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.

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Rolf Christoffersen

Location:
Bio II, Rm 3125
893-3500

Research Project

The chemical analysis of volatiles produced during yeast fermentation of grape must to produce wine aromas and flavors. We are using small scale laboratory fermentation to model the process used in production wineries. The goal is to determine environmental and yeast genetic factors that contribute the production of fine wines.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students will set up fermentation experiments, collect liquid and volatile samples, analyze them by various chemical assays including gas chromatography, HPLC, and other laboratory assays.

Requirements

Upper division biology or chemistry major. Students who have take one or two upper division laboratory courses are preferred.

Geography

Vena Chu

Location:
Ellison 4818
(805) 893-2833

Research Project

www.venachu.comThe Greenland Ice Sheet is experiencing enhanced warming, which has increased surface melting and mass loss to the ocean. Future projections show that Greenland will be a source of significant contributions to global sea level rise. Meltwater on the surface of the ice sheet collects in supraglacial streams that are abundant each summer, transporting large volumes of meltwater into moulins (sinkholes) and to the ice edge, yet these streams remain poorly studied. This project aims to constrain the pathways of these rivers and the amount and timing of meltwater leaving the ice sheet surface.

Undergraduate Contribution

Students will analyze and process satellite imagery to map supraglacial rivers and moulins (river termination points). Students will use these data as well as digital elevation models to analyze morphology of rivers.

Requirements

An interest in learning and motivation for independent research. Data management and computer skills are necessary for handling satellite data. Preferred qualifications include training in basic GIS and/or remote sensing.

Global and International Studies

Nadege T. Clitandre

Location:
2123 SSMS

Research Project

Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat is one of the most well-known American writers today, and has become in many ways the "voice" of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora through her writings and activism. I am currently working on a book project that analyzes Danticat's literary contributions as well as the impact of her activism, particularly after Haiti's earthquake in 2010.

Undergraduate Contribution

Student researchers will collect, review, and summarize books, articles, and essays about the work of Edwidge Danticat. They will also track down transcripts of interviews and videos of presentations/talks by the author. They will assist with bibliographic work, library work, and organizing notes. In doing so, students will learn various aspects of the research process: how track down information, collect, process and analyze data, develop annotated bibliographies, and define research methods.

Requirements

Students must be reliable, detail-oriented, and have excellent time management skills. Students interested in the project should contact Professor Clitandre via email at nclitandre@global.ucsb.edu.

Location:
2123 SSMS

Research Project

For over twenty years, UCSB has been actively engaged in bringing attention to Haiti's history,culture, and significant contributions to world history. Thanks to the efforts of the Center for Black Studies Research and its Haiti Projects, UCSB is the recognized California hub for Haitian Studies scholars, activists and artists. Since the earthquake in 2010, students at UCSB have a stronger desire to not only learn more about Haiti, engage with individuals working in Haiti, but also get involved in recovery efforts. I am working with a group consisting of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at UCSB to help build a program and support specific projects that will connect the UCSB community to Carrefour-Feuilles, a disadvantaged neighborhood in Port-au-Prince Haiti heavily impacted by the earthquake. Aimed at creating a structured and sustainable link between UCSB and Haiti, this project stresses the significance and contributions of local participation and grassroots efforts in development work.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate students will work closely with Professor Clitandre on an independent research or creative project on Haiti and have an opportunity to present their work at the Center for Black Studies Research. Undergraduate students will be fully involved in finding creative ways to get the UCSB students and Santa Barbara community involved in work on Haiti. Undergraduate students will engage with faculty and graduate students to develop a plan of action for rebuilding communities and recovering community histories. Students will learn how to merge education, research and practical application.

Requirements

Interest in Haiti, community development, local grassroots activism, humanitarian aid and recovery efforts; Must be creative, curious and open to learning about other cultures. For more information, contact Professor Clitandre at nclitandre@global.ucsb.edu.

History

Juan Cobo

Location:
HSSB 4224

Research Project

Programming and web development for a digital humanities online archive project

Over the past few years, in collaboration with a number of colleagues I have digitised around one million images of material held in endangered archives and libraries in Colombia, by developing, distributing, and managing low-cost scanners based on open source technologies that have made this work possible in low-resource settings where it would otherwise be impossible. The material mainly consists of manuscripts dating to the 16th and 17th centuries and early printed books, most of which has been difficult for researchers to access. With the support of colleagues in Italy and Colombia, I am now working to leverage open source technologies to create a digital archive in which to publish these materials and share them freely, alongside tools to help students, researchers, and volunteers to catalog the materials, and pedagogical resources to make them accessible and relevant to broader audiences.

