Research Opportunities

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

 


2020-21 Opportunities:

Winter & Spring: Science & Justice Research Center-Call for Undergraduate Individual Study

The Science & Justice Research Center (SJRC) invites up to 10 undergraduate students to join a cohort of researchers for both Winter and Spring 2021 terms. 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, Winter and Spring 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.). Students may also act as Critical Listeners (report on) select virtual related events (ie: Feb 2 IAS w/ SJRC colleague Ruha Benjamin).

Those interested in broadcast journalism, social documentation, digital and online student and public engagement are especially encouraged to apply.

Available Winter and Spring 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemicene Project: Re-Worlding Toward Justice – expand zine, blog and podcast to interview policy makers, practitioners, mutual-aid and community organizers. Current student leads are looking to add those interested in conducting interviews and those interested in getting the interview to the public via blogs, podcast episodes 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). Learn more: The Pandemicene Project.

Incarcerated Care – In addition to joining a cohort of SJRC researchers in the Pandemicene Project, up to 2 students will work directly with Film and Digital Media Professor Sharon Daniel’s team to expand an interactive documentary website on COVID-19 in prisons and jails. Learn more: Public Art and Carcerality, Unjustly Exposed.

Orphan Drugs – In addition to joining a cohort of SJRC researchers in the Pandemicene Project, up to 2 students will work with faculty (James Doucet-Battle, Jenny Reardon, Jeremy Sanford, Matt Sparke, Michael Stone) and independent researchers on items related to pharmaceutical licensing agreements, bringing drugs to the market, ethical and equity issues related to orphan-disease drug discovery and dissemination. Learn more: student blog).

Laboratory Life and Social Death: The Problem of Diversity in Science and Society – In addition to joining a cohort of SJRC researchers in the Pandemicene Project, up to 2 students will work directly with Sociology Assistant Professor James Doucet-Battle on linkages between the social sciences, African Diaspora Studies, history, politics, and genomic science curriculum and training to conceptualize and develop an engaging and interactive online summer program in partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Students may assist with research on and collecting materials related to the rigor, reproducibility and diversity of biomolecular data; identify other all-campus resources serving ABC students (ie: partner with AARC, HSI initiative, ODEI) and known challenges specific to summer sessions (refer to current BSU demands). Learn more: Bioethical Matriarchy (Doucet-Battle 2016), UC/HBCU initiative.

To Apply:

By Monday, December 7, students should email (scijust@ucsc.edu) with their resume/CV and expressing 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 Winter and Spring 2021, include your preferred methods and mediums.

   

  

Fall 2020 Research with Professor Fukurai:

Title and Description of Proposed Course: 

Given the fact that human-induced environmental catastrophes have been affecting the organized human societies, this class is designed to examine people’s perceptions and attitudes about the Anthropocene and the associated catastrophes and disasters, including climate change, sea-level rising, forest fires, zoonotic viruses pandemic, famine, and climate refugees due to food scarcity and regional conflicts, among others. Students will use Google Form online survey instruments and SPSS for statistical analysis of questionnaire responses.

Specifically we attempt to complete the following:

  1. completion of college survey questionnaire
  2. distribution of online college survey questionnaire
  3. construction of survey data set from questionnaire responses
Students will receive 5 units of independent study for their participation. Please review additional information and instructions.

   

 

Building Belonging Program: “Two Pandemics in the Ring of Fire: COVID-19, Diabetes, and Infernal Change”

COVID-19 has acquainted many people globally with the sedentary realities of quarantine and (self)-imposed shelter-in-place restrictions. These restrictions, combined with climate change induced fires raging across the western US, have raised concerns about a decrease in physical activity and an increase in weight gain, what some have called “the quarantine fifteen.” For diabetics (Types 1 and 2), physical activity constitutes a vital component in maintaining overall health. Obesity and diabetes disproportionately affect underserved racial and ethnic minority populations and serve as preconditions with comorbidities that increase COVID-19 susceptibility. Arguably, the obesity and Type 2 pandemics preceded COVID-19 and will doubtless succeed it. What is not yet known are the ways that diabetes as a social form and item of analysis will take shape in the post-COVID-19 future. 

The proposed Winter 2021 Building Belonging project directs its focus through the lens of diabetes to interrogate four broad areas of critical inquiry: 1. How have people with diabetes adjusted to living with the illness during the pandemic? 2. In what ways has the pandemic changed clinician diabetes treatment? 3. How has the pandemic affected public health outreach, education and support of diabetes patients? 4. What role has technology played in making these metabolic adjustments to COVID-19 and the fires? 

