Spring Semester 2019 Research Positions


Please complete a research application and choose one of the research positions listed below (research applications available on the Undergraduate Research link or in Townshend Hall 141).  Please return your completed applications to the contact person listed for the project via email.

Below are the research projects that are available for students to work on for SOCIOL 4998 credit Spring Semester 2019.  SOCIOL 4998 is one of the options that students can use to fulfill the major Experiential Learning Requirement - PLEASE NOTE, you may only count 3 hours total of internship or research credit towards the major.  Also, remember that research experience is especially important if you are planning on applying to graduate school!

Please read the requirements for each project carefully, as some require either specific coursework or specific GPA.



Amish Directory Data/ Dr. Elizabeth Cooksey
(email application to elizabeth.cooksey@chrr.osu.edu)

The recent Amish Mennonite Directory data need to be entered into a spread sheet so that demographic fertility and marriage patterns can be compared with those of the Old Order Amish from whom they have split.  This project involves entering the Amish directory data into Stata/Excel.  One or multiple students may be hired.  A prior student ended up doing an honors thesis as a result of this experience.

No special classes or statistical skills required except that the research assistants must be able to pay close attention to details.  A good major or cumulative GPA is preferred.



Private Certificate Efforts: Contestation or Cooptation/ Dr. Andrew Martin
(email application to

Recently there has been a growing effort by activists to compel corporations to adopt socially responsibly policies (sustainability, use of non-sweated labor, cruelty free products).  This research project assess the effectiveness of such efforts.  Students will be expected to perform media searches on organizations that engage in private certification to understand these dynamics more fully.

Completion of research methods preferred but not required.



Intern Experiences and Pathways to Labor Market Entry
(email Corey Pech, pech.3@osu.edu)

This is a qualitative project aimed at understanding the relationship between college major, internships, and labor market entry. Student research assistants will help write case summaries and organize/code data. Any students interested in work, labor markets, education, stratification, or learning practical qualitative research skills are encouraged to apply. 

There is no class/training requirement. Completion of research methods is a plus. Student must be a junior or senior and have a cumulative GPA over 2.5.



National Sport & Society Survey/ Dr. Christopher Knoester
(email application to

This is a national study focused on measuring sports participation, sports viewing, sport expenditures, and public opinions about sports-related issues.  This major data collection effort will allow scholars to improve our understanding of the connections between sports interactions and the overall functioning of society. Up to 5 students are needed to help prepare the data for analysis, begin various study analyses, and otherwise assist in the research process.

Up to 5 students needed. Research training is a plus. GPA should be above a 3.0.



Police Violence: A Shift toward Impacts on Black Women
(email Laura Frizzell, frizzell.31@osu.edu, and Sadé Lindsay lindsay.131@osu.edu)

The goal of this research project is to understand the impact of police violence on Black women. We are particularly interested in how the media saturation of images/videos portraying violence against Black bodies impacts Black women, as well as Black women’s direct and indirect experiences with police violence. The researchers will collect approximately 120 interviews of Black women, and we need undergraduate assistants to help with transcription and analysis of these interviews.

GPA of 3.0 or higher and completion of a research methods course are preferred, but we will consider all applications. We highly encourage those students to apply who are interested in race, gender, police violence, and/or qualitative methods. Non-majors are welcome, and students can sign up for 1 to 3 credit hours as they choose.



Government Fiscal Health
(email Lora Phillips, phillips.1151@osu.edu)

Which counties and municipalities across the country contain many households that have experienced a sudden, large decline in income? Are these counties and municipalities the same as those that have experienced government fiscal stress? Answering these two questions is the first step to understanding how resident and government finances are related, as well as the causes and consequences of place-specific economic insecurity.

This quantitative project will answer the second question by identifying which county and municipal governments have experienced fiscal stress between 2003 and today. Student research assistants will download and save financial reports from government web sites and enter specific data from those reports into a spreadsheet for later analysis. Any students interested in inequality/stratification, economic sociology, urban sociology, political economy, or learning quantitative research skills are encouraged to apply.

There is no class/training requirement, including no requirement to have prior knowledge of government accounting. Students should be responsible, detail-oriented, organized, and enthusiastic. Students looking to fulfill research hours may enroll in 1-3 hours, depending on their preference. Non-majors are welcome to apply.



