Research and Internship Opportunities

Current opportunities for research and internships are listed below. They vary greatly, ranging from simple but repetitive tasks done by untrained or inexperienced students in support of research, to opportunities for more advanced students to write papers or proposals about the research, either alone or with the supervising researcher.

Please read the descriptions and attached documents (if any) carefully before applying. Please also note the Term for which the research or internship is available.

Term: Summer 2018
Status: Open
Faculty: Prof. Pamela Oliver
Contact: pamela.oliver@wisc.edu
Description: The Dynamics of Black Protests 1994-2010. Students will will spend most of their time coding news stories that refer to Black protests during this time period. The work requires access to a computer and the internet. Students will also be assigned articles to read about Black protests and protest research, and will be expected to check in weekly.
Requirements: The ability to read news articles in English with good understanding of idiomatic English writing. Accuracy and attention to detail are essential. We prefer sociology or other social science or media studies majors, and prefer students who have taken a basic research methods class. Students from disadvantaged or historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Check here for further details: 1184-Oliver-320


Term: Summer 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to Melanie Murchison mmurchison@wisc.edu
Description: This project involves analyzing judicial decision making at the Supreme Court of Canada using discourse analysis to determine if the Court has become more or less activist since 9/11.
Needed: Up to three students, who will need to read Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions in their entirety, code the decision according to a code book on thirteen different metrics, justify their decisions, and input their data into both Excel and either SPSS or STATA. The students will run an analysis on the data to describe their findings. Students will need to be methodical and meticulous when it comes to reading the cases and inputting data. They will be assessed on their ability to read and correctly analyse case law, as well as their ability to make inferences about the data, test hypothesizes and write up their findings. Students will be required to read the three papers that Jochelson and Murchison have published on the Supreme Court of Canada in the last 3 years, as well as the main papers on activism and what it does, or does not look like in the Canadian context. They will also need to read the code book and become very familiar with the methodology. Prerequisites include:
– Sociology 357(Research Methods) or Equivalent
– Understanding of SPSS OR STATA
– Strong Analytical Skills
– Understanding of the US Supreme Court Functions
– Familiar with US Supreme Court Cases
– Excellent Spoken and Written English
– Attention to Detail
– Able to Work Independently


Term: Summer 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to Jake Carlson hjcarlson@wisc.edu. Applicants should include a paragraph description of their background, relevant courses taken, and their level of familiarity with computer software. Candidates will then be interviewed over Skype.
Description: This project looks at the causes and consequences of gentrification and displacement – and how they vary between different places. It will test the hypothesis that the conditions for gentrification and housing insecurity differ by local city and neighborhood contexts. There are two main jobs:
(1) quantitative analysis using Census data to identify gentrifying neighborhoods in the US, as well as collecting and analyzing variables for city-level contexts. Knowledge of R is preferred, but Stata is also acceptable if the student is very proficient.
(2) Qualitative/meta analysis of the existing literature on gentrification and displacement to create a systematic database of how the concepts have been defined and operationalized.
Needed: Two students, 1-2 credits available.


Term: Fall 2018
Status: Open
Faculty: Prof. Pamela Oliver
Contact: pamela.oliver@wisc.edu
Description: The Dynamics of Black Protests 1994-2010. Students will will spend most of their time coding news stories that refer to Black protests during this time period. The work requires access to a computer and the internet. Students will also be assigned articles to read about Black protests and protest research, and will be expected to check in weekly.
Requirements: The ability to read news articles in English with good understanding of idiomatic English writing. Accuracy and attention to detail are essential. We prefer sociology or other social science or media studies majors, and prefer students who have taken a basic research methods class. Students from disadvantaged or historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Check here for further details: 1184-Oliver-320


Term: Fall 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Please contact Nona Gronert gronert@wisc.edu with your resume and cover letter to apply for this position.
Description: This is a hands-on course focusing on archival social science research and content analsysis. As a Research Assistant (RA), you will be learning and using a coding manual to analyze newspaper articles from The Badger Herald and The Daily Cardinal. This ultimately will result in constructing (1) a timeline of events related to sexual violence at UW Madison and (2) a directory of key individuals involved with the issue of sexual assault at UW Madison. RAs are expected to code articles, write weekly research memos, and attend weekly research meetings.
Requirements: Students will (1) learn how to use NVivo, (2) participate in research team reliability checks, (3) learn how to use the coding manual, (4) individually code articles, (5) write weekly research memos, and (6) participate in weekly research team meetings. Preferred qualities:
– ability to work independently
– attention to detail
– critical thinking skills
– SOC 375 Research Methods (or equivalent)
– strong written and verbal communication


Term: Fall 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to Jake Carlson hjcarlson@wisc.edu. Applicants should include a paragraph description of their background, relevant courses taken, and their level of familiarity with computer software. Candidates will then be interviewed over Skype.
Description: This project looks at the causes and consequences of gentrification and displacement – and how they vary between different places. It will test the hypothesis that the conditions for gentrification and housing insecurity differ by local city and neighborhood contexts. There are two main jobs:
(1) quantitative analysis using Census data to identify gentrifying neighborhoods in the US, as well as collecting and analyzing variables for city-level contexts. Knowledge of R is preferred, but Stata is also acceptable if the student is very proficient.
(2) Qualitative/meta analysis of the existing literature on gentrification and displacement to create a systematic database of how the concepts have been defined and operationalized.
Needed: Two students, 1-2 credits available.


Term: Fall 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to Abby Letak abigail.letak@gmail.com. Description: The main tasks would be transcription (and maybe some preliminary data analysis if the person is interested) as well as literature searching/summarizing. I have 15 roughly hour-long interviews for transcription. The project is about undergraduates’ attitudes toward work/life balance and how American cultural emphasis on productivity and accomplishment leads to a pervasive “productivity anxiety.” Specifically, the project looks at how the way in which undergraduates talk about time spent watching television can reveal internalized cultural pressures about productivity. It would be an especially interesting project to work on for anyone interesting in media, culture, stress, or mental health!