits to being a part of the symposium; here are some examples:

  • Practice speaking with others about research in an academic setting

  • Gain valuable feedback regarding your research from experienced researchers

  • Interact with other undergraduates who are also interested in research

  • Have the opportunity to win an awesome prize!

  • Enjoy free refreshments and snacks

  • Build, or start building, your CV

For information and application visit the SURU site.


Review past Research Opportunities in our Archives