Undergraduate Research Network
- There are five research institutes in department of sociology: Carter G. Woodson institute for Afro-american and African studies, Center for children, families, and the law, Center for Survey research, Institute for advanced studies in culture, National Marriage project
- Lists of research faculty or directors under different institutes are available on the website.
- The great way to start is to figure out your interest, explore the research institute websites and contact the faculty through email.
- Take SOC 3120 Sociology Research Workshop
- Don’t forget to always talk to your TAs and your professors for advice if you want to start your own research topics.
Media Studies (http://mediastudies.virginia.edu/)
- Most research uses a sociological, historical, political, or humanistic approach
- Media studies research is a qualitative, social science
- Social science classes such as sociology and psychology, especially classes that focus on research methods in these areas are recommended but not required for research in media studies
- The most helpful thing a student can do is to use various forms of media often
- Research involves reading, using archives, data sets, conducting interviews, forming and leading focus groups, reviewing and summarizing media such as TV, social media, and the internet, interpreting results from focus groups and interviews, influencing research design and questions
- Most students would work directly with a faculty member and/or a graduate student
- The department website lists faculty research interests, and it is recommended that a student browse these before choosing a mentor
- Research can be completed for credit in media studies
- The time required for research varies, and in studies which involve focus groups, flexibility in scheduling is essential because focus groups meet at the times in which participants are available
- If interested in pursuing research in Media Studies, contact Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan at email@example.com or Professor Andrea Press at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthropology & Archaeology (http://www.virginia.edu/anthropology/)
An interview with a professor of Archaeology at UVa revealed several hints for those interested in research in her field:
- The professors here at UVa usually have graduate students working with them on several projects
- Different professors in the department may need assistants at different point of time for specific duties
- Some of the current undergraduates work at the Digital Archives Library at UVa where they sort pictures of artifacts among other things
- Unfortunately, professors in this department want a TRAINED person...
- That is, unlike the sciences, they take on students who already have the experience and training earned from other programs
- Example - Do you want to do field work/research? Before contacting the UVa professors, go to a specialized program designed to train you on that type of work (They usually will not "train students on-the-job").
- So in conclusion, most archaeology professors expect to take on 3rd year students that has been through AT LEAST a semester of training
- If you are interested in research, visit the UVA Psychology Department website, click on Undergraduates, The Major in Psychology, the “research” link within the paragraph, Research Assistant Needs (PDF). There you can find descriptions of labs, contacts for the labs as well as the procedure for applying to research under a lab.
- Although no time is too early to begin looking for labs and sending out emails of interest, a good rule of thumb is to make contact the semester before you intend to start join.
- There are research opportunities to do research both over the summer and during the school year.
- Very few labs offer to pay assistants. Most research work is 2 credit hours with a time commitment of seven hours per week or 3 credit hours with a time commitment of ten hours per week.
- Depending on the lab, previous coursework may be required.
- The nature of research varies between labs. Types of research include but are not limited to: survey data, literature research, and more applied research.
- Typically research is done with a graduate student but you may be asked to attend general lab meetings where the professor or other graduates students working in the lab may be present.
- Some labs have publishing opportunities but, again, this depends on the lab and who you are working with.
- The Economics Department website is an excellent source for information on both the economics major, and research opportunities and interests available and being pursued in the UVA Economics department.
- Research in the Economics Department is centered around six workshops led by certain faculty members, who can be found and contacted through the Department of Economics Research site.
- It is important to think about what you are or might be interested in, since the six workshops are based around the main topics of: [(Descriptions for each area can be found on the economics department site. Faculty (including professors and graduate assistants) are grouped into the workshops in a regular schedule.]
- Applied Microeconomics
- Industrial Organization (IO) and Theory
- Macro and International Finance
- Public Economics
- Most of these workshops also have regularly scheduled speakers who are researchers/ analysts from their specific fields, who present on their papers
- A foundation in economics is necessary for any field of economics research, and there is an emphasis on numbers, especially for the structural modeling of applied microeconomics.
- Students are encouraged to talk to professors and graduate assistants concerning their research interests for further information/ research opportunities
- While there are opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in economics research at the university, the foundation for studies in economics from undergraduate classes is what builds the strong foundation for graduate research, which is why students interested in economics and econ research should take advantage of the breadth and depth of economics classes available at UVA.
- Independent Study and Supervised Research Course opportunities are available (Econ 4993 and 4995) for undergraduate students to conduct research under the direction and guidance of a faculty member, and to receive credit for that research.
- The Marshall Jevons Undergraduate Research Fund is program that awards selected undergraduate students scholarships to support research projects and academic travels for economics. Eligibility and application information is available online.
- In conclusion, students interested in economics research at UVA should build up a strong resume of economics courses, get involved in research workshops, be in contact with econ department professors, and explore the field of economics to find their specific field of research interest, where depending on the chosen field, they will be involved in analysis, structural modeling, and historical research in the process of writing and publishing academic research papers.