We will select one student who will, over Winter and Spring Quarter, perform archival work and generate literature gleaned from national, state, and local sources. National data will provide a rigorous foregrounding of the ways the pandemic has affected diabetes care, treatment, and education. We will contextualize the national data within a targeted examination of the unique challenges that fires in the state have presented to patients, clinicians, and public health professionals. We will meet every two weeks to discuss student-generated annotated bibliographies as they work toward submitting both individual written reports and generating a research poster for presentation at the end of Spring Quarter. This project aims to attract rising junior students interested in eventually writing a senior research thesis in the areas of health disparities, medical sociology, and/or Science, Technology, and Society studies (ST&S). The senior thesis could then serve as a robust writing sample for a future graduate school application. 

Interested applicants should contact me, James Doucet-Battle: jbattle@ucsc.edu

   

 

Building Belonging Program
The Building Belonging Program is a new undergraduate fellowship program designed to increase belonging and engagement for students through faculty mentored service-learning and research projects. Fellowship awards are $1,500 for the quarter awarded.

The program aims to support undergraduate students in Social Sciences who are:
- EOP eligible
- first-generation
- low income
- under-represented
- former foster youth

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units. We strongly encourage participation of sophomores and juniors.
Faculty apply to the program and select student fellows to help with research projects. Students who are interested in participating should contact the professors below. 
Projects currently open include:
Turning the Tide: Shifting Access, Equity, and Vulnerability in Coastal California (either Fall 2020 or Winter 2021)
contact Katherine Seto, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Who Saves Whom? Compassionate Economies of Care in Animal Rescue (Winter 2021)
contact Melissa Caldwell, Professor of Anthropology
Barriers to Adopting Healthful Diets Across Cultural and Socio-economic Groups (Winter 2021)
contact Galina Hale, Professor of Economics
New topic announced with Professor James Doucet-Battle (see posting above)
This program is administered by the Institute for Social Transformation. For more information visit: transform.ucsc.edu/building-belonging
 

Pathways to Research

Pathways to Research (P2R) is a UCSC research mentorship program offered through EOP. Each year P2R matches 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 small research stipend and present their work at the Spring Symposium in May. 
Applications are now open at bit.ly/P2RApp20
 

SOCY 139T Community Engaged Research Practicum - Spring Quarter

This sociology elective course will be offered Spring quarter. Enrollment is by application and permission code. The application process will be available in the schedule of classes details for the class once the Spring schedule is published.

Covers the theories and methods associated with community-based and participatory action research. Students review relevant scholarship then engage in a collective field research project in collaboration with a community organization. Themes, collaborations, and research projects vary.

 

SOCY 196S-01 Senior Seminar, Topic: Community Engaged Research, in Spring Quarter with Professor Rebecca London

This course will be similar to the SOCY 139T course listed above, however, is specifcally for seniors satisfying their comprehensive/senior exit requirement. More details about the course and topic will be available closer to Spring enrollment


2019-20 Opportunities:

Science & Justice Research Center

The SJRC hosts Individual Study students to collaborate on current research projects to help inform collaborative research projects, developing blogs, opinion pieces, papers and proposals as well as Center events and programming. Students can also work on senior thesis projects related to Center Themes (ie: forensic genomics, queer ecology, CRISPR, data and privacy, health care and incarceration, the future of public goods, artificial intelligence and ethics, reproducibility and diversity in research). The Individual Study course can range from 2-5 units. It can be independent or part of a group.

Winter + Spring Opportunities include:

PG&E – assist with research on and collecting materials related to PG&E’s energy shutoffs. Refer to the developing blog: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/10/19/pge-shutoff/

Forensic Genomics & Ethics – assist with research on and collecting materials related to forensic genomics and ethics. Refer to the developing blog: https://scijust.ucsc.edu/2019/11/27/developing-story-forensic-genomics/

UC/HBCU Proposal Development: “Laboratory Life and Social Death: The Problem of Diversity in Science and Society”assist with research on and collecting materials related to reproducibility and diversity of biomolecular data; help identify current UC/HBCU programs at UC Santa Cruz and potential UCSC students and colleagues that align with Spelman and Morehouse Universities’ Sociology and STS (Science and Technology Studies) research; help identify current campus resources serving ABC students and known challenges specific to summer sessions; help plan to integrate future HBCU undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) to engage in UCSC summer campus activities beginning Summer 2021. Information on the UC/HBCU initiative can be found at: https://www.ucop.edu/uc-hbcu-initiative/index.html

Orphan Drugs – assist with research on and collecting materials related to pharmaceutical licensing agreements bringing drugs to the market; ethical and equity issues related to orphan-disease drug discovery and dissemination.

