2020-21 Opportunities

Note: WSRAP opportunities for Spring 2021 will be posted beginning December 15, 2020. Please reference the chart below for opportunities offered through the Work-Study Research Assistant Program for 2020-21. Follow the link in the Job Posting column to access the position listing and apply on JobX. Please note that the opportunities denoted with the First Generation image are offered by faculty members who themselves identify as first generation (neither parent completed a four-year degree); first generation students are particularly encouraged to consider these positions and apply to those that align with their skills and interests.


Job Posting Faculty Name Department Brief Position Description Status
11278 Bray, Melissa Educational Psychology Mind Body health intervention research in the areas of stuttering and asthma, amongst others. Active studies to begin in the fall, virtually if need be. Students will help with all phases of the research to publication process. Filled
10581 Chafouleas, Sandra Educational Psychology This position entails working with Dr. Chafouleas and her research team, with specific emphasis on tasks for the UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH: see http://csch.uconn.edu). The CSCH mission is to facilitate innovative research and dissemination in school and child health, acknowledging that a whole child lens that integrates academics and health in serving students leads to better student outcomes across domains (academic, social, emotional, behavioral, physical). Although CSCH is engaged in many scholarly activities, the primary job tasks for this position include synthesis of research in different areas related to school and child health, with the intent to disseminate information on evidence-informed policy and practices (e.g. what are best practices for increasing physical activity?, what has the policy impact been on changes to school nutrition programs?) in multi-media formats (e.g., brief user-friendly reports, podcasts). Filled
11275 Singer, Matthew Political Science I am studying how subnational officials are being held accountable for the coronavirus outbreak by collecting data on their popularity before and during the crisis. The student will help me identify published polls on governor approval and record the date of the survey and the approval rating of the governor into a large database. Filled
10621 Suib, Steve Chemistry/Institute of Materials Science Positions in our lab involve research encompassing the broad areas of synthesis of new materials, characterization of these system with spectroscopic and microscopic tools, and applications. Applications include adsorbents, catalysts, ceramics, energy, semiconductors, sensors, and others. All of the work involves environmentally friendly and practical systems. Filled
112761st Generation Wagstrom, Kristina Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering My objective is to evaluate the relationship between when students complete out-of-class assignments in a flipped class and their performance in the course. Quantifying this association may provide additional motivation for incorporating approaches, such as gamification, in the course to incentivize student to complete these assignments earlier and improve study habits. An undergraduate student researcher would help analyze six years worth of course data and prepare a paper for submission to the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Meeting. The student would develop skills in data management, data privacy, statistical analysis, and professional communication. Closed
112771st Generation Wagstrom, Kristina Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering This position will involve synthesizing the current body of knowledge about the transport of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the air. PFAS are a group of persistent, man-made chemicals with many detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health. Much of the prior research about PFAS has focused on impacts through water systems but PFAS are also released into the air and potentially transported over long distances. Filled
112791st Generation McGloin, Rory Communication For this position, the research assistant will be involved in helping to create, deliver, code, and analyze survey responses from individuals who participate in communication related workshops. These workshops are designed to help enhance the attendees communication skills, including developing their ability to present effectively in both face to face and digital settings. The research assistant will help in the process of identifying the specific needs of our workshop audiences through survey as well as determine how the workshops helped to improve or develop the attendees skill and self-efficacy. This is a great position for a student interested in: communication, organizations, training and development, & human resources. Filled
106361st Generation Simien, Evelyn Political Science I am editing a book, Historic Firsts in US Elections. The project compels us to think about the lasting impact of barrier-breaking candidates insofar as they influence Black voter turnout. Contributors stress the importance of symbolic empowerment whereby a historic first—that being, in this case: a Black office seeker—facilitates the process by which Black voters support their candidacy on account of a shared group identity and actively participates in politics. Closed
