Department Research Projects

Department Research Projects

Research Projects imageResearch Projects Seeking Participants

The following projects are seeking participants (not research assistance from students):

Posted 05/02/22:  This research study explores the unique life experiences of people living with fibromyalgia.  Each participant will be asked to take a photo that they feel is a representation of their chronic pain or life with fibromyalgia, then caption the photo to describe its meaning. The purpose of this is to work to give a visual representation of an invisible condition.  (Photovoice is a methodology that is often used to raise social awareness of the issues members of marginalized communities face, and to create social change.)  All participants will be given and/or choose a pseudonym to protect their identity.  If you are 18 or older, have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or are suspected of having fibromyalgia by medical personnel or yourself, and are willing to share your experiences, contact Ms. Josie Timmons at 502-724-3322 or  

Posted in 21S and ongoing into 21F:  Help amplify the voices of Louisville youth, young adults, and parents in marginalized positions!  UofL researchers are partnering with Louisville Office of Youth Development for a study to understand challenges experienced by youth, young adults, and parents during COVID-19 and the uncovering of systemic racism. Youth/young adults (ages 12 to 24) and parents/caregivers who hold marginalized positions, such as youth/young adults of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, low-income, &/or differently abled youth and young adults, members of the youth development services sector (e.g., youth program administrators, leaders, direct service workers, evaluators, funders, etc.) are invited to participate in an online survey and virtual community listening session. Come let your voice be heard! Follow this link for more information about the study and how to enroll: https://bit.ly/YCLSTUDY   For more information about the teen listening sessions, visit here, and for the parent listening sessions, visit here.

Research Projects Related to the College of Arts & Sciences Mentored Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Grant

Posted 4/18/22:  This project is seeking an undergraduate to work as a mentee with Sociology PhD graduate student, Trisha Douin.  Interested students should contact Trisha at by May 4, 2022:  

"My name is Trisha Douin, and I am a doctoral student in the Sociology department, and my research areas of interest focus on Race, Class, Gender, and Education. As a research assistant, I work on a nationally-funded collaborative research project. This project includes working with faculty members on campus to understand their engagement in adopting exploratory learning strategies within their classrooms. The project also seeks to understand how faculty’s daily lives and teaching choices are related to the universities policies and procedures. An undergraduate mentee would be instrumental in assisting with this research project. The guiding question for this project is to understand science teachers' beliefs about teaching.

This research project will have an undergraduate student assist with qualitative analysis. The undergraduate mentee will learn about the development of social science surveys and interviews. They will learn how semi-structured interviews are conducted, review ten interviews conducted with faculty on campus, and code them using a pre-established coding method. The student will learn to code these interviews using the Teachers Beliefs Interview. As a skill, the undergraduate mentee will learn about survey research methods and design. They will also understand how to conduct semi-structured interviews and how to analyze them. By the end of the summer, the student will be able to present the different beliefs that on-campus science teachers hold. They will also demonstrate how these teachers use their beliefs to inform their in-class teaching style.

Finally, they will be able to categorize the teachers' ideas into different beliefs profiles. I anticipate that the student will find that teachers hold different beliefs and engage in various practices depending on their years of teaching, subject, and experience with exploratory learning techniques.

 To be eligible for the mentored research grant, students must:  be a major in any of the A&S disciplines and has not been enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Louisville for more than four semesters (not including summer terms). For the student who participates, they will be awarded $500. Check out this website for more information: https://louisville.edu/artsandsciences/academics/undergraduate/research-grant

Faculty Research Projects with Opportunities for Student Involvement

All sociology faculty have ongoing research projects, and, for some, the nature of their research provides opportunities for student involvement providing research assistance.  Depending on their level of education and experience, students may be asked to help with the development of a literature review or survey or interview questions, collect and/or analyze data, etc.  To learn about our faculty's areas of research, visit our faculty webpage, and see below for current projects which are potentially open to student involvement.

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. James Beggan's recent research applies game theoretic ideas involving cooperation, competition, and limitations in rational choice to the analysis of social problems and phenomenon like sexual harassment and polyamory and other forms of consensual nonmonogamy. His work also applies an evolutionary lens to understanding these problems--what has been termed "evolutionary sociology"--in stark contrast to most of the dominant paradigms in sociology which display what could be termed "biophobia." He is also interested in heroic behavior and the manner in which heroic behavior can result in unexpected negative consequences.  Both undergraduate and graduate students interested in working on one his projects should .  

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. Melanie Gast is the the Co-PI for a qualitative project (with a CEHD faculty member) examining the role of peer mentoring in supporting English Language Learner (ELL) and immigrant students and students of color in a local high school. They will possibly continue their data collection in 2022-23, when they will be observing peer academic mentoring sessions and interviewing bilingual peer mentors (in addition to teachers and “ELL” students), and they will have need for data collection, transcription, and possible data analysis work. Any undergraduate or graduate student (particularly any bilingual students) interested in working on this project should contact Dr. Gast.

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 4/19/22):  Dr. Gul Marshall's main line of research deals with social movements and sociology of gender. It focuses on the dynamics of the relationship between feminist grass-roots activism, the state, and supranational entities (e.g., the European Union and the United Nations).  It highlights the significance of transnational feminist activism in influencing gender policies both at national and supranational levels.  The triangle of the Turkish feminist movement, the Turkish state, and the European Union provides an excellent case for study.  She has written a book titled Shaping Gender Policy in Turkey (SUNY Press) as well as forthcoming and published articles in this line of research.  Dr. Marshall has also conducted research on the role of trust in the forms of generalized trust and institutional trust in affecting the human intentions and actions. She has published collaborative articles on the effect of trust on volunteering, charitable giving, environmental protection, and peace building among groups.  For more information, .