Department Research Projects

Department Research Projects, Including Those Seeking Participants; Opportunities for Student Involvement in Research

Research Projects Seeking Participants

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:   For more information about the teen listening sessions, visit here, and for the parent listening sessions, visit here.

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 in the research process.  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, collecting and/or analyzing 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 3/25/21):  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 3/24/21):  Dr. Melanie Gast is the Co-PI for a new qualitative project (with a CEHD faculty member) examining the role of a peer mentoring program in supporting “ESL” and immigrant students in a local high school. They will possibly continue their data collection in 2021-22, when they will be observing peer academic mentoring sessions and interviewing bilingual peer mentors (in addition to teachers and “ESL” 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 graduate students (posted 3/24/21):  Dr. Lauren Heberle and her co-researchers have recently received an invitation to submit a full NSF-EFRI proposal for an interdisciplinary study of how to "solve the plastics problem." The project is led by a professor in chemical engineering, and Dr. Heberle is leading the social science component (though an evaluation plan is also part of the project). The exact outlines of the project are still being negotiated, but Dr. Heberle intends to encourage a social science focus on "critical structural/policy/production components and possibly examining critics in social/environmental movements who can challenge the plastic chain of production." At this stage, Dr. Heberle seeks to identify students who might be interested in this topic, with actual research involvement and funding issues to be worked out in the future.  For more information, .

For undergraduate and graduate students (posted 3/25/21):  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, .