10467 Utke, Steven Accounting This position involves collecting income tax data of publicly traded firms in order to determine how much tax these firms owe on their foreign earnings. Filled
112871st Generation Li, Na Pharmaceutical Sciences Oral drug delivery is the easiest and simplest and thus the most popular route of drug delivery. Nanoparticles possess unique advantages such as targeted delivery and protective encapsulation and are gaining a lot of interests. In this project, the student will work closely with a graduate student and the faculty mentor on preparing a review article in the context of oral drug delivery using nanoparticles. The student will be trained on how to find relevant literature and summarize research findings. In addition, the student will gain experience on scientific writing, proofreading, and editing reports & research copy Filled
10668 Myers, Emily Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences In our lab we conduct research on how people process the sounds of speech. This includes primarily behavioral data (reaction times, perceptual decisions), primarily with healthy younger adults. This position involves helping with a study of neural processing of speech, primarily helping to code and tag audio files. Filled
11288 Cooper, Ryan Mechanical Engineering This research position builds free and open resources for the Numpy community. You will work with active free open source software (FOSS) developers to build software documentation. Numpy is used by over 370 thousand projects to enable fast numerical computing in Python. Filled
112801st Generation Crawford, Amanda Journalism This position would be to assist a professor of journalism in her research into the conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook shooting and related lawsuits. The position would include filing public records requests and compiling records; retrieving court documents and following ongoing cases; conducting internet and database research; and transcribing recorded interviews or videos. Depending on the students’ skills, the potential exists to also conduct journalistic interviews or conduct more advanced database research using an API. Filled
11293 Ghosh, Debarchana Geography My research involves finding facilitators and barriers for HIV-positive individuals to keep taking their HIV medication. Facilitators and barriers can be from where they live (for eg. neighborhoods) and who they interact with (eg. friends, family members, co-workers). Participants for this research were recruited from cities of New Haven and Hartford in Connecticut. Filled
10482 Pagoto, Sherry Allied Health Sciences Gain well-rounded research experience in our Center for mHealth and Social Media located in the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy. Our research is focused on weight loss, skin cancer prevention, mHealth, and social media. We have many projects going on at all different phases allowing for an opportunity to gain experience in each phase from study startup to recruitment, data collection, reporting, and interpretation. Filled
11294 Visscher, Pieter Marine Sciences Work with microbes and microbial communities to understand the origin of life and to help the search for life in outer-ace (Astrobiology). Biogeochemical analyses of field samples and laboratory experiments. Filled-Avery Point/Storrs campus
112981st Generation Montrosse-Moorhead, Bianca Educational Psychology I am looking for an undergraduate student to join my research lab where we are currently working on a study of how research professionals form their identity. All work will be done remotely, including research lab meetings. The skills you will develop and use in this project will be useful for applying to jobs post-graduation or graduate school. Filled
11299 Howard, Elizabeth Curriculum and Instruction Our research focuses on creating and investigating the effects of two culturally sustaining instructional units on sociocultural competence development and instructional practices. We are looking for a work study research assistant to carry out data entry and transcriptions of recordings from data collection. Filled
10475 Sun, Luyi Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering / Institute of Materials Science In this position, students will be trained to work on multi-functional nanostructured materials for various applications. They will learn how to design materials with unique structure (down to nano- and molecular-scale) for specific applications, such as packaging, energy, catalysis, etc. In most cases, the structural design and control are the keys to the high performance of these materials. Filled
11302 Stamford, 11379 Storrs campus Braunstein, Ruth Sociology The research assistant (RA) will work closely with Dr. Braunstein on her current research project, “The Moral Meanings of Taxpaying,” explores how the practices of taxpaying and tax resisting are linked to contested understandings of political community, good citizenship and morality in the United States. In particular, the RA will help to collect and analyze documents and other publicly available materials created by activist organizations concerned about the moral implications of paying certain taxes, including the peace movement, the pro-life movement, the tax honesty movement, and others. The RA will also help to review existing published research on related topics, including work in political sociology, economic sociology, and the sociology of religion. The RA will need to be comfortable communicating via Zoom or WebEx, collaborating using Google Drive, keeping large numbers of documents organized, and using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets (spreadsheet app). Filled-Stamford and Storrs
