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This signature undergraduate research program engages UHP students in full-time summer research with UC faculty mentors in the humanities, social sciences, education, business, music, arts, and other non-STEMM disciplines.
There is a common misperception amongst students that research opportunities are exclusive to STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine) disciplines. This is not the case - undergraduate student engagement in research is important, valuable, and available across all disciplines. UHP Discover increases opportunities for UHP students to engage in undergraduate research across disciplines.
UHP students apply to be matched with UC faculty to engage in full-time summer research. Students who successfully match will be paid hourly ($10 per hour, up to a maximum total of $4,000; this amount is not guaranteed) to work full-time (30-40 hours per week) with their faculty mentors on research projects. Students will also attend professional development workshops addressing topics such as networking and professional presentation. Students will also give a presentation on their research experience at the end of the summer.
UHP Discover is grounded in experience-based learning, which is central to the UHP's vision of developing students into global citizen scholars who lead innovative efforts towards solving the world’s complex problems. This program was created so that students gain a deeper understanding of the field(s) in which they are researching, establish professional contacts and mentoring relationships with leading faculty, and are better prepared to advance to the next stage(s) of their career, including graduate school.
For Students Expand
Applications for the Summer 2020 UHP Discover Program are now closed!
Overview and Eligibility
UHP Discover is open to all students who are in the UHP during Summer semester 2020 (May 11 - August 8, 2020). This is a paid* research opportunity that will also qualify as two pre-approved honors experiences.
- We value interactions across disciplines - UHP students from any discipline are encouraged to apply and students may apply for research projects outside of their own department or college!
- This is a full-time (30-40 hours per week) paid research commitment. Please see the "Student Funding" section below for details on payment.
- Students cannot be enrolled in full-time classes if they are participating in UHP Discover. If a student is enrolling in a summer class(es), the student should not be enrolled in more than 6 credit hours. In addition, any class that the student is enrolled in cannot conflict with the UHP Discover research requirements.
- First and second year students are especially encouraged to apply, but the program is open to UHP students of all years (provided that you are still in the UHP in summer 2020; students graduating in spring 2020 are not eligible).
- Students will be required to participate in professional development sessions during the summer.
- Students will be required to present their research results at the conclusion of the summer session.
- Upon completion of all requirements, students will earn two honors experiences.
- *To be paid, students must be eligible to be employed in the United States.
Application and Matching Process
- Student information sessions will be held on Monday, February 3 at 3:30 pm and Thursday, February 6 at 5:30 pm both in Swift Hall 708.
- Summer 2020 project descriptions will be added to this webpage in early-to-mid February. Please review the project descriptions once available.
- Complete the online UHP DISCOVER application beginning mid-February.
- Upon completion, your application(s) will be forwarded to the potential faculty mentor(s), who will then contact selected students for any additional information and to schedule interviews. Please note that you are not guaranteed an interview. It is a competitive matching / selection process.
- Students can apply to more than one research project (by filling out multiple applications) but they can only work on a single project during the program.
- Matches should NOT be offered prior February 24. Students have 24 hours to accept/decline a match.
- Both students and faculty must confirm the match via email by March 13 (to Marcell Crawford, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
- If successfully matched with a faculty mentor, students will be paid* for their full-time research. *Students must be eligible for employment in the United States to be paid.
- Pay will be $10 per hour, up to 40 hours per week (no overtime), up to $4000 in total for the summer. The actual amount earned will be based on the actual number of hours that the student works and could be less than $4000 in total. This amount is not guaranteed. Funding will not be provided for students to work more than this.
- Students must develop their work schedule in agreement with their faculty mentor, including duration (number of weeks) and intensity (hours per week).
- You cannot work more than 40 hours per week in UHP Discover. In addition, if you will be employed in another student position at UC in summer 2020, you cannot work more than 40 hours per week in total between the positions.
Summer 2020 UHP Discover Projects
Bearcat Food Recovery Network Expand
Frank Russell (ELCE)
Two billion humans struggle with hunger, yet a full one third of our food is thrown out. (Mandyck,Schultz 2015) Taken together this has a measurable impact on social equity and environmental conditions. Using our own campus as the subject, student researchers will investigate student food waste awareness, practices, and social/environmental impact with the goal of implementing waste prevention, rescue, recovery and redistribution systems at the University.
The proposed research stems from an Interdisciplinary Honors class conducted Fall 2019 - Inquiry to Innovation: Zero Hunger/Zero Waste (ZHZW) in partnership with Kroger. The resulting work proposed the creation of The Bearcat Food Rescue Network to rescue food from locations in and around campus for reuse by food insecure students, the Bearcat Pantry, and local non-profit organizations. Food rescue sources will include the local Kroger Market, UC Dining services, and campus events. The network will run on a multi-platform networked inventory and notification system for distribution and scheduling. The program will be complemented with campus policy, a social media based awareness campaign, and a dedicated student advocacy organization.
Student researchers will devise a feasibility study of the proposed program elements. This may include: qualitative analysis of best practices in campus/community food waste/food rescue policies and programs for comparison; gathering quantitative data on campus food waste sources, products, and social/environmental impacts; surveying existing documentation on student food waste practices and awareness of impact; exploring program feasibility with on- and off- campus partners of both food rescue locations and rescued food delivery destinations; documenting safe food handling policies and liability issues; analyzing proposed food redistribution system dynamics for efficiency; identifying and testing existing inventory and notification systems; investigating means and methods for effective communications and branding for the student run program; researching institutional policy on waste and sustainability measures; and other activities.
Expectations of the Researcher:
Student researchers will be expected to work together with the program Director to devise a shared and prioritized work plan that conforms to their skills and interests.
