Current Undergraduate Research Opportunities
ANTH 4950: Undergraduate Research
Anthropology allows undergraduate students to do research for credit towards the major.
Students must gain permission from an anthropology professor who also agrees to supervise their research for a semester. This course can be counted in the ANTH Topical section.
HUNTER-GATHERER ECOLOGY AND ECONOMICS
Explanations of major transitions in human history, from the evolution of our genus to the origins of agriculture, depend on quantitative estimates of the costs and benefits associated with various foraging activities. However, there is no standard database of existing data that can be used to systematically evaluate competing hypotheses. This project would begin to remedy these problems by combing the literature and extracting quantitative data on hunter-gatherer economics which will be added to a global database.
HISTORICAL DEMOGRAPHY OF BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
This is a collaborative project that examines how 13 populations on the Baja California Peninsula changed over time from 1700-1900AD. Research includes 1) data input on Birth, Death, and Marriage using historical records; 2) opportunities for data analysis, write up, and presentations; and 3) the possibility of travel to Baja California Sur, Mexico (for students will Upper-Level Spanish language abilities).
Econ 4660 & 4670:
Econ allows undergraduate students to do research for credit towards the major. The Statistical Analysis Emphasis consists of a sequence of two courses. Students work in groups to conduct applied empirical research projects. (Contact: Professor Richard Fowles, Economics Advising)
CSBS Internship Program in Economics. Internships offer a wide array of research opportunities. Voices for Utah Children is a recurring option. Voices for Utah Children Research Internship: Every fall and spring semester, the department offers students an opportunity to carry out a research internship with Voices for Utah Children, a local policy research organization. Past projects have included evaluation of gender pay inequality, analysis of the impact of the state budget on children and families, and comparison of Utah’s economic performance with neighboring states. The internship can be used for course credit (Econ 4890), and stipends may be available. (Contact: Prof. Thomas Maloney, CSBS Internship Advisor)
Honors Thesis Project. The Honors thesis allows students to deeply engage a research project. (Contact: Honors Faculty Advisor, Professor Günseli Berik; Economics Advising)
ENVIRONMENTAL & SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES
Environmental & Sustainability Studies allows research for credit, but under specific conditions:
- Must have core courses in ENVST major complete (ENVST 2000, 2100, 2050, 3210, 3364, 3365 & POLS 5322)
- 60+ credits
- Must have 3.5 GPA or higher
- Must be related to ENVST and approved through the online form at least 2 weeks before the semester they are planning on taking the course
- Can only count once in the major and in the ENVST experiential learning section (students can take either the ENVST internship requirement, research requirement, or Honors thesis)
- Once students fill out the form, they are given an add code for ENVST 5000, and students must take it for a total of 3 credits to meet this requirement
Did you know that up to a billion birds die annually in the U.S. from window strikes
because they see clear or reflective windows as open space (Loss et al., 2014)? Fortunately
we found that a window treatment—the application of external window dots (Feather
Friendly®) can reduce bird deaths, especially for Cedar Waxwings (Brown et al., 2019;https://peerj.com/articles/7620/ ). In Winter 2020 we would like to continue research-based advocacy for birds on
Here are activities that a research project could explore:
- 1. Collaborate on a SCIF grant proposal to apply the effective window treatment to the remaining dangerous window surfaces on AEB and JTB (sustainability.utah.edu/scif)
- 2. Help inspect the 8 buildings we are evaluating for high risk of bird death. Last
year these inspections lasted until the end of January, when bird deaths declined.
We are not sure of this year’s pattern, given that Cedar Waxwings have not yet arrived
to feed on the President’s Circle pear trees.
- 3. Develop skills to upload bird photos to our University of Utah Bird Window Collision
Project on iNaturalist ( seeinaturalist.org/projects/university-of-utah-bird-window-collision-project )
- 4. Develop skills to encourage campus awareness and reporting of bird deaths. This
could include flyers that create messages that involve campus users, media or social
media outreach, or efforts to propose and support the adoption of bird-friendly building
designs on campus.
This project could serve several types of classes, including undergraduate research in Environmental Studies 5000 (https://envst.utah.edu/forms/undergraduate-research-application.php) or Family and Consumer Studies 5950, work study, or other options that could be negotiated with other departments, or even work-study. We will collect field data and develop the SCIF grant proposal but other components of the project can be developed in response to student interests.
If you are interested, contact Dr. Barbara Brown, 246 AEB, Barbara.email@example.com (801-581-7111)
FAMILY & CONSUMER STUDIES
Family and Consumer Studies allows undergraduate students to do research for credit towards the major.
Students must gain permission from a family and consumer studies professor who also agrees to supervise their research for a semester. This course can be coutned in the FCHD elective section.
