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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research experience, from serving as experimenters (both in the laboratory and in the field), library research, data coding and entry, and assistance in manuscript preparation. Research assistants who are motivated and commit to the lab for more than two quarters will have increasing opportunities for more advanced involvement in ongoing research.
Nearly all neural processes are physically embedded in a dense matrix of fibers that release serotonin. We investigate the deep structure of this matrix, including its interaction with other cellular elements (such as microglia) and cell fragments that carry peripheral serotonin. We use animal models and a number of techniques of cellular and molecular neurobiology (multiple-label immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, quantitative PCR, and others). Some of our approaches are strongly interdisciplinary and include comparative/evolutionary neuroscience and computational modeling.
Undergraduate researchers work with graduate students and participate in all aspects of research. They are encouraged to master specific techniques (rather than superficially participate in all of them) and are expected to develop a "graduate-student mindset" in terms of professional integrity, technical accuracy, and human perseverance. A number of undergraduate researchers in the laboratory have become authors of peer-reviewed articles.
Interest in neurobiology (our research is not a good fit for students interested in psychology or cognitive neuroscience)
Interest in graduate school or medical school
GPA 3.5 or better
Sophomore or Junior standing (Seniors may be considered, but students typically need a year to achieve the expected technical level)
Commitment to research activities of at least 6 hours per week Experience in image analysis or computer coding is a plus (but not required)
Students from other departments are welcome to apply
Current research in the laboratory has 3 major foci. One line of work examines the neurobiological underpinnings of drug-craving, with an emphasis on how time-dependent anomalies within prefrontal cortex might promote persistent drug-craving in abstinent individuals. A second line of work examines alcohol-stress interactions, with projects aimed at understanding the psychobiological effects of a history of repeated stress upon subsequent behavioral sensitivity to alcohol, as well as understanding the developmental impact of histories of binge drinking upon affect. The third major line of work relates to the neurobiology of methamphetamine addiction with on-going studies focusing upon the relations between dopamine and glutamate in addiction vulnerability. Research in my laboratory is interdisciplinary and involves behavioral, neuropharmacology, neurochemical and immunological approaches.
Undergraduate research assistants help in all aspects of the research, pending proper training and completion of federal guidelines for working with laboratory rodents in a research setting. 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.
•Grade point average of 3.0 or better.
•Commitment to research activities of at least 8-10 hours per week for a minimum of three quarters.
We have several projects using cores from local estuaries reconstructing past sea-level, climate, and tectonic changes.
We are looking for students to help run some of the analysis of the cores (e.g. grain size, looking at microfossils, etc.).
Background in geology and basic math and statistics. Having had sedimentology is a plus (Earth 122).
I have two projects:
1. Tracking hurricanes/typhoons by dense seismic arrays. Hurricanes generate strong ground motions from which we can learn interesting spatial and temporal features.
2. Analysis of rotation seismograms. Measurements of rotation, as opposed to strain, have not been made historically. We have some ring-laser data from Germany that we want to analyze.
The main tasks are to analyze time-series data. The data can be seismograms or ring-laser data from US, Japan and Germany.
Some basic understanding and experience in programming (e.g., C, C++, Matlab) are required. Also some knowledge of Fourier analysis are helpful. Recommended courses are Earth 134, 135, 136, and ECE 130. But they are not required.
Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology
Stuart Tyson Smith
Tombos is an archaeological site located at the Third Cataract of the Nile River in modern-day Sudan. Tombs dating to the New Kingdom (mid-18th Dynasty, c. 1450 BCE) through the Napatan period (c. 650 BCE) are present, documenting the interaction and entanglement of Egyptian colonists and local Nubians during these major sociopolitical changes in the region. Archaeology is combined with a multidisciplinary bioarchaeological approach, making possible a comparison of cultural entanglements through a study of material culture and social practices with biological affinities, geographic origins, and indications of health and disease.
Students can assist with data entry and other record keeping. Sorting, cataloging and organizing artifacts is needed, primarily pottery from the Tombos excavations. Ceramic analysis, illustration and photography are other areas where students can contribute, along with the preparations of illustrations and plans for publication. One aspect of the project involves analysis of organic residues in pottery and the mineral composition of clays.
No skills or background are required, but artistic/drafting experience, familiarity with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator and ARCGIS are highly desirable. Knowledge of and interest in organic chemistry and petrography would also be potentially useful.
A student with good computer skills to go along with linguistic ones will be doubly welcome.
Reasonable fluency in French or Ancient Greek
Title: Newspaper Framing of Terrorist Events and Organizations Research Objective: Identify the framing devices used by media organizations when discussing terrorist organizations and explore the factors influencing the selection of framing devices.
Description: The project has three phases: Identification of Terrorist events reported in major US and International Newspapers; Identification and categorization of the frames employed to characterize these events and groups and a comparative analysis of these frames and their implications.
a. We will be investigating a large selection of American and
International newspapers, that the sampling frame will be
terrorist events in 2013 with an identified (or suspected)
perpetrator, and that we will specifically be looking for all
mentions of the terrorist organizations within our sample of
i. We will be cross coding all articles mentioning a specific
terrorist group or actor with the list of all 2013 terrorist
2. Construction of a typology of frames used by media
organizations when discussing terrorist actors
a. We will be using a grounded theoretical approach to create our
typology. This requires an iterative and interactive process,
which means attendance at group meeting will be required.
3. Content analysis
a. Once we have developed our typology, we will use it to hand
code all articles collected in phase one.
Interest in media
Comm 130 or Comm 137 or Comm major
We have created a survey to investigate how the kinds of unusual experiences that people have in different cultures and how they interpret them. We are interested in seeing to what extent the differences in the experiences that are valued or sought affects the kind of experiences people have.
We want to administer the survey in Hindi and English in India. We are looking for native Hindi speaking students who can assist with the translation into Hindi.
Students must be native Hindi speakers and fluent in English.