Students will be using a variety of primary and secondary sources to access information and data, interacting with campus partners, administrators, and fellow students, traveling to and observing program sites and existing food service operations, experimenting with on-line programs and mobile applications.
Student researchers should be comfortable with communicating and interacting with a variety of participants. Basic competency in Microsoft Office programs is expected.
Student researchers will be expected to work full time for the ten week period May 1-July 10
Community Based Social Communication Interventions for Young Adults with Significant Autism Expand
Christina Carnahan (School of Education)
Despite the increasing availability of systematic, evidence based practices for teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during the school years, outcomes for adults remain poor (Gerhardt & Lanier, 2011). This is especially true for the 30% of individuals with ASD who have very limited communication (DiStefano, Shih, Kalser, Landa, & Kasari, 2016; Taylor, Henninger, & Mailick, 2015). Interventions are needed that support young adults with severe autism in expanding their communication experiences to promote increased social relationships and support quality of life. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of an intervention package (see below) to teach young adults with severe autism to engage in social interactions using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (i.e., an iPad application).
This study will occur on the University of Cincinnati campus in the IMPACT Innovation program, and participants will include approximately six young adults with autism between the ages of 23 and 30 who have very limited communication. The independent variable will be an intervention package that combines four evidence based practices including a) visual supports, b) systematic instruction, c) prompting, and d) reinforcement. The dependent variables will include the a) number of social exchanges, b) quality of exchanges, and c) the number of words in each exchange. We will use a multiple baseline across participant design to evaluate intervention effectiveness. A multiple baseline design is a single case design in which the effects of the intervention are demonstrated across participants. Data will be analyzed visually following Cooper, Heron & Heward’s (2007) guidelines for the visual analysis of single subject design research.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student researcher will work between 35 and 40 hours (approximately 8:30-4:00 each day) per week in the IMPACT Innovation program in the Advancement and Transition Services (ATS). Desired skills and experience include the ability to work as a self-directed employee after training is complete, collaboration with others, and flexibility. Additionally, we are seeking an individual open to diversity and inclusion who is willing and interested in interacting with individuals with significant disabilities.
During the first week, the student will complete the necessary processes and training required of all IMPACT staff members in the program. It is important to note that the student research will need to complete a background check (paid for through program funds), first aide, and an eight-hour online training.
Upon completion of the necessary prerequisite steps, the student researcher will spend three days shadowing and observing the associates, and then enter into training for the research procedures including protocol implementation, data collection, and analysis. For the remainder of the summer, the student will work closely with the research team, participating in weekly meetings and study implementation.
Election Security in 2020: Defending Elections in the Age of Digital Warfare Expand
Gregory Winger (Political Science)
Free and fair elections are central to a functioning democracy, yet the very concept of a free and fair election is increasingly under siege. Cyber attacks, information warfare and the weaponization of social media have combined to threaten both the integrity of elections themselves as well as the legitimacy with which they are viewed. In coordination with government agencies, the University of Cincinnati will be conducting a research project concerning election security in the leadup to the 2020 presidential election. This project will combine aspects of political science, cybersecurity and journalism and take a comprehensive view of election security as well as the challenges they face.
The project will take place in three distinct phases. We will begin by conducting a detailed review of recent scholarship on election security. In particular, we will examine recent cases where foreign influence operations used social media to attack the perceived legitimacy of an elect. The second phase will be the planning for and execution of a simulated attack on the 2020 election. This exercise will include election officials and will test their preparedness and ability to rebuff a dedicated attempt to undermine the 2020 election. Lastly, the outcome of this exercise will be used to conduct a series of experiments in order to test their effectiveness with the general population.
The objective of this project is to produce several academic works about election security in the digital age as well as a training program that can be used to prepare election officials.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student should have experience in political science and international relations. Some familiarity with cybersecurity is desirable, but the student does not need to be an expert. The student researcher would begin working on the project in May or early June at the latest. The extent of the commitment will shift throughout the course of the project. Initial stages concerning literature review and case analysis will be less structured and may be conducted remotely (with occasional in-person meetings). As the project shifts to the election interference exercise, the commitments and responsibilities will become more concrete. Students will be expected to dedicate 40 hours per week to the project for 10 weeks. Likewise, it is necessary that the student researcher be present during the exercise phase in order to assist with the simulation as necessary.
Hello, Central! Telephones in American Sheet Music Expand
Theresa Leininger- Miller (Art History)
The year 2021 will mark the 145th anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for the telephone in 1876. From the late 19th century, phones—as cutting-edge technology--were predominant in visual culture, notably in illustrated sheet music for the piano, with over 150 pieces produced 1877-1930. Artistic license variously demonstrates convergence with and divergence from lyrics, emphasizing the topical, democratic, and increasingly ubiquitous communication device.
Over thirty prolific sheet music illustrators produced eye-catching covers to lure buyers. Often in complementary colors (e.g., green/red, blue/orange), these publications feature large titles and simple, bold designs meant to be legible at a distance, as well as attractive in home parlors. The images frequently humorous and amusing, but also could be whimsical, sentimental, or provocative.
The essential characteristic of the (historical) telephone is aural connection to other people. On sheet music, a “physical” connection is made when song titles in cursive script morphs into wires joining couples. The strong emphasis is on young, sophisticated, urban lovers, but also between children and distant parents.
As mass-produced items, music covers permeated society in far more intimate, visible, and enduring ways than fine art could. It is prime, inexpensive, and compelling public visual culture that reveals beliefs and values about American technology, connectivity to people and places, communication, courtship, gender roles, children’s relationships to their parents, and war. As uniquely rich “compressed narratives,” music covers reflect broader cultural, social, economic, and political forces.