11301 Courtmanche, Jason English I am involved in teacher education and my interests and activities extend into issues of equity and social justice. As a new faculty member of Phi Kappa Phi, I want to mentor undergraduate English majors interested in education and social justice. To this end, my graduate assistant and I have laid the groundwork for an Equity and Social Justice Reading Group for undergraduate English majors, especially those interested in Education and Social Justice. This position would involve supporting us in the development of this group–reading literature focused on English-education-social justice, participating in and helping to run the reading group, collecting data on the group’s development, interviewing its participants, and ultimately assisting my GA and me in the writing of an article about the first year of this program, intended for submission to a journal such as English Journal. Closed
10973 Herd, Kelly Marketing As a marketing professor and consumer psychologist, I am interested in uncovering how people’s thoughts and experiences influence their actions, particularly as they relate to the creative process. Using lab experiments, we ask participants to complete a series of creativity, brainstorming, and product design tasks, which are then evaluated on a variety of dimensions.This position could be a good fit for students interested in business, psychology, and/or communications, among other topics. Filled
11300 Schultz, Eric Ecology and Evolutionary Biology This is a fish ecology study focused on migration of young fish from freshwater, where they were born, to the ocean where they will grow. Assistant may measure age and growth from the fish scales, may measure how blood chemistry is altered in response to salinity changes, or measure how gene expression responds to salinity changes. Filled
11303 Hayes, Thomas Political Science This project focuses on representation by elected officials in the American political system. The project looks at the question of how do elected officials respond to the public on major issues such as economic inequality, climate change, and popular demands (e.g. protests)? Filled
113041st Generation Nieh, Mu-Ping Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering / Institute of Materials Science The student RA is expected to design a GUI to collect the scattering data and convert 2D data to 1D, which may require correction of the refraction from sample. The GUI will utilize online available software to achieve semi-automatically data collection and reduction. For example, control the on and off of a detector, transform standard 2D scattering image files into 1D scattering data with proper corrections according to the optical setup and plot the 1D scattering in log-log scale etc. The knowledge of computer coding and experiences in creating GUI are required. Closed
113061st Generation Ward, J. Evan Marine Sciences Student will be inolved in research involving marine suspension-feeding invertebrates, including shellfish. Work will focus on one of several research initiatives, including: uptake of microplastics, role of bacterial communities (microbiome) in host physiology, and basic feeding processes. Filled-Avery Point
113081st Generation Pais, Jeremy Sociology You will be working on a program of research designed to conduct a comprehensive measurement assessment of the Neighborhood Disadvantage Index (NDI). The socioeconomic conditions of neighborhoods are hypothesized to affect many dimensions of childhood development and to partly explain racial and ethnic health disparities. Yet, there are dozens of different operationalizations of the NDI in the literature. This research will create a definitive source to help guide practitioners in their methodological decision making. Filled
11307 Wallace, Scott Journalism I am engaged in research on the resistance of tribal communities in the Brazilian Amazon to an onslaught of timber thieves, mineral prospector and land-grabbers. Emboldened by the anti-Indian, anti-environmental policies of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, predatory actors are muscling in on native territories. As the new decade begins, Brazil’s tribes face organized violence, assassination, as well as the threats of coronavirus pandemic and wholesale dispossession—with important implications for all of us. I am also researching the history of epidemics, broken treaties and dispossession suffered by indigenous peoples in the American West in the 19th century in order to draw parallels with what is happening today along the Amazon frontier. Closed
