Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Tod Kippin

Location:
Psych East 2821
893-2459

Research Project

Current research in the laboratory focuses on two projects in neurobiology. The main project seeks to define factors that contribute to addiction vulnerability as well as the underlying biological basis of these factors. Studies in this area focus on genetics, epigenetics, neurochemistry, endocrinology, development, and stress. A secondary focus of the laboratory is on neurogenesis in the adult brain aimed at understanding the regulation and function of this process.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research. This can include assistance with behavioral analyses, histological and molecular techniques, data management, and routine laboratory upkeep. Assistants must be able to work safely in a laboratory environment and follow instructions in a meticulous fashion.

Requirements

•Grade point average of 3.0 or better.
•Commitment to research activities of at least 8-10 hours per week for a minimum of two quarters.
•Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious as well as pay attention to detail, perform procedures as directed, and be able to work well with others.
•Completion of Psy 111 is preferred but not essential.

Zoe Liberman

Location:
Psychology East 3821
(805) 893-5498

Research Project

Research in the Social Cognitive Development Lab focuses on learning and development in infancy and early childhood. We conduct studies in our on campus lab and with local partners off site. The majority of the research focuses on topics relevant to understanding and navigating or complex social world. For example, how do infants learn from other people? Or, do infants think about people as members of social categories? Additionally, how do different social experiences (such as regular exposure to multiple languages) influence social cognition and learning? Most of our studies are interactive where we play short games with kids and record their behavior. We also do story/survey studies with older children, and looking time studies with infants.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates will participate in all aspects of the research process, including recruiting families to come into the lab, contacting interested families to schedule appointments, creating stimuli for studies, running studies with participants in the on campus lab and off site (at MOXI museum and the Santa Barbara Zoo), entering data, analyzing data, and developing new project ideas.

Requirements

Research assistants must have a GPA of at least a 3.0 average over the last three quarters. Research assistants must also be comfortable interacting with infants and young children, and with contacting parents/local preschools/organizations over the phone. A commitment of at least 2 quarters is required, and an interest in continuing on for further quarters and developing independent research projects is preferred. Past research experience, or coursework in developmental psychology is preferred but not required.

Geography

Werner Kuhn

Location:
Ellison 5707

Research Project

The spatial center engages in making spatial data and computing more accessible and usable. We have several research projects, documented on the web site, exploring ideas to simplify access to and use of tools like Geographic Information Systems. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates with either a strong interest in a particular application domain of spatial computing (across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts) or with particular skills in relevant computer languages (Python, Haskell, JavaScript, others), or both, are welcome to join a dynamic team of undergraduate, graduate, and post doctoral researchers. 

Requirements

The ability to acquire knowledge independently from articles, books, and online resources, as well as the willingness to experiment with new ideas and apply them to interesting domain problems (health, energy, sustainability, food, climate, etc.) are essential. Good abstraction skills and courage to learn new tools and techniques are desirable. Previous GIS course work is useful, but not a prerequisite. 

Education

Amy Kyratzis

Location:
3125 Education Building

Research Project

Children of indigenous Mixtec communities in California face many educational challenges. The data collection is for a program that aims to help preschool children of one Mixtec community in California succeed, by bringing the community's language and literacy practices into local area Head Start preschool classrooms, by training women of the community through an Early Childhood Education (ECE) class and bringing the women into local area preschools to teach the children.

Undergraduate Contribution

Responsibilities will include assisting with translating between the community women taking the Early Childhood Education class (who speak Spanish) and the researchers (who speak English), helping with transcription of the interactions among the community women and researchers in the Early Childhood Class, as well as of the interactions among the community women and children at the community women’s preschool placement sites. Also, data collection at the preschool placement sites of the community women, as well as preparation of curricular materials and data analysis support. Involvement is for the time of the ECE class, Thursdays 1:00 - 5:00 pm, or mornings at the preschool placement sites in Oxnard, or any time 9:00 am to 7:00 pm week-days transcribing in the researchers’ lab. The study provides research experience for students interested in research on indigenous and migrant education, as well as early literacy development and education for indigenous Mixtec and Mexican students in California.

Requirements

We need Spanish-English bilingual undergraduate Research Assistants. Students must be fluent in conversational and written Spanish to the extent of being able to transcribe conversations among adult and child participants occurring mostly in Spanish. Knowledge of Mixtec or Zapotec language and culture a plus. Students should have a GPA of 3.0 or above and have Junior or Senior standing.

Jin Sook Lee

Location:
ED 3131
(805) 893-2872

Research Project

Research assistants are needed for the School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS) project, an outreach project that works with local elementary and high schools to support students to conduct original research and activism projects on language, culture, power, and identity in their own lives and communities through which they gain the opportunities to develop their academic skills.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will work in multiple capacities for the project. In the fall, RAs will process previously collected audio and video data of classroom interaction and student work as well as work on development of the SKILLS curricula. In winter and spring, RAs may continue to work on data or assist in collecting new data through fieldwork in local high schools and other settings.

Requirements

Desirable but not required: Proficiency in Spanish, previous coursework in Linguistics, Chicana/o Studies, and/or Education, experience in working with youth, experience in collecting, editing, and/or analyzing audio or video data, and/or website experience.

Marine Science Institute

Adam Lambert

Location:
Noble Hall 1136

Research Project

Our lab focuses on the ecology and control of non-native, invasive species (plants, insects, molluscs, amphibians). Students can gain experience with field work in ecology including riparian restoration, sampling of plant and insect populations, insect-plant interactions, and biological control studies. We work throughout the southwest and in may types of habitats.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates working in our lab can participate in field and laboratory work. Contributions to our riparian restoration work include removing invasive plants, collecting, propagating, and planting native plants, and biological monitoring (sampling), Contributions to our research studies on plant-insect interactions include assisting with collecting and analyzing data, maintaining plants and insects in the lab and greenhouse, and participating in experiments. We strongly encourage students to work several consecutive quarters in our lab to gain a meaningful research experience and consider conducting their own research project with the potential of publication.