I’ve received a 2020 Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies Fellowship Award to work on this project. The plan is to curate an exhibition on the subject at the Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), with an accompanying publication. We hope to travel it nationally.
Expectations of the Researcher:
A student can assist with primary research by locating and cataloguing original sheet music at university and public libraries by working from home on the internet. We need to gather high-quality digital images and biographical information about composers, lyricists, illustrators, and performers. We will transcribe lyrics and find recorded performances of songs that may be downloaded on cell phones or accessible in other ways for the exhibition. Further, we need to do research on the history and cultural impact of telegraphy and telecommunications, as well as topics such as American technology, courtship, suffrage, telephone operators, and World War I.
In Search of Star Dust Expand
Kenneth Tankersley (Anthropology)
Students will search for micrometeorites and microtektites in sediments excavated from archaeological sites across North America. Micrometeoroids survived entry through the earth's atmosphere and range in size from 50 µm to 2 mm. Microtektites are glass objects, which resulted from the melting and vaporization of the Earth's crust during hypervelocity impacts of extraterrestrial bodies such as a meteorite, asteroid, or comet fragment. Micrometeoroids and microtektites from these sediments are believed to be the result of a newly discovered comet cosmic airburst event that occurred approximately 1,500-1,600 years ago in North America
Students will work in the Ohio Valley archaeology laboratory in the Department of Anthropology, 470 Braunstein Hall. Students will use a range of optical magnification including binocular stereoscopic, compound, and scanning electron microscopes. There will also be opportunities to go to the field to collect sediments from local archaeological sites.
The results of this research will be published in a high-profile peer-reviewed journal. Students participating in this project will be offered co-authorship on the paper.
Expectations of the Researcher:
No previous laboratory experience is required. This project is 100% hands-on, learn-by-doing, experiential learning.
Internal Influences on the Demand for More Specialized Writing Service Courses Expand
Lora Arduser (English)
Historically, technical and professional communication (TPC) programs have offered the main technical writing “service” course to engineering programs. Recently, however, faculty have received growing requests for service writing courses as a variety of departments try to ensure their students graduate with transferrable skills, especially writing. These requests are for more than generalized writing instruction. Faculty in these departments want their students to be able to write specifically for their fields/disciplines. Our own Rhetoric and Professional Writing track in the English department, in the past three years alone, has developed and offered a specialized technical writing course for non-native English-speaking engineering students and for programs such as psychology and environmental studies.
The purpose of the study is to help identify common political and institutional forces behind initiatives for specialized writing classes in university settings; to examine questions about who would be teaching these more specialized courses; and what this interest in more specialized courses can tell us about the field of technical/professional writing and future directions. Additionally, this project aims to explore the pros and cons associated with developing and staffing more specialized writing courses. For example, they can help build relationships across departments. They can also make TPC programs more visible in their colleges. At the same time, adding such courses to TPC programming can tax small programs with limited resources, potentially shifting existing resources away from our own majors.
By conducting interviews with two people (the program administrator and one instructor) from approximately 90 TPC programs across the nation, this research will help guide curricular decisions in the TPC field. We will identify potential participants through a survey sent to listservs of three professional organizations relating to TPC. The interviews will then be transcribed and reviewed to summarize important themes in the TPC field.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The research team is interested in working with a student who wants to learn the process of research in the humanities. The student should be interested in writing and communication. We will work with them to understand how to form a valid research question, how to formulate a research design, and how to collect and analyze qualitative data. The student will also become familiar with the IRB process. The student will specifically do data collection through online research of TPC programs and participate in survey development. They will learn good survey practices, how to pilot a survey, and how to revise it for effectiveness. They will conduct a literature review and work with us to transcribe the interviews. Finally, the student researcher will help code interviews for data analysis.
Loneliness in Older Adults: Text and Social Network Analysis Expand
Zvi Biener (Philosophy)
Loneliness affects approximately one-third to one-half of older adults and is associated with reduced quality of life and increased illness and mortality. As the world’s population ages, loneliness is becoming an increasingly important health vector. Older adults are especially vulnerable, with high risk for poor health outcomes such as depression, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and chronic disease.
The goal of this IRB-approved study is to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of loneliness from biological, psychosocial, & environmental perspectives and develop interventions to reduce its impact. The study is currently collecting interview and social interaction data from older adults living Maple Knoll Village. The goal of this summer program is to submit this data to data-driven natural language analysis and (time permitting) social network analysis. Since one-on-one interviews are time-consuming and costly, we are looking to develop techniques to analyze participants responses in bulk — therefore, natural language analysis using, for example, the Python natural language toolkit.
Work will consist in: bring existing knowledge of natural language analysis or learning natural language analysis and performing exploratory analysis on our collected data. The results of the work will be incorporated into an NIH grant. If all goes well, the student will undergo IRB training and be listed as a team-member of this larger grant. Successful students who are not senior might be have a change to continue work on this project on an hourly basis in the coming years.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student must have some previous programming experience. Knowledge of either natural language analysis or network analysis toolkits is fantastic, but willingness to learn these toolkits is sufficient.
Media Literacy and Children's Heart Health Expand
Nancy Jennings (Communication)
This research project will involve the assessment and co-development of a 5-session heart health literacy program with a focus on Hank the Heart, a character developed by Dr. Ryan Moore of CCHMC to connect with children about heart health. The character has been utilized in a video and children’s book with the CCHMC Media Lab. This research project will examine how children respond and interact with Hank and what children learn about their heart from the video and book. This information will be used to develop additional videos and materials for a 5-session heart health literacy program. We will work with children and families participating in a summer camp called Camp Joy(https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/service/h/heart-institute/patients/family-camp) to learn more about their experiences to further enhance the lessons of the curriculum for the program.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student researcher must have good communication skills and be willing to interact with children and their families. The student researcher should have availability to travel to Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, Ohio, located about 50 minutes north of downtown Cincinnati during camp in June 2020. Additional travel to locations in Greater Cincinnati will be required to continue interviews, focus groups, and other sessions with children, parents, and physicians. An understanding of child development is helpful but not required. The student researcher should be willing to work with qualitative and quantitative data that we collect during the summer including survey data and interview transcription and analysis.