11318, 11334 Waterbury campus Waring, Molly Allied Health Sciences This position is focused on data management and statistical analyses, and is ideal for a student whose career goals are in these areas. My research focuses on the use of social media and technology for health behavior change, particularly weight management among childbearing women. We are currently finishing a NIH-funded study to conduct a pilot feasibility randomized trial to compare a post-partum weight loss intervention delivered via Facebook versus in-person groups and a pilot study examining the use of Instagram related to weight gain during pregnancy. Ongoing projects include an examination of the presence on social media of misinformation related to childhood nutrition and an online survey of mothers of children 0-12 years related to child nutrition. Our interdisciplinary research team that includes faculty, research staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. All activities for this position can completed remotely. On-campus residence in academic year 2020-21 is not required. Filled
113241st Generation Smith, Alexia Anthropology This position involves collaborating on a research project examining ancient agriculture and ancient bread and beer production. Responsibilities include entering archaeobotanical data into a database, helping to conduct research and document the processes needed to create a variety of breads and beers in order to isolate remains that may be identifiable archaeologically. If labs are open, the position also involves the creation of bread reference material that can be used to help identify archaeological specimens. Training will be provided on a range of microscope and image analysis software. Skills acquired through this position are transferrable to a range of lab-based employment opportunities. Filled
113271st Generation Nieh, Mu-Ping Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering / Institute of Materials Science The student RA will generate graphic abstract for the publications in scientific articles. Graphic abstract is a schematic illustration to convey the most important message of an manuscript. This position requires the RA to use graphic software to design artistic figures which will draw the attention of the audience. The deliverable will be 6 ~ 8 graphs for front cover stories for publications in prestigious international journals (3D pictures are preferable). Closed
11328 Quardokus, Rebecca Chemistry The focus of this research is to develop a hands-on simulation of monolayers and atomic defects with a computational component. The researcher will build an analog device to simulate molecular movement on the surface. The researcher will use Monte Carlo simulations to analyze both the data from the analog device and scientific data from the literature. Filled
11329 Harmon, Oskar Economics The student will conduct research for a project that will create a case study on the topic of: UConn facing a deficit in 2020-2021 and facing hard choices to academics and athletics priorities. The case study is to be used as a teaching exercise in the course Econ 2447 The Economics of Sports. The student will conduct research in news articles, reports, and publicly available data sources. The student will write summaries of the information collected. Closed
113301st Generation Cosgel, Metin Economics The project will examine the effect of climate change on economic behavior and performance. The Research Assistant will be asked to read the literature and gather data on weather (e.g., temperature, precipitation), natural disasters (e.g., flood, hurricane), and economic outcomes (e.g., farm products, mortality, criminal activity, risky behavior) in Connecticut in the nineteenth century. Filled
113311st Generation Knutie, Sarah Ecology and Evolutionary Biology We study the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite relationships, including how host immunity is influenced by environmental factors. A new area of interest in our lab is understanding what happens to the amphibian immune systems during the winter. Does the immune system stop working when a frog is frozen? Specific to this position, we are working on a project that combines molecular methods and field work to study relationships between immunity, the microbiota, and hibernation, in a freeze-tolerant frog, the Wood Frog. Filled
113331st Generation Vernal, Fiona History The History Department seeks a research assistant for its oral, community and public history initiatives. All work for 2020-2021 will take place remotely to ensure the safety of our students. The RA will provide assistance for various faculty projects on the history of labor, migration, housing, monuments and commemoration, and dialog facilitation. RA will also liaise with local community partners and individual professors and projects. Filled
11354 Pressman, Jeremy Political Science Enter, code, and tally information on protests, strikes, and demonstrations at crowdcounting.org. The Crowd Counting Consortium started in 2017 as an effort to collect data on all political protests in the United States. All work is done remotely. Filled
