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: Spring 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: Spring 2018
Status: Open
Faculty: Prof. Jason Fletcher
Contact: Send application, CV, and transcripts to: jason.fletcher@wisc.edu
Description: There are several projects that students could work on at Wisconsin Policy Analysis Lab Projects. Another possibility, in addition to the projects listed there, is research into the impacts of reproductive health policies on women’s and children’s health outcomes, in which, first, students would collect information from websites on state and local laws related to reproductive health policies and, second, students with statistical training would work with birth certificate databases to explore impacts of policies.
Needed: One or two students, who should have interest in working on policy areas that intersect with the Lab, have strong communication skills, and have completed coursework in statistics, econometrics, and/or computer science. Statistical methods (linear regression) and creation of tables are possible tasks.


Term: Spring 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to: Isabel Anadon anadon@wisc.edu
Description: The unprecedented proliferation of U.S. state and local immigration enforcement policies is in direct reaction to a failure of federal revision of immigration law in over three decades. Yet, despite the passage of these laws across the country, there is limited understanding to the impact these laws have on immigrant and native population. This study examines seven states since 2006 that have passed legislation either increasing or limiting restrictions of law enforcement in regulating immigration. I utilize difference in difference modeling to examine to what extent omnibus immigration legislation (OIL) has impacted migration and population characteristics of states that have passed a OIL since 2006. This paper will fill the void in extant literature examining the impact of enacting state-level immigration laws on demographic impacts of the immigrant and native populations.
Needed: One student, who will perform the following activities:
(1) Research local media and press outlets historical coverage in OIL states to see to what extent the legislation at the time of its passage was covered.
(2) Assist with the development of a database on all related immigration related legislation that has passed in states since 2008.
(3) Research other characteristics including reviewing legislation passed of the OIL states.
The student will provide summary reports of research provided each week, including sources reviewed and data identified; and develop the database (increased data inputs).


Term: Spring 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: Spring 2018
Status: Open
Contact: Send application to Abby Letak abigail.letak@gmail.com
Description: This 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.
Needed: The main tasks are transcription and maybe some preliminary data analysis if you are interested, as well as literature searching/summarizing. I have 15 roughly hour-long interviews for transcription.