On the Spectrum: Jewish Refugees from Nazi Austria and the Politics of Disability in Britain and America Expand
Katherine Sorrels (History)
I am writing a book on the history of autism and would like to work with a student on a related digital humanities project. The project will be published online and will visualize some of the book’s material. Its purpose is (1) to spark interest in the book (2) to augment the book’s material, and (3) to serve as a useful resource for other researchers. The book follows a group of Jewish doctors who fled Nazi Vienna in 1938 for Scotland, where they established a special school for refugee children with autism who had to flee Nazi Germany’s state-sponsored child euthanasia program. The program, called T4, mandated that children with disabilities be killed by their doctors and nurses. The school in Scotland was unique because doctors, teachers, and other care givers lived together in family-style households with their students. As refugees whose families had been torn apart, they needed to rebuild family and home life together. But this arrangement proved very appealing to British parents and the school soon began accepting local children as well. It has since grown into a network of over 130 facilities around the world.
This summer’s project will be to finish a database of all the locations and create a digital map that allows users to see the locations and to view them according to a variety of characteristics. The database is almost complete, so most of the time will be spent on the visualization. If this is completed before the end of the summer, we can work on a related network analysis project that finds connections in the work of prominent autism researchers in Germany, Britain, and the United States from the 1930s-1960s. In any case, your creative work will of course be featured on the resulting website.
Expectations of the Researcher:
Ideally, you will have some familiarity with GIS and/or other digital humanities tools, but willingness to learn is the only requirement. We will use campus resources for tech support and guidance as needed (for example, the DATA and GIS Collab). You should also have an interest in the topic of disability as you will have input on the conceptualization and content of the digital project (e.g. what particular elements to highlight, the overall message it should communicate to users, etc).
You should be available to meet regularly with me (in person or occasionally via skype if necessary) and go to tech support office hours on campus as needed. Otherwise, the schedule is quite flexible.
Quick Response Teams for Reducing Opioid Overdoses in Ohio Expand
Sarah Manchak (Criminal Justice)
A Quick Response Team (QRT) is an intervention that provides assertive outreach, referrals, and linkage to substance use treatment for people who have recently experienced a non-fatal opioid overdose.
Dr. Sarah Manchak and Dr. Cory Haberman in the School of Criminal Justice are working on two inter-related projects concerning QRTs. The first project is an evaluation of the Hamilton County QRT. The student will be responsible for: (1) gathering, coding, and recording (data entry) official county arrest records for all enrolled QRT participants, (2) administration of a phone-based client satisfaction survey to all QRT participants contacted by the QRT team and, (3) data entry of the survey data. The second project is a statewide survey of QRT practices, implementation factors, and outcomes. The student will be responsible for participant recruitment (via phone and email) and the management/oversight of participant enrollment (e.g., tracking new participants and removing them from the recruitment follow up lists). The student will receive training on all necessary skills to perform successfully in his/her roles on both projects. Student will also have opportunity to network with and be mentored by graduate students and faculty with interests/specialization in policing, corrections, rehabilitation, mental illness, addiction, and program evaluation. There is also potential for the student to collaborate on professional presentations stemming from the projects.
Expectations of the Researcher:
Student will be expected to complete his/her hours in the School of Criminal Justice during normal business hours (M-F 9:00am-5:00pm), but faculty mentors are flexible about when/how hours are completed during their tenure in the program.
Required Skills: Excellent interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills; ability to work well independently and as a team; conscientious with careful attention to detail; understanding and respect for human subjects protections, privacy, and confidentiality of data. Preferred skills/training: Data entry familiarity (SPSS, STATA or equivalent); proficiency with MS Office Suite (Word/Excel/Access); certification in human subject protections (CITI training); background knowledge or interest in psychology, addiction studies/services, social work, policing, criminal justice, or other related field.
Race, Gender and Urban Health Study Expand
Carolette Norwood (Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies)
I am looking to work with a student researcher on my book project tentatively entitled “Jim Crow Geographies: Mapping the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Urban Space.” This book is a mixed-method, interdisciplinary and intersectional study that contributes much-needed nuances to our understanding of how gender, race, sexuality, and space intersect in the production of sexual and reproductive health disparities. My book project uses urban ethnography (in-depth interviews), archival research, spatial statistics and mapping, as well as photo-voice and as a feminist project, the lives and voices of Black women are centered in this work.
I am hoping to work with a student to develop their skills and talents in using a variety of research tools. The student can expect to do some preliminary quantitative work – pull data from the Ohio Department of Health and US Census to create tables and graphs and as well as spatially mapping data with GIS. The student will likely be introduced to archival work too. I’m interested in researching some historical newspaper such as W.P. Dabney’s Union newspaper (1925-1952) as well as search the National Urban League (formerly Negro Civic League) and Theodore Berry archives. Additionally, the student will learn to search for relative literature in scientific journals. And finally, I anticipate the student helping me build my bibliography and organizing both the data and the literature in electronic file system. And while it is unlikely the student will see or touch any original human subject protected data, it is recommended that any student undertaking research work, be IRB certified. Though not required it is strongly recommended.