11355 Scapetis-Tycer, Jennifer Drama We, Assistant Professor Jennifer Scapetis-Tycer (Theatre Dialect Coach) and Associate Professor Emily Myers (Language Scientist), are conducting a STEAM project into the act of changing speech register (e.g. accent changes for performance, code-switching, transgender voice change), what is experienced by individuals changing speech, and what makes people good at changing accents. We have completed an initial pilot study and made a short documentary film on the topic. We need a motivated research assistant to help us continue research by: helping to maintain the study website, transcribing and cataloguing participant stories, assisting with computer based data analysis and other data collection/analysis tasks as they arise. Great computer and communication skills are a must and education/experience related to phonetics, speech sciences, speech register change, website design/maintenance, are advantageous. Work can be done remotely. Filled
113561st Generation Knutie, Sarah Ecology and Evolutionary Biology We study the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions. For this position, the student will work on the effect of nest parasites on bird health. Filled
11357 Hoch, Jeffrey Molecular Biology and Biophysics The Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank, recently moved to UConn Health, is one of the oldest online digital data repositories. It is the world-wide open repository for biomolecular NMR data, for proteins, nucleic acids, and metabolites. Student assistants are engaged in annotation of data deposited by external investigators, checking for accuracy and consistency. Assistants will also perform related literature searches. This work can be performed remotely, online. Filled
11358 Blackman Carr, Loneke Nutritional Sciences The research of Dr. Blackman Carr includes a variety of projects. Major projects this fall and spring include:
Two qualitative studies purposed to investigate healthy eating and physical activity in black adults (men and women). We will interview participants via phone to understand how they give and receive support to eat health and engage in exercise. We also investigate barriers and enhances of eating a high nutritional quality diet in black men and women with hypertension (high blood pressure).
A weight loss intervention for black women is also in development this fall, with recruitment planned for early 2021. The fall will focus on intervention development, while spring will focus on recruitment and beginning the intervention.
The research assistant can expect to be involved in data management, assisting with recruitment for multiple studies, and miscellaneous research tasks to support the operation of multiple projects.
11359 Lee, Ji-Young Nutritional Sciences My research focuses on the effect of bioactive food components on the pathogenesis of obesity-associated metabolic and inflammatory diseases at molecular and epigenetic levels. Filled
11373 Stamford, 11381 Storrs Bunyan, Laura Sociology This research will look at the impacts of COVID on domestic workers’ (nannies, house cleaners, etc.) work and personal lives. The student research assistant will help me locate and review literature on this topic. Spanish speaking is a major plus as it will help with translation of interviews with participants. Filled-Stamford, Storrs
11374 Stamford, 11382 Storrs Bunyan, Laura Sociology This research will examine the use of learning pods throughout COVID-19. Specifically it will look at the ways in which privileged families maintain and enhance their socioeconomic status through the use of forming groups with other families and hiring a teacher or nanny to teach their children. Filled-Stamford, Storrs
11383 Kan, Christina Marketing I study the psychology of consumer behavior. In particular, I use experiments (lab and online) to uncover how people think about and make financial decisions, and how they perceive price promotions. This position could be a good fit for students interested in business, psychology, and/or communications, among other topics. All of the work activities will be completed remotely. Filled
11385 Tambling, Rachel Human Development and Family Sciences The Work-Study RA will support research activities in the Clinical Outcome and Process Research Laboratory. This laboratory focuses on research about individual, couple, and family therapy, including substance use treatment. The successful candidate will be discrete, detail oriented, and able to work with the faculty on literature reviews. The assistant will primarily be assigned to research writing, as the lab is presently closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. For the fall, 2020 semester, this will be a remote work position, and will be focused on literature review and analysis of newly collected survey data. Filled
113971st Generation Grande, Sandy Political Science My research works across the fields of Native American and Indigenous Studies and political theory. This project will involve creating a series of annotated bibliographies, developing short media presentations, and working on website development aimed at creating greater access to the field of Political Science. Comfort with technology is essential. Filled
11411 Kelley, Tiffany Nursing The purpose of this role will be to help support the faculty member in writing original manuscripts related to the need for solutions to address health data interoperability for quality of care. The Student Research Review Assistant will support literature searches, bibliography development, editing and preparation of manuscripts for publication. The student will learn essential skills that are transferrable to the undergraduate experience and should have an interest in healthcare IT, informatics and quality of care. Closed
