Research Opportunity!

Have you ever been in the library working on a research paper and wondered what it would be like to collect data in the real world?

Looking for a Summer B Term (and potentially Autumn 2017) research opportunity?


Sociology graduate students Carter Merklinghaus and Daniel Nolan are looking for a few undergraduate students who would like to join our research team for our current project that focuses on US veterans. We are conducting a mixed-methods study comprised of 1.5-2 hour in-depth interviews and 15-20 minute online surveys.

This is an unpaid research position but has the option for academic credit!

The purpose of our study is to provide an in-depth descriptive exploration of life before, during, and after service in the US military, focusing on two key themes: 

  1. How the military shapes identity
  2. How the military does or does not shape substance use (alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication)

We are currently in the process of interviewing respondents about their service, and we’re looking for a few undergraduates who would be interested in joining our team immediately!

Duties will include:

  • Data collection, data entry, and database management
    • Developing transcriptions of taped interviews
      • Type up recordings and save files into a password-protected encrypted software
      • Aid researchers in quickly skimming and assessing the relevance of an interview
      • Help researchers comprehend voices on the tapes that are difficult to hear/understand
    • Researching relevant literature that has been conducted on similar topics
      • Constructing annotated bibliographies
  • Recruiting Subjects
    • Calling local businesses to see if we can mail them a flyer about our study
    • Preparing flyers for mail
    • Sending emails to businesses interested in participating in subject recruitment
  • Weekly meetings to train you to the process, exchange notes, debrief materials, turn in files, and receive new interview tapes.

Experience gained: 

  • An in-depth understanding of how mixed-methods research is conducted
  • Quickly reviewing and assessing the relevance of each interview, as well as previously published literature
  • Helping researchers by comprehending voices on the tapes that are difficult to hear or understand
  • Adeptness of using and/or formulating scripts for formal outreach to businesses who may be interested in sharing our study information
  • Ability to conduct outreach on behalf of the research team
  • Familiarity with published literature on the research topic


  • Good attention to detail
  • Motivated
  • Friendly/outgoing, comfortable talking on the phone and discussing our study
  • Comfortable listening to highly personal information shared in the interviews that may be sensitive and/or disturbing. The desired student will have no problem keeping the content of the interviews completely confidential between the research team only.
  • Some computer background
    • Reasonable typing speed
    • Comfortable listening to the transcription tapes and typing them up
  • General availability over the summer
  • We will train you on campus! 

Time commitment and necessary equipment: 

  • Varies. In order to earn credit, students need to perform 3 hours of work per week, per credit. You should expect to work at least 9 hours per week (3 credits).
  • The specific responsibilities will depend, in part, on the number of hours per week that the student is able to work, as well as the student’s schedule. You will need to be available for training. 
  • Regular meetings will take place once per week on campus in SAV 203  (to be arranged).
  • Work will be conducted from home, you will not need to commute to campus except for the weekly meetings.
  • Equipment needed: 
    • Personal computer with internet access and access to Google Drive/Docs
    • USB port on computer for thumb drive
    • Headphones that connect to computer

The study is currently running and accepting respondents through  November 1st, so there may be some opportunity for continued work in the Fall.

If you are interested in joining our team, please email Carter at with the following information: 

  1. Your name
  2. If you are available for Summer Quarter B term only or for Summer B Term and Fall Quarter.
  3. Your class standing
  4. Include your resume or list separately any relevant coursework and/or research experience.
This entry was posted in Career Development, Classes, Community Involvement, Research Opportunities, Student Life, Summer Opportunities, Training, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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