Find ways undergraduates can get involved in Science & Justice research. Apply no later than the Monday of Week 1 and email a writing sample to scijust@ucsc.edu.

 

Pathways to Research

P2R is a research-mentoring program for EOP students in the social sciences over multiple quarters where you receive mentorship from a PhD student on topics spanning the research process and the realities of graduate school based on your individual goals.

Visit their site for more information

 

SOCY 139T Community Engaged Research Practicum

This sociology elective course will be offered Spring quarter. Enrollment is by application and permission code. The application process will be available in the schedule of classes details for the class once the Spring schedule is published.

Covers the theories and methods associated with community-based and participatory action research. Students review relevant scholarship then engage in a collective field research project in collaboration with a community organization. Themes, collaborations, and research projects vary.

 

Education/Sociology Field Study Opportunity

Supporting the Latinx Student Union at Santa Cruz High School 

Deadline to apply: June 3, 2019

Santa Cruz High School (SCHS) and UCSC are partnering to support the SCHS Latinx Student Union during the 2019-20 school year. The Latinx Student Union is a student-run club that aims to build community and support academic success through programming, such as a Latinx graduation.

UCSC undergraduates will work with a doctoral student in the Education Department to support the Latinx Student Union through mentorship, programming, and participatory action research. The specific themes for the year will be determined in partnership with the high school youth.

Students must be able to commit to a full year of field study (2 credits/quarter). This will entail lunchtime meetings once a week at Santa Cruz High and may also entail field work at other times of the day. 

Required: Experience working with youth from historically underserved communities; research methods

Preferred: Coursework related to educational equity

We encourage applicants from a diversity of backgrounds, particularly first-generation, low-income, Latinx students. 

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Professor Rebecca London: rlondon@ucsc.edu or email for more information.

Deadline to apply: June 3, 2019

 


2018-19 Opportunities:

Pathways to Research

P2R is a research-mentoring program for EOP students in the social sciences over multiple quarters where you receive mentorship from a PhD student on topics spanning the research process and the realities of graduate school based on your individual goals.

Visit their site for more information

 

Koret Undergraduate Scholars

The Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Student Success with funding from the Koret Foundation will award 64 Undergraduate Research Scholarships of $1,500 plus expenses for students from any discipline. Applications Due October 31, 2018.

Visit their site for more information 

 

Central Valley Freedom Summer (CVFS) Participatory Action Research Project

Quarter(s) Available: Fall'18, Winter'19, Spring'19, Summer'19

Description of Research Project: Conduct participant observation of youth voter engagement campaigns

Faculty Sponsor: Veronica Terriquez (Faculty)

Secondary Point of Contact: Anai Paniagua

Number of students needed for this research project: 20

Estimated number of hours per week with Faculty Sponsor or Supervisor: 30 min 

Estimated numbers of hours per week working independently on project: varies

Paid or Unpaid: unpaid and paid

Unit Requirement: None

Prerequisites or qualifications needed to apply: Attended High School in the California Central Valley

Responsibilities of students participating in this research project: Taking field notes, conducting surveys, conducting nonpartisan voter education, supporting grassroots campaigns, mapping social services in the area.

Research Location: On campus during the school year, in the Central Valley during the Summer

How to apply: contact Anai Paniagua at ropaniag@ucsc.edu

 

Projects Continuing From 2017-18

Some of the projects listed below from the 2017-18 school year are continuing through this academic year, including BSS and the Youth Leadership Health Study. While many of the positions have been filled, there may still be opportunities to join throughout the school year. Please check with the contact person listed.

 


 

 2017-18 Opportunities:

Brothers, Sons, Selves (BSS): Youth Participation & Leadership Development Study

Interested in supporting the youth movement in South Los Angeles and South East Los Angeles?

The Brothers, Sons, Selves (BSS) coalition is working to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color by advocating for positive alternatives to punitive school discipline and reducing criminalization in Los Angeles County and the State of California. Since 2010, BSS has fought to improve school climate, which means that fewer students of color are getting pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline. In collaboration with BSS, we are documenting their organizational and cultural practices. Currently, we are looking for two to four undergraduate research assistants from South Los Angeles or surrounding area.