Expectations of the Researcher:
My expectation for the student is to have a sincere curiosity about research; an interest in health studies, and particularly health disparities at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and (urban) space. I am searching for a student who is highly motivated and willing to work 30 to 40 hours a week; a student who is willing to occasionally travel to the Cincinnati Museum of History (which is roughly 4 miles from the University of Cincinnati) and work independently at UC libraries. I love research and I think my passion for research generally and my work in Cincinnati in particular will inspire the student and help them to identify their own research interest.
Reaching the Unreachable: Addressing Summer Learning Loss in Homeless Children Expand
Heidi Kloos (Psychology)
When summer comes, many children struggle to retain what they have learned during the school year. This so-called summer-learning loss is particularly pronounced for children from economically disadvantaged communities. We seek to address the summer-learning loss by interfacing with a summer program that is organized for homeless children. Our specific focus is on elementary-school math (arithmetic, pre-algebra). This is a particularly challenging academic subject, with children often being several years behind their grade level. Children also struggle with learning motivation and persistence. They might even suffer from math anxiety.
The proposed research will explore ways in which children can overcome these barriers and learn math in a positive environment. The research involves designing, carrying out, and testing the effect of a math-enrichment program that will be rolled out during the summer program.
The next phase of of this project includes examining perpetrator characteristics (e.g., victim-offender relationship, criminal justice case outcomes), response patterns (e.g., types of victim services available), and documenting the needs of victims in Ohio (e.g., health care, housing, legal counsel). This will include both quantitative data analysis (e.g., examining frequencies of sex trafficking and labor trafficking cases) and qualitative data analysis (e.g., reviewing case narratives, media reports).
The student will also be provided with the opportunity to present research at a national academic conference.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student researcher is expected to help oversee the math enrichment program we plan to carry at the summer program for homeless children. This involves developing the necessary materials, training the volunteers, and supporting the program on the ground. The student researcher is also expected to oversee the data collection and data analysis activities. This involves deciding on the appropriate assessments, help administer them, code the obtained data, and store it for later analysis. Finally, the student researcher is expected to help disseminate the findings. This includes a participating in conversation about the relevant literature, analyzing the data, and summarize the findings to be informative to the general audience.
Screenomics and Youth Expand
Nancy Jennings (Communication)
For decades, social science researchers have conducted research on how much time users spend with media. However, there has been no clear way of studying this due to constraints of measurement. We have estimates, but that’s about as good as it gets. However, with advances in technology, there are new ways to examine patterns of use which may be more telling than how much time is spent with digital devices. New research is being conducted in which researchers “look over people’s shoulders, digitally speaking, and record everything, on every device, that an individual sees, does and types. The researchers call this ultra-fine-grained record a “screenome,” adapting the concept from “genome,” the full blueprint of one’s genetic inheritance. Each person’s daily screenome is similarly unique, a sequential, disjointed series of screens.” (NYT article linked below). As the author of this NYT article suggests, “it could prompt a fundamental shift in the kinds of questions researchers pose. “How much screen time is too much” is a puzzle for a past era. Asking which patterns of screenome activity are problematic, and for whom, is the better inquiry for today.”
Check out this NYT article for a short summary: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/health/screen-time-mental-health-screenome.html
Expectations of the Researcher:
This project is still in very early stages of development and has potential to expand in waves of activity. Students will need to become familiar with machine-learning and artificial intelligence since this is a key factor in the analysis of the data collection. Students will also be required to follow strict protocol and ethical considerations for collection of this sensitive data. A willingness to learn and engage in machine learning is required.
Struggles for Racial, Gender, and Sexual Justice at UC and in Cincinnati Expand
Ashley Currier (Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Cincinnati is a fascinating city for scholars interested in women’s, gender, and sexuality history. Not only was Cincinnati a locus for antipornography debates in the 1980s, it was also the site of anti- and pro-gay rights organizing in the 1990s. This project will tap into Cincinnati’s dynamic history over the last fifty years and result in the production of an authoritative guide about women’s, gender, and sexuality history in Cincinnati and at the university. The first phase of the project will focus on the history of racial, gender, and sexual justice organizing on and off campus. How did struggles related to racial, gender, and sexual justice unfold at and beyond UC? How did “town-gown” relations change in relation to organizing for racial, gender, and sexual justice on campus? How did students, staff, faculty, and community members organize for and secure lasting change around racial, gender, and sexual justice at UC? Although project leaders will gather a variety of stories related to struggles for racial, gender, and sexual justice at UC, we are particularly interested in narratives of victory and triumph. In 2024, the University of Cincinnati will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Center and Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As such, this project will document women’s, gender, and feminist history at UC and in Cincinnati.
Expectations of the Researcher:
I would like a student researcher to assist me with three tasks: 1) identifying and interviewing former and current UC faculty, staff, and students and community members/activists with knowledge about and/or firsthand participation in struggles for racial, gender, and sexual justice at and beyond UC; 2) transcribing these interviews; and 3) identifying and going through collections related to racial, gender, and sexual justice at UC at UC Libraries and in local archival collections. The student researcher should reside in Cincinnati for most of the summer because they will conduct in-person interviews and be available for weekly progress meetings.
I will train the student researcher on how to conduct interviews, use a recording device, ask follow-up questions, develop rapport with interview participants, conduct archival research, and transcribe and code interviews. The student researcher will gain firsthand experience designing and refining interview questions, writing memos about interviews, coding interview data, conducting archival research, and synthesizing data from multiple sources. The student researcher will have access to quiet conference rooms on campus in which they can conduct interviews. An interest in racial, gender, and/or sexual justice in Cincinnati and/or the US is an advantage but is not required.
The Effect of Race on the Evaluation of Talent in Professional Sports Expand
David Niven (Political Science)
Does race influence the way prospective players are evaluated in professional sports?