Requirements

Introductory ecology coursework. Willingness to travel to field sites either locally (Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties) or in the southwest deserts. Motivation. Dependability. Willingness to learn new techniques.

History

John Lee

Location:
HSSB 4210

Research Project

I am working to create an interactive map, database, and online research platform for the Athenian and Achaemenid Persian Empires during the fifth century BC. Areas to be included: land and naval warfare, garrisons, fortifications, tribute, trade patterns, coinage.

Undergraduate Contribution

I am looking for an undergraduate with excellent web design, database, and computer programming skills (especially GIS) to help create this online research platform.

Requirements

No course prerequisites. Student should have expertise in computer programming (especially GIS) and web design. An interest in ancient history and ancient warfare would be a plus.

Nelson Lichtenstein

Location:
HSSB 4256
893-4822

Research Project

Intellectual Property Rights in Southern California and the Silicon Valley as 21st Century Labor Law

Undergraduate Contribution

Develop the framework, methodology, as well as analysis of this project. The student will spend a particular amount of time researching the current definitions of a knowledge economy and develop a framework for a working definition of intellectual property rights as they pertain to labor law. The student, once a working definition has been drafted, will work diligently to obtain working contracts from workers within the defined knowledge economy. Once contracts have been obtained the student will analyze the contracts for workers rights to their intellectual property and place these ‘rights,’ found in said contracts, into working definitions of labor law in the 21st century.

Requirements

Must have been enrolled in HIST 294 Winter & Spring 2014 / 2015. Must have taken HIST 167CB with a grade of A or better. Enrolled in HIST 199 Spring 2015.

East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

Ann-Elise Lewallen

Location:
HSSB 2256

Research Project

My current project focuses on energy justice and transnational resistance movements in India and Japan. I am focusing on how indigenous communities in India seek to exercise self-determination in choosing their own energy futures and responding to the Indian government's development projects. For example, the Japanese government is contributing development aid to indigenous (Adivasi) communities in India, with the goal of expanding energy infrastructure. I am trying to understand what development and all-too-frequent displacement means for these communities, as well as seeking to understand the government's rationales for the type of development projects it proposes in these communities.

A second, related project focuses on Youth Empowerment for Adivasi in Jharkhand, India. Using social media, communications workshops, mapping applications such as PPGIS, and ArcGIS, I seek to map several layers of demographic data for young Adivasi in Jharkhand, and correlate this information with mineral deposits and other natural resources across the region. This project involves mapping, ethnographic data collection, and social media analysis, as well as analysis of government documents.

Undergraduate Contribution

1) Project one: I seek students with a working knowledge of HINDI or TELUGU or JAPANESE to assist with transcribing, translating, and summarizing interviews. Also literature review and summaries. For English speakers, I need assistance in reading through the government's documents explaining the project development plans (ToRs), as well as official documents on the environmental and social impact statements. (EIA and SIAs). Students working on these projects would also assist with summarizing Hindi, English, and Telugu news reporting.

2) Project two: I seek students with a working knowledge of HINDI and/or TELUGU. English speakers also welcome! Research activities to include assistance with collecting demographic data, using social media applications, basic video editing, mapping applications, and ethnographic mapping.

Requirements

I seek a student who is proficient in Hindi AND English, OR, Telugu AND English. English speakers only also welcome. Other skills include proficiency in Dragon Dictate (transcription software), Atlas Ti (coding software), social media apps such as Facebook, WhastApp, Twitter, also ArcGIS and other mapping applications, and basic library research skills (periodicals, etc.)

Ann-elise Lewallen

Location:
HSSB 2256

Research Project

1) Project one, Global Cultures of Marginalization: Race, Gender, and Indigenous Women’s Empowerment examines Ainu women’s engagement with civil society and their critique of the sex/gender structures of both ethnic Japanese and Ainu society. Women use multiple discrimination as a tool of analysis to assess how the complex relations between ethnicity, race, and gender intersect and may be transformed into more compound forms of discrimination.

2) Project two, Space Beyond the Nation: Digital Ainu and Indigenous Modernity, seeks to analyze how transnational spaces facilitate Ainu in negotiating global indigenous citizenship and positions as Japanese citizens. Transnational spaces are central to Ainu negotiations of indigenous citizenship and essential to overcoming discrimination anxiety, or a paralyzing fear of racism, inside Japan. Increasingly, these transnational spaces are being constructed within the digital domains of interactive social media wherein Ainu youth build on the translocal networks borne from global exchange.

Undergraduate Contribution

For the first project I seek students who have a working knowledge of Japanese to assist with organizing communications with Ainu women in Japan. Next, I seek students to assist with a literature review, to work on a broad survey of the literature on indigenous women and intersectionality, and to assist with summarizing the main contributions of each article.

For the second project, I seek students to assist me as I embark on a data-mining project in mining the social media universe for discussions of indigeneity, sovereignty, racism/discrimination, and especially for linkages between Ainu and other indigenous youth overseas. I plan to conduct data-mining of Twitter as well as Mixi and LINE (Japanese applications). Knowledge of the softwares Gnep or Datasift, or programming, or programming languages such as Python are welcome.

Requirements

I seek a student who is proficient in Japanese AND
English. Other skills sought include knowledge of the softwares
"R," Gnep or Datasift, or programming, or programming languages
such as Python are welcome.

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