Worker Experiences in the Gig Economy
(email Laurie Michaels, michaels.90@osu.edu)

This is a qualitative, comparative project focused on the experiences of workers employed in the ‘gig economy’ and the traditional employment sector. Research assistants will transcribe qualitative, in-depth interviews and code qualitative data. This is a great opportunity for students interested in work & labor, gender, race, or social inequality; it’s also a good chance for students to learn more about interview methodologies. Hours are flexible, but students should be expect to work 8 -10 hours/week.

Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Completion of Social Research Methods preferred but not required.



Group Interaction and Status Perceptions/ Dr. David Melamed
(email application to melamed.9@osu.edu)

I am looking for a few enthusiastic students to help with some research. The point of the research is to understand whether interaction patterns can shape perceptions of category members (e.g., does interacting with a dominant Michigan student alter how you think about the status of Michigan students in general?). For the research, naïve participants will interact with confederates (i.e., people they think are other participants but are really on the research staff). The confederates will need to interact – via Skype – with naïve participants in either an assertive or deferential tone, depending on random assignment and timing. In each session, you would need to interact with 5 different naïve participants, for roughly 10 minutes each. We have guidelines for how to implement “assertive” and “deferential” but cannot account for everything that occurs in the conversation so improvisation is important here.

Competed Sociological Research Methods & GPA of 3.0 or higher. Approximately 8-10 students needed.



Household Economic Insecurity and Hardship
(email Chrisse Edmunds, edmunds.32@osu.edu)

This quantitative project examines how families cope with the effects economic insecurity. Research assistance is needed in identifying variables from codebooks and organizing them in spreadsheets. Students will also gather relevant literature. Students interested in poverty, insecurity, hardship, and life course studies are encouraged to apply. Students who want training in Stata may be trained as part of the project and work on coding the data. This is a great opportunity for students seeking beginning-level experience with quantitative data.

Looking for 1-2 students. Completion of Research Methods and familiarity with Microsoft Excel is required. Students must be a junior or senior and have a cumulative or major GPA of at least 2.5. Non-majors are welcome to apply. Students may sign up for 1-3 hours as they choose.



Criminal Records and Housing: An Audit Study
(email Laura DeMarco, demarco.71@osu.edu)


This research looks at whether and how criminal records affect access to rental housing. Establishing secure and stable housing can be difficult, especially after incarceration, but it is particularly important to the reentry process.  Having stable housing can reduce the likelihood of new convictions and readmission to prison for new crime, and having a home is a key determinant of both physical and mental health. Despite new guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on the use of criminal background checks in housing, little is known about how landlords and public housing authorities use criminal histories in making admissions or rental decisions.  This project aims to contribute to our understanding of how having a criminal record can restrict or shape housing opportunity.

Looking for 2-3 students to enroll in 1-3 credit hours. Research assistants will inventory rental housing advertisements and complete data entry tasks, assist with data collection of a field experiment, and more. Students will need to attend weekly training sessions for all research activities and will be expected to complete most work in the Sociology Department.  GPA of 3.0+ is required, having taken Research Methods is preferred but not required.



Contingent Faculty and the Rise of Inequality in the Academy
(Email Liz Klainot-Hess, klainot-hess.1@osu.edu)

This is a qualitative, interview-based study of contingent faculty (lecturers and adjucts) at large public research universities.  I have already conducted the first stage of the project, which looks at the work experiences of contingent faculty.  I am now working on the second stage of the project, which is focused on efforts by universities, unions and social movements to improve these jobs. I am hoping to learn who is involved in these unions and social movements, what actions they are taking to improve these jobs, whether these efforts are successful, and who benefits the most from these efforts. I am currently conducting interviews with lecturers and adjuncts who have been involved in unions and social movements.  I need research assistants to transcribe interviews, write case summaries, compile statistics from interview transcripts, and do background research on lecturer and adjuct unions and social movements (which may involve searching for and summarizing websites, union contracts, news articles, press releases, and other materials).  This is a great project for students interested in work, higher education, class inequality, social movements, unions or qualitative research methods.

GPA of 3.0 or higher preferred, but this may be negotiable.  Research Methods class preferred but not required.



Diversity in Higher Ed/ Professors Oneya Okuwobi and Vincent Roscigno
(email application to 

Students working on this project will be coding online data to understand diversity programs offered at a selection of colleges and universities. These data will be analyzed in light of minority representation and retention. Sociology majors interested in research on inequality and diversity in higher education are especially encouraged to apply.

There is no class/training requirement. Completion of research methods is a plus.