Anecdotes and scattered evidence suggest that race can alter the perceptions of talent in various ways including introducing perceptual biases that may discourage high evaluations of certain players or fostering skepticism that they can succeed in certain positions. But strong, broad evidence is not typically applied to the question.
Here we will take a look at the fate of draft picks in three major sports (football, baseball, and basketball) with regard to when they were selected and how successful they went on to be in their playing careers. Looking across several years and three sports, we will be able to assess if white players are treated differently than other players and if that pattern persists over time.
The intersection of sports and race has important implications. Some view milestone moments in sports history - like the debut of Jackie Robinson - as evidence that sports can influence and shape the rest of society. Others view racial imbalances – like the relative lack of African Americans in sports leadership positions - as evidence that sports merely replicates common societal biases. In that light, this project will examine whether these sports imposed racial biases on the player selection process or have these sports been able to transcend race.
Expectations of the Researcher:
Seeking a student who will find it interesting to compile data on professional baseball, football, and basketball players. The work will involve looking up statistics and background information on players selected in the NFL draft, MLB draft, and NBA draft, and entering that data in a spreadsheet. This work can be done anywhere with internet access, and can be done any time of day. The second phase of the work will involve newspaper/news searches on select players to document their experience as draft prospects and the third phase will involve helping to assess the evidence. The student researcher will be welcome to utilize data from this project in their own future research/projects.
No particular expertise is required - but patience and persistence will prove useful.
The Future of Work Strategy and Design Activation Expand
Aaron Bradley (ELCE; DAAP)
For the last 3 years we have engaged in a collaborative research and teaching project with Cincinnati-based BHDP Architecture, focusing on the future of work. Our overarching goal is to generate original, predictive insights about the future of work from the perspective of through the use of design research tools and methodology. We have been teaching a transdiscplinary UC Forward seminar on this topic since 2016 (some have been UHP seminars), generateing a significant amount of data and insights. We study a variety of macro-trends in human behavior, human responses to physical and environmental stimuli, perceptions of and responses to AI, and adapting models of education and training. Research methods include secondary research and primary research including surveys, focus groups, interviews, field experiments, and ethnographic observations.
The summer project is focused on curating and distilling the existing research, conducting new/additional research, and developing a set of design adaptation guides that translate our research findings into actionable design tools for designing future workplaces, accounting for both the physical space and the organizational/social systems of the future. The project has actively produced thought leadership via article publications, professional presentations in multiple corporate and non-profit settings, and podcasts. In addition to this position, we are hiring a cross-disciplinary team of 5 co-op students from design, psychology, journalism, and anthropology who will be working on this project in collaboration with BHDP's workplace strategy team.
The UHP Discover student will join the co-op team for the summer in a new role. This position is unique in that it will work in a team environment of other students, creative professionals in the workplace, and a UC faculty member. In addition to developing design activation guides, the work of this summer’s team will be used to seek new outlets for producing and sharing additional scholarship.
Expectations of the Researcher:
This student would assist the future of work activation team with secondary research by identifying existing scholarly articles and other relevant publications from thought leaders, and then reviewing and summarizing these articles for the team to discuss and reference. They would also assist with primary research by working with the team to develop survey and focus group questions, and design field research activities such as ethnographic observations and field experiments. The UHP Discover student will play a key role in creating printed and digital materials for surveys, focus groups, and field research, administering online surveys, and entering data from surveys and field research documentation. They will also participate in topical ideation and brainstorming sessions with the team, and be responsible for documentation/curation of materials generated by these sessions (documenting notes from session, organizing photos of post-it maps, scanning diagrams and sketches, etc.).
The ideal candidate will have some experience finding and reviewing articles to identify key points and create summaries, strong organizational skills and the attention to detail necessary to collect and enter survey data and field research notes, and the flexibility and open-mindedness to participate in creative brainstorming exercises with a multi-disciplinary team. The research team will work in a dedicated space off-campus at BHPD’s headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, so personal transportation or willingness to utilize public transportation to get to downtown Cincinnati for work will be necessary.
Understanding International Relations in an Era of Globalized Economic Activity Expand
Thomas Moore (Political Science)
Although the world today features unprecedented levels of cross-border interdependence socially, culturally, ecologically, environmentally, and militarily, many observers argue that deepening economic ties remain the primary driver of global interconnectedness. This project will provide an enriching experience for anyone interested in international economic relations, changes in the global corporate landscape, and the geopolitical implications of a globalizing world economy.
Using proprietary data purchased from Forbes, we’ll create original databases in which the world’s top 2,000 companies are organized by industry and nationality so we can track changes over time in the prominence of, among others, American, Chinese, Japanese, German, South Korean, Brazilian, and Indian companies in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and computers to telecommunications and automobiles. We’ll then use Bloomberg Professional to access more detailed, company-specific data. Take Toyota as an example. You’ll retrieve data on how the percentages of domestic ownership (Japanese) and foreign ownership of Toyota have changed over time, as well as how the portion of foreign ownership in Toyota has been distributed by nationality (American, German, Chinese, etc.) over time. You’ll also extract data on the percentages of Toyota’s sales and assets that are domestic vs. foreign and how this has changed over time.
As a political scientist who specializes in international economic relations, I’m interested in the global dispersion of commercial activity not just for its economic effects but also for its strategic and security implications. One question scholars ask is whether growing economic ties will mitigate, exacerbate, or have no effect on prospects for geopolitical or military conflict between countries such as the U.S. and China, China and Japan, India and China, etc. A second question concerns the extent to which large developing countries such as Brazil, India, South Africa, Turkey and China have begun to penetrate the long-standing economic dominance of Western powers.