114251st Generation Aguero, Jorge Economics The goal of the project is to understand barriers to full employment and policies that reduce or eliminate those barriers. The focus is on countries in Latin America. In particular, we will focus on the possible role of labor market discrimination as policies financing higher education as a way to reduce racial wage gaps. Closed
11426 La Salle, Tamika Educational Psychology My research focuses on the intersection between cultural variables included but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, disability, and age and perceptions of school climate. This year, some of the work will center around evaluating previously collected data to examine the experiences of minority students and implications for practice. We also intend to start a new study where we collect data both qualitatively and quantitatively – specifically examining what aspects of school climate have an impact on Black and Latinx students’ persistence in school and how those variables manifest throughout their schooling experience. Filled
11427 D’Amico, Dennis Animal Science We are looking for students interested in food science and microbiology to work in our research lab. Our research focuses on improving the safety and quality of milk and value-added dairy products. This position involves assisting with food safety related lab experiments aimed at controlling pathogenic microorganisms in milk and cheese. Closed
11434 Kirchhoff, Christine Civil Engineering & Natural Resources Harmful contaminants that have been found in water supplies but are not yet regulated under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, may be defined as “emerging” contaminants. Emerging contaminants in drinking water have increasingly shaken the public’s confidence in the safety of public water supplies. This project seeks to understand state-level policies and governance strategies for identifying and managing emerging contaminants and states success (or failure) in helping water systems provide safe, reliable drinking water. Closed
11435 Kirchhoff, Christine Civil Engineering & Natural Resources Connecticut coastal towns face rising sea levels estimated to approach 20 inches by 2050. The purpose of this research is to understand how town planners and engineers are dealing with changing flood risks in Connecticut and surrounding states. Closed
11436 Kirchhoff, Christine Civil Engineering & Natural Resources Local governments including Connecticut and other coastal towns face rising sea levels estimated to approach 20 inches by 2050. But, there is little understanding in the academic literature about how local governments are adapting to sea level rise. The purpose of this research is to help conduct a literature review to support writing a publication on this topic. Filled
114371st Generation Park, Sohyun Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Students will collect and review literature about Frederick Law Olmsted who is known as the first park-maker and the father of ‘Landscape Architecture’ in North America. Students will also review and write about public parks Olmsted and his successors firm designed in the state of Connecticut. It may involve some interviews with related organizations. Students with excellent literature/writing skills along with creativity and divergent thinking are encouraged for the research pursuits. Students with following majors are welcome: history, anthropology, landscape architecture, urban and community studies, geography, urban policy, and related fields. Closed
11440 Trump, Jonathan Physics Research position on multiwavelength and time-domain observations of quasars. Responsibilities include analysis of observational data, including statistical analysis and data mining techniques. The student will be expected to prepare a written document summarizing their work at the end of the job term. Filled
11445, 11446 Rozas, Lisa Social Work This research project involves creating and delivering a survey about Nationalism, racism, and social identity recognition to individuals on Facebook. The aim is to identify the common characteristics in individuals who identify more with right wing extremist ideologies. Filled-Hartford, Storrs
11450 Ceglio, Clarissa Digital Media and Design Business Strategies – Greenhouse Studios is seeking a creative, energetic, well-rounded, and well-organized student to conduct research on business strategies for Greenhouse Studios projects, as well as assist with the overall business management of Greenhouse Studios. This is an especially good opportunity for students interested in business, the fine arts and/or technology. Filled
11451 Ceglio, Clarissa Digital Media and Design Web Development – we are seeking a creative, energetic, well-rounded, and well-organized student to assist with web development for Greenhouse Studios projects. This is an especially good opportunity for students interested in fine arts, computer science and/or the humanities. Closed
11360 Wille, Kay Civil and Environmental Engineering In the Advanced Cementitious Materials and Composites (ACMC) laboratory we develop, characterize, and analyze novel concrete composites. You will be part of a team to develop ultra-high performance concrete tailored to the New England area. Filled