Social Sciences: Higher Education

Supervising Faculty Member: Karen Inkelas

Specialization: Higher Education

Research Focus: You will be working on two projects that study college students (much like yourselves!). The first project focuses on college students' experiences studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at UVA. The second project involves helping to collect literature and research for a book on how contemplative practices (e.g., meditation, yoga, mindfulness) improve college students' health, reduce stress, and help them flourish while in college.

Position Description: You will be asked to (1) collect and analyze student data (e.g. survey responses, interview data, focus group data, student assessments, observations), (2) review relevant educational literature, (3) possibly help to write reports and book chapters, and (4) participate in research team meetings.

Required skills: You should be professional, punctual, responsible, and possess a natural curiosity about the college experience. It is also important that you be meticulous with data. You will learn the rest of the skills as you work on the project.

Computer software: We will train you on any software that we will be using, but if you have experience with any of the following, it would be beneficial: Microsoft Excel, Qualtrics, SPSS

Training/certification: No training necessary, but since you will be working with student data, you will need to obtain human subjects (IRB) certification: http://www.virginia.edu/vpr/irb/sbs/training.html

What you will learn: In working on these two projects, I hope you will learn:
1) the fundamentals of social science and educational research;
2) different ways in which researchers study the college experience; and
3) how universities develop initiatives to help college students, and how we evaluate them.