Expectations of the Researcher:
Although students from Lindner College of Business or the College of Arts & Sciences (especially social science majors) might find the subject matter of this project especially relevant to their studies, I’ll happily consider any motivated honors student who finds the topic interesting, as the work does not presume any particular academic background. The main qualification is having a strong attention to detail and a willingness to work intensively with data, especially numerical data. No statistical skills are required, as the student’s role will involve mainly executing the final stages of data gathering, data organization, and preliminary data interpretation, but a working familiarity with Excel or a commitment to enhancing one’s Excel skills is necessary. (The work does not require sophisticated knowledge of Excel.) Although working with the data may be tedious at times, rest assured that we’ll engage the ideas behind the research regularly as we navigate the steps in our empirical analysis. Furthermore, the project is now approaching a stage where, by Summer 2020, there should be opportunities to conduct some non-data-oriented research, such as doing descriptive background research on individual companies and industries.
I should mention that several students will work on the project in Summer 2020; some are likely to be students who’ve worked on the project before and some are likely to be new members of the team. While students will work independently on their own project assignments, there will be some opportunity to interact with other research team members. For example, I anticipate holding team meetings an average of once every two weeks through the summer, generally for 1.5-2 hours. In addition to addressing project specific issues, I also use these meetings for general discussion of topics such as how to use faculty-led undergrad research for career exploration, how to prepare for grad school, and how to pursue your own undergrad research project (including how to identify and develop a project, ways to earn academic credit doing a project, funding opportunities to support a project, internal and external venues at which undergrads can present research, presentation tips, potential publication outlets, etc.).
In addition to these group meetings, I’ll also be available by email, phone, Skype, etc. Given the incremental, iterative nature of the work, it’s not uncommon for students to be in contact with me individually several times a week depending on the specific tasks they’re doing. We’ll be using shared workspace on OneDrive, which is part of Microsoft 365. My best estimate is that you’ll need to be on campus at least two days a week given that some of the work requires using the Bloomberg Terminals in Lindner College. Beyond that, I’m completely flexible about when and where you work. Similarly, I’ll gladly accommodate a student’s short-term study abroad trip, family vacation, etc. as long as consistent weekly progress is otherwise made and as long as the total hours expected by UHP are accumulated over the course of the summer.
Because significant progress has already been made on this long-term project, Summer 2020 should prove to be an exciting time as the results of the research come into clearer focus. Indeed, I can show students who apply to the UHP Discover program examples of work completed thus far by students so they can get a concrete sense of what is involved.
Understanding the Role of Health Literacy and Disparity in the OpenNotes Project: A Literature Review Expand
Hexuan Liu (Criminal Justice)
Low health literacy among patients is associated with poor health outcomes. Recent efforts to promote transparency and accessibility in health information were initiated by the OpenNotes project, which has allowed more than 40 million patients nationwide to gain access to their care provider’s clinical notes through patient portals. Sharing clinical notes has been shown to be especially beneficial in the short-term for individuals from underserved populations. However, these benefits are limited long-term for those with lower health literacy, leading to poor health outcomes for these persons. This research project will be conducted by an interdisciplinary team, including Drs. Danny Wu (Health Informatics), Jacinda Dariotis (Education), Mark Eckman (Internal Medicine), and myself (Social Science). As a social scientist, I am very interested in using social science theories to explain the relationships between health literacy, note access, and health outcomes. Through UHP Discover, I look forward to working with a student researcher to understand the relationships and further examine how improving literacy could improve overall health. We will be studying this through an in-depth literature review of the OpenNotes movement and related social science literature.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student researcher should be available for the majority of the 10 weeks, 40 hours/week commitment. Interest in public health, social sciences, and social determinants of health and/or experience in conducting literature reviews is preferred. The researcher does not need to be in Cincinnati and can work remotely, but must be able to attend weekly/biweekly meetings via online conferencing (e.g. WebEx and Skype) or in person.
Visual Music and Experimental Animation Expand
Gary Weissman (English)
The term “visual music” refers to the work of avant-garde artists who use animation to create films in which sound serves as the dominant medium, determining the visuals. These films typically synchronize abstract images and classical music. Artists have created “visual music” using a variety of techniques, from traditional cel animation to scratching images directly on film to generating images using the oscilloscope, a laboratory device that displays a graphic of waveforms through electronic symbols. Two pioneers of visual music are the German artist Oskar Fischinger, who made experimental “optical poems” in the 1930s and 1940s and wrote about synesthesia, or the relationship between sound and certain shapes and colors, and the American animator Mary Ellen Bute, who combined art and science to make “seeing sound” films from 1934 through the 1950s. The goal of this project is to amass knowledge of these and other creators of visual music, compiling information and generating an archive of films and annotated source material. A second goal is to collaborate on a scholarly essay that arises out of your research and addresses an aspect of visual music.
Expectations of the Researcher:
I am looking for a research assistant who is an experienced online and library researcher and competent writer, willing to revise work through multiple drafts. Ideally, the researcher will bring significant knowledge of music composition and history to the project. The researcher should be detail-oriented, self-motivated, and intellectually curious. Work can take place anywhere the researcher has access to a computer and an internet connection.
Who is American Today? Expand
Flavia Bastos (School of Art)
This is the third year of this research collaboration that connects creativity and democracy through an exploration of the possible role of digital technologies and art education to promote citizenship. Examining the experiences of high school educators working in a variety of school districts, including those with significant immigrant populations, allows understanding of teen’s stories and perspectives about living in the United States today. A cohort of high school students from across the country was asked to employ digital storytelling to reflect about their experiences in America, touching on polarizing issues such as race, immigration, social opportunity and the American dream. Students created 2-3-minute video-narratives in response to the prompt, “Who is American today?” Incorporating elements of traditional qualitative, participatory methods, and arts-based research, this project aims to promote creative citizenship by connecting cultural and creative activities with social, political, or civic goals (Locktoon, Greene, Casey, Raby, & Vickress, 2014). Digital story telling lends itself to arts-based research practice because art can “create knowledge to help us understand in a profound way the world in which we live “(Sullivan, 2010, p.x).