- Title: Research Project at Primary Children’s Hospital
Project Description: Professors Marissa Diener and Russ Isabella are beginning a research project at Primary Children's Hospital that will focus on some aspect of the work of Child Life Specialists. This research is in its earliest planning stages so there is opportunity for students to get involved "on the ground floor" of the research process.
- Title: Lethal Intimate Partner Violence Project
Project Description: Lethal Intimate Partner Violence project - with Salari and Sillito.
Contact Sonia Lynne Salari for potential independent research credit, firstname.lastname@example.org
- 4/20, 5/20 EMAIL TO RUSS Title: Community and Health Inequities Lab | Office of Undergraduate
Project Description: There are two active research projects in the lab. The first aims to understand social and structural determinants of preterm birth risk among black mothers. These include systemic barriers to healthcare, residential segregation, economic inequities, and criminal justice factors. The second project includes a large data collection effort of neighborhood recreational spaces (e.g., parks, trails)
GEOG 5950: Individual Projects
Students can work on a research project with a faculty member or graduate student through independent study.
Students can sign up for GEOG 5950 multiple times, but it will only be counted once as an elective in any of the GEOG emphases.
Geography allows for research for credit outside of the department as long as it has a geographical component and is approved by the department chair.
Health, Society & Policy
HSP 4999: Honor's Thesis
HSP 5950: Independent Study*
*Only offered as part of a special arrangement or approval for UROP
PED 5700, 5900, 5902: These classes that make part of the Pediatric Clinical Research Minor
SOC 3960: Research Seminar
Health, Society & Policy allows undergraduate students to do research for elective credit (3 hour minimum) towards the major. Research courses in various departments could be petitioned for substitution approval.
POLS 4950: Independent Studies
If a student is going outside of Political Science for research, then they register for whatever the required research course is for the department they are working with. If they can prove the there was some POLS components within their research (online petition form), POLS will do an audit exception for it to apply towards their POLS major.
Research coursework applies towards POLS upper division electives at the 3000-4000 level.
LAW AND ORDER SVU AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN PROJECT
This project will involve a graduate student in the Department of Social Work, Kwynn Gonzales-Pons, as well as work with an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, Corrine Schwartz. In this project, we will be designing an RCT experiment which will assign students to one of two trainings: the traditional bystander intervention training as required by SB 134 and clips of Law and Order SVU with guided discussion questions. Attitudes on gender-based violence will be measured with surveys before and after.
RESEARCH ON CONGRESS, PUBLIC POLICY, AND POLITICAL PARTIES
Dr. James Curry is interested in working with students on research regarding the U.S. Congress, American policymaking, American political parties, leadership in American politics, and American legislative elections.
*Course number depends on the lab area focus
Psychology allows undergraduate students to do research for credit towards their major.
Psychology also allows research for credit outside of the psychology department with approval from the Undergraduate Chair. Students will fill out a contract, and they must be doing research related to psychology with a faculty member outside of the department.
Students can do up to 6 credits of experiential learning in psychology including research, internship, and TA experiences towards their psychology elective section.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR VETERANS STUDIES SEEKING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT WITH INTEREST IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Dr. Lauren Khazem is seeking a research assistant to aid in tasks associated with a study focusing on examining mechanisms contributing to suicide risk in individuals with various physical disabilities , including veterans. Individuals are participating in the study remotely from all areas of the United States.
Other opportunities to assist on other research projects may become available to reliable and promising RAs. This position is best suited for students interested in pursuing graduate study in psychology.
Sociology allows undergraduate students to do research for elective credit towards the major.
Impact of marijuana legalization on public safety
Dr. Guangzhen Wu is interested in working with students on research examining the impact of marijuana legalization. The legalization of recreational marijuana is a pivotal policy change, and its social consequences remain largely unknown. Specifically, using longitudinal data, this study examines how recreational marijuana legalization affects crime in the legalized states, and its potential spillover effects on crime in neighboring states.
SOCIAL CONTEXTS OF HEALTH AND WELLBEING IN THE U.S. AND CHINA
Dr. Ming Wen can mentor projects that examine social determinants of any outcomes related to health and wellbeing across the whole life course. Her research focuses on two settings: USA and China. She typically uses existing survey data to examine research questions related to social contexts of health and wellbeing using a variety of statistical methods.
COMMUNITY-BASED AND GLOBAL HEALTH RESEARCH
Community-based and global health research projects in the following areas: immigrant and minority health, social determinants of health, health disparities, women’s health, intimate partner violence
Health disparities in the community and the globe
Project description: Dr. Akiko Kamimura can mentor community-based projects and global health research projects in the following areas: community health, immigrant/refugee/minority health, intimate partner violence, global health, and any other health-related topics. The majority of her projects involve primary data collection using quantitative (surveys) and/or qualitative (interviews, focus groups) methods.