Autumn Semester 2023 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 Autumn Semester 2023.  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 research credit towards the SOCIOL-BA and CRIMINO-BA majors and 6 hours total of research credit towards the SOCIOL-BS 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.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED: Healthcare Experiences and Trust Among Recently Pregnant Women
Email application to Evangeline Warren at

This project examines how recently pregnant women understand, experience, and view the medical system. In particular, we will focus on how different groups of women experience medical mistrust. This is a qualitative project and research assistant duties will include assisting with recruitment of participants, monitoring the study email inbox, cleaning interview transcriptions, and managing participant compensation. Students will be expected to complete ethics training and will be provided with some topical background reading during the onboarding process. This project is particularly well suited to students with an interest in Medical Sociology, Qualitative Research, Public Health, and/or Medicine.

Students should have a 3.0 GPA and a passing grade in the appropriate research methodology class for their discipline. Preference will be given to students with qualitative research experience and interest in health related fields. Non-majors are welcome to apply. Please email Eva Warren ( an up to date resume along with a brief statement addressing (1) why you are interested in this position, (2) how this experience compliments your academic or professional interests, and (3) your previous research experience. Interested students will be interviewed by a member of the research team to confirm fit. 2-3 students would be great.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED: Families We Lose Study
Email application to Dr. Rin Reczek at

The Families We Lose Study is an in-depth interview study that focuses on people who are estranged or “no contact” with a family member. We have been conducting interviews with people who have experienced estrangement; the Undergraduate RA would be helping with recruitment, transcription, data cleaning, and data analysis.

We would like you to have completed research methods; ideally, you have also had a qualitative methods course (but this is not required).  2-3 students needed.

The Role of Race and Ethnic Identity in the Process of Artistic Recognition
E-mail application to Victor Espinosa at

In the last two decades the mainstream art world has taken a growing interest in the art produced by a socially marginalized and self-taught producers called Outsider artists. There is also a recent growing recognition of Latinx and other minority artists in the United States. This project is following the artistic trajectory of the most recognized Outsider artists and some Latinx and immigrant artists to explore how gender, race, ethnicity, class, and social stigma affect the process of recognition in the contemporary art world. This study will contribute to our understanding of the struggles by members of racialized groups to construct an identity as artists and how ethnic identities add extra layers of complexity and conflict to the politics of artistic recognition. The research assistants will assist with literature search and collect qualitative data on the internet. Basic familiarity with Excel is required.

GPA of 3.0 or higher. Non-majors are welcome. Preference will be given to those students interested in art, Latinx culture, race, ethnicity, or immigration. Please email Victor Espinosa with your resume and a brief description of why you are interested in this project. Looking for two undergraduate research assistants for Autumn Semester 2023.

A Multi-Actor Examination of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
E-mail application to Anna Church at

This project is focused on understanding the experience of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) from provider, patient, and residential partner perspectives. GDM is a glucose intolerance that appears during pregnancy and is one of the most common pregnancy complications. There is low consensus around what causes GDM, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it, which makes it ripe for sociological analysis! Existing treatment plans are individually intensive, can contribute to differences in disease management by socioeconomic status and race, and are further complicated by general pregnancy health and notions of ideal motherhood. This project will involve interviewing physicians and other healthcare workers involved in GDM treatment, patients, and residential partners of patients. Research assistants will assist with transcription and analyzing these interviews. This project will also involve ethnographic participant observation and social scientific literature review of medical research and texts. Training and guidance will be provided by Anna, and there may be opportunities to work more in-depth on aspects of this project depending on student interest and motivation. Research assistants should be detail-oriented, interested in qualitative methods, and willing to undergo CITI training so they can be added to the study IRB. Please apply if you are interested in health/medical sociology, gender, motherhood, pregnancy or SES and racial inequality! 

Sociology students with a 3.0 GPA (students with a public health background or other medicine-oriented interests) are welcome to apply. Students who have completed the Sociological Research Methods (SOC3487) course will be given priority. If you are interested, please send Anna Church an email at with a message that addresses the following: a) your major and expected semester of graduation, b) what interests you about this project, c) your previous experience(s) working with qualitative data or research projects in general, d) how many hours you are available to work each week. Feel free to include any questions you may have about the project as well! Looking for 4-6 students.

Trauma and (In)Justice
Email application to Alana Van Gundy at

This project is focused on examining the relationship between trauma and involvement within the criminal justice system. Those who experience trauma at a young age often end up in the criminal justice system. They experience additional trauma via contact with police and corrections and often make poor witnesses at trial due to trauma related brain injuries. This project will focus on gathering information on trauma and injury, examining how trauma impacts how individuals experience or attain justice, and finding policy and legislation that has addressed this issue. This project will combine the fields of sociology, intersectionality, psychology, law, and public policy.

A 3.0 GPA or higher is required. It is recommended that students have taken a research methods course or have previous research experience, although this is not required. Interest in criminal justice, mental health and trauma, and public policy is a plus. Please contact Alana Van Gundy at with your resume and a brief paragraph of why you may be interested in working on this project. Amount of students requested: 1-2.

ALL POSITIONS FILLED: Political Economy and Gentrification in the Franklinton Neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio
Email application to Jacob Kepes at

Franklinton, also known as “The Bottoms”, is the oldest-settled neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, and was founded by Lucas Sullivant in 1797. Franklinton is on the periphery of downtown Columbus and is highly impoverished and sparsely populated compared to nearby neighborhoods. In recent years, the neighborhood has undergone rapid change with the construction of numerous apartment buildings and mid-rise buildings. Many Columbus residents appear concerned about the implications of the rising cost of living and gentrification pushing out long-term residents of the neighborhood. Being the only growing city in the state of Ohio, Columbus makes for a great case study of gentrification, both qualitatively and quantitatively. To understand this phenomenon of neighborhood change and gentrification, I focus my research on three domains: 1) interviews with developers and government officials (the political economy); 2) a qualitative study involving participant observation, photography of neighborhood change, and interviews of residents, both new and old, about their stories and opinions on the neighborhood’s changes; and 3) a quantitative spatial analysis of neighborhood change and gentrification, including poverty levels, rent burden, shortage of affordable housing, racial composition, and other measures. I am looking for an undergraduate student to accompany me to interviews and community meetings, to assist with interview transcription, and to take part in ethnography involving visiting Franklinton frequently.

I ask that prospective students to have completed Research Methods, attention-to-detail, and interpersonal skills. I am hoping for 1-2 undergraduate students.

Examining the Impact of Financial Precarity Amongst Incarcerated Individuals
Email application to Candice Crutchfield at

This research project seeks to examine financial precarity (concerns about finances) amongst formerly incarcerated individuals. More specifically, it examines the strategies formerly incarcerated people use to manage finances, how social ties are implicated in these situations, and how formerly incarcerated people describe their emotions and overall experiences. This is a qualitative research project and research assistants will help with the transcription and analysis of in-depth interviews with 30 formerly incarcerated individuals living in Columbus, OH. In addition to the above, interviews cover a variety of topics, including but not limited to education, incarcerated labor, the reentry process, and more. Accordingly, all research assistants should be detail-oriented and interested in both criminology and qualitative methods.

Students with a 3.0 GPA are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to students interested in criminology, the criminal punishment system, and qualitative research. If you’re interested, please send Candice Crutchfield an email at with a brief message addressing the following information: (1) your major and expected semester of graduation and (2) why you’re interested in this project. Two students will be needed for this project.