Inspired by a project designed to encourage the “voices” of young people through artistic exploration of their European identies to unveil the effects of recent economic and political decisions in challenging a sense of shared European citizenship (Richardson, 2016). To some extent, the current political and social changes in the United States parallel those of Europe and raise questions about the role of education in promoting citizenship. One of our intended outcomes is to empower other art educators across the country, to address the nuanced realities of their own students, while advancing the potential of creative education strategies to promote informed citizenship and sustain democracy.
Expectations of the Researcher:
The student researcher will assist me in:
- Completing grant applications for additional research funds
- Analyzing the gathered data (from students), creating holistic categories, and delving into content analysis of the videos;
- Maintaining the digital presence of the project via social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) and website;
- Developing recruitment materials
- Revising and field-testing the teaching guide for teachers/researchers who will join the project starting in the fall 2020 semester;
- Writing a report including preliminary findings;
- Conducting interviews with project participants;
- Searching for additional grant funding and writing proposals.
- Assist with exhibitions related to the project
The ideal student researcher candidate should be able to work30 hours week, able to work independently, have strong writing skills, interest in creative practices, basic digital skills, as well as curiosity and interest to develop qualitative research competencies.
Students enrolled in classes during the summer semester must disclose their school commitments during the application process.
For questions regarding UHP DISCOVER, contact:
Marcell Crawford, Assistant Director and Honors Advisor
513.556.3202 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty applications are now closed for Summer 2020!
Will you be conducting research during Summer 2020? If so, please consider being a part of the UHP Discover summer research program.
UC faculty are encouraged to submit proposals to serve as research mentors for UHP Discover!
This is a full-time (30-40 hours per week for 10 weeks) summer research experience for undergraduate students in the UHP. Research projects are to be from the humanities, social sciences, business, education, music, arts, and other non-STEMM disciplines only. Research projects in STEMM disciplines are not eligible.
10-15 faculty research projects will be selected and supported for summer 2020.
The faculty proposal process is as follows:
- Faculty must submit their research project proposal to the UHP by Friday, January 31.
- Research projects must be full-time (30-40 hours per week, for 10 weeks, in summer 2020).
- The faculty member must be in Cincinnati and at UC for the summer, in order to mentor and supervise their student researcher.
- Research project proposals will be reviewed by a committee of UHP faculty and staff. 10-15 will be selected.
- Faculty will be informed of their proposal's status on Monday, February 10.
- Selected projects will be posted online by February 11 for UHP students to view.
- Beginning February 13, UHP students may apply to their desired project(s). Their deadline to apply will be Friday, February 21.
- Faculty may reach out to students to schedule in-person interviews as applications are received.
- Matches may begin on February 24 at 8am (meaning, faculty can offer to their selected applicant beginning on this date). Students are given 24 hours to accept/decline. If the first student you offer to does not accept, you may offer to the next student (and continue this until you and a student match).
- The faculty member will then indicate their student selection/match to the UHP by Friday, March 13.
The faculty member's department will be required to hire the student as a student employee, so that the student can be paid to conduct the research:
- The UHP will provide the funding, up to $4000.
- The faculty member's department must hire the selected student as an hourly student employee ($10 per hour, up to $4000 in total for the summer). The faculty member and their department must oversee all aspects of the student's employment, including hiring, clocking in and out/timekeeping, PCR processes, and managing all other HR processes related to hiring and employment.
- The UHP will transfer the funding to the department to pay the student, up to $4000. The faculty member will indicate how many hours per week the student will work for the ten weeks. This amount of funding will be transferred to the faculty member's department, up to $4000. If students will work less than 40 hours per week for the ten weeks, a pro-rated amount will be transferred. If the student works fewer hours than indicated, the remaining funds are to be transferred back to the UHP at the end of the summer.
- Students are not permitted to work more than 40 hours per week.
- Students will begin work at the beginning of the Summer 2020 semester.
- UHP students are required to attend professional development sessions on some Friday mornings. Faculty must allow the students to attend these sessions on these Fridays.
- UHP students are required to present their research at the conclusion of the summer to fellow members of the program, mentors, and UHP staff.
The UHP will provide $1000 to the faculty mentor's department for use by the faculty member. The $1000 will be transferred to the faculty member’s department in May, to then be available for the faculty member’s use. This funding is transferred from operating funds. A salary or stipend is not paid to the faculty member by the UHP. If the department chooses to use the $1000 to pay a stipend, it must be used for both salary and benefits. Therefore, the faculty member will not be paid $1000 by the department but rather a smaller amount to also account for required benefits. $1000 will be transferred for each UHP Discover project that a faculty member oversees, if a match is made.
The UHP will also transfer up to $4000 (including benefits) to the faculty member's department to cover the student researchers hourly pay ($10 per hour, 30-40 hours per week for 10 weeks, up to 400 hours for the summer). The faculty member's department must hire the student as an hourly student employee and oversee all aspects of the student's employment.
The faculty member will indicate to the UHP how many hours per week the student will work for the ten weeks. This amount of funding will be transferred to the faculty member's department, up to $4000. If students will work less than 40 hours per week for the ten weeks, a pro-rated amount will be transferred.
If the student works fewer hours than planned, the remaining funds are to be transferred back to the UHP at the end of the summer.