Programming and web development for a digital humanities online archive project

Undergraduate Contribution

The student assistant would help me customize, deploy, and test a java-based open-source digital archive platform.

Requirements

The right candidate should have experience in programming and web development (ideally Java, Python, PHP, and relational databases), as well as an interest in digital humanities. A knowledge of Spanish would be helpful, but not essential.

Location:
HSSB 4224

Research Project

I am currently reviewing thousands of images of archival material from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries held in the city of Tunja, in the central highlands of Colombia. This material was produced by scribes and notaries on behalf of broad sectors of the population of this region, who went to them to formalise everything from contracts and business deals to wedding arrangements and wills. As a result, they provide a fascinating window into everyday life in a colonial Latin American city. I'm particularly interested in those sources that concern indigenous people, so I need help sifting through these images to identify which documents were produced on their behalf.

Undergraduate Contribution

I've made these images available online on a lightweight platform, so they can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. The student assistant would go through individual volumes and flag which documents appear to fit the profile.

Requirements

No course prerequisites, but the student must be interested in the history of Latin America and be willing to learn new skills.

A good reading knowledge of Spanish is essential.

No other experience is needed; I will provide the necessary training to read this old handwriting (palaeography).

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Nancy Collins

Location:
3815 Psychology East

Research Project

Effects of Touch Between Couple Members - This project will examine whether affectionate touch between couple members can increase their willingness to help each other out at a cost to themselves as well as change their motivations such that they truly want to help each other (vs. feeling obligated to help). Couples will be brought into the lab and be randomly assigned to engage in an activity involving touch or not, and then they will be given a task where they can choose to sacrifice for their partner. Motives for their decision will be assessed afterwards.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project, which include running participants and coding behavioral video and written response data.

Requirements

Prior research experience is preferred but not required. Students must be enthusiastic about research, comfortable interacting with participants (UCSB students and other members of the community), responsible, respectful, conscientious, and able to commit 6-9 hours a week to working on the project.

For more information, please contact the graduate student in charge of the study, Delancey Wu: delancey.wu@psych.ucsb.edu

Location:
Psych E 3821

Research Project

This experiment will examine the effects of relationship commitment on forgiveness behavior in romantic couples. To accomplish this goal, we will begin by priming participants with either high commitment (we will asked to write about ways in which they are connected to their partner) or low commitment (we will ask them to write about ways in which they are independent of their partner). Next, we will present them with a series of hypothetical partner transgressions (e.g., your boyfriend/girlfriend forgot your birthday).  Finally, we will measure their willingness to forgive their partner in each situation. Participants will complete the study on the computer in the Close Relationships lab in the Psychology Department. 

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduate researchers will assist primarily with conducting the study sessions. This includes scheduling participants, setting up the computer lab for the study, and administering the experimental script to participants.  

Requirements

Student must be enthusiastic about research, comfortable interacting with study participants (other UCSB students), responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.  Student must have at least 1 quarter of prior research experience and must be at least 19 years old.

Location:
Bldg.251, Rm.3821

Research Project

Relationship Maintenance in Couples – This project will examine the ways in which romantic partners mentally represent relationship-relevant events. Partners will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires and to take part in some challenging activities at the lab. They will also undergo an exercise designed to manipulate their overall mindset, shifting their focus to abstract (vs. concrete) situational features. We will measure the duration of partners’ persistence at these challenging tasks to determine the role of this manipulated mindset and other relationship qualities (e.g., commitment, satisfaction) in promoting pro-relationship behavior.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project including running participants, piloting of study design, data entry, and coding of data.

Requirements

No prior research experience required. Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.

Location:
3821 Psychology Ea

Research Project

Social support processes couples – This project will examine the ways in which individuals interact with their romantic partners when thinking about a current personal stressor. In the first part of this study, participants will complete an online questionnaire and writing task designed to measure expressions of support need. In the second part of this study, romantic couples will come to the lab and be video-recorded discussing one partner’s current personal stressor. We will measure partners’ emotional responses to stress, as well as support seeking and provision.

Undergraduate Contribution

Research assistants will be involved in all aspects of the project including running participants, transcription, and coding language and behavioral data.

Requirements

No prior research experience required. Student must be enthusiastic about research, extremely responsible and conscientious, and able to commit 6 to 9 hours a week to the project.

Pages