More Details: 

-Point person: Uriel Serrano, Ph.D. student, Sociology Department.

-Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Veronica Terriquez, Sociology Department.

-Research assistants must be from South Los Angeles.

-We will train you qualitative data collection approaches and in coding and transcribing of data.

-Weekly check-ins via email, text, phone call, or in-person with Uriel.

-2-5 unit course credit available with Dr. Veronica Terriquez for Spring quarter.

-Opportunities for part-time paid internships during the summer and fall quarter may arise.

Please contact serrano@ucsc.edu if you are interested or have any questions!

 

 

Youth Leadership and Health Study

Quarter(s) Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Description of Research Project: Collecting and analyzing data on youth civic engagement. Students are needed from: Santa Ana, South LA, Boyle Heights, Oakland, Richmond, South Sacramento, Coachella, and City Heights, Salinas, Merced, Fresno, and Kern County.

Faculty Sponsor: Veronica Terriquez (Faculty)

Secondary Point of Contact: Uriel Serrano (Graduate Student)

Number of students needed for this research project: 4

Estimated number of hours per week with Faculty Sponsor or Supervisor: 1

Estimated numbers of hours per week working independently on project: 4-10

Paid or Unpaid: Some unpaid positions can turn into paid positions after 6 months, at $15/hour

Unit Requirement: Enrollment into units is not required

Prerequisites or qualifications needed to apply: Excellent communication skills over email, time management. Students must be from Santa Ana, South LA, Boyle Heights, Oakland, Richmond, South Sacramento, Coachella, and City Heights, Salinas, Merced, Fresno, and Kern County.

Responsibilities of students participating in this research project: Transcribing interviews, data entry, transcription, coding, administering surveys, participant observations at youth organizations

Research Location: Off and on campus options

How to apply: Contact Uriel Serrano urserran@ucsc.edu

 

Central Valley Freedom Summer (CVFS) Participatory Action Research Project

Quarter(s) Available: Winter, Spring, Summer

Description of Research Project: Conduct participant observation of youth voter engagement campaigns

Faculty Sponsor: Veronica Terriquez (Faculty)

Secondary Point of Contact: Anai Paniagua

Number of students needed for this research project: 20

Estimated number of hours per week with Faculty Sponsor or Supervisor: 1, 4 over the summer

Estimated numbers of hours per week working independently on project: 8 during the school year, 38 over the summer

Paid or Unpaid: $4000 summer stipend

Unit Requirement: SOCY 139T and individual studies SOCY 193F or SOCY 199F

Prerequisites or qualifications needed to apply: Attended High School in the California Central Valley

Responsibilities of students participating in this research project: Taking field notes, conducting surveys, conducting nonpartisan voter education, supporting grassroots campaigns

Research Location: On campus during the school year, in the Central Valley during the Summer

How to apply: contact Anai Paniagua at ropaniag@ucsc.edu

 

Middle School Breaktime Study  (not accepting any more students at this time)

Quarter(s) Available: Winter - Spring 2018

Description of Research Project: In an effort to improve the quality of recess, Santa Cruz City
Schools implemented Playworks in all four of its elementary schools. Playworks
promotes safe and healthy play at recess and throughout the school day. It’s been
five years and those students are now in middle school. We are interested in
learning how the tools students learned in elementary school recess have carried
over into their middle school breaktime

Faculty Sponsor: Rebecca London (Faculty)

Number of students needed for this research project: 5-7

Estimated number of hours per week with Faculty Sponsor or Supervisor: Varies

Estimated numbers of hours per week working independently on project: Varies

Paid or Unpaid: unpaid

Unit Requirement: Eligible for independent study units

Prerequisites or qualifications needed to apply: Preference will be given to students who have completed SOCY 3A or an equivalent research methods course. Please mention any research methods courses you have completed when applying.

Responsibilities of students participating in this research project: Observations of breaktime and a classroom activity as well as interviews with key respondents in three middle schools and four elementary schools.

Research Location: Santa Cruz middle schools and elementary schools.

How to apply: Send a short letter of interest (with resume, optional) to Sociology
Professor Rebecca London, rlondon@ucsc.edu  by Friday December 8. Mention any
research methods courses you’ve completed. Preference will be given to students
who have completed Sociology 3A or an equivalent research methods course.
Note: Livescan fingerprinting may be required to be involved with data collection on
school sites.