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NEW Opportunity for undergraduate research at SFIS.

Starting in Fall 2017, SFIS is excited to begin an Undergraduate Research Fellows program, designed to give undergraduate students a chance to engage in research projects on science & society topics, working closely with SFIS faculty mentors.

Engaging in research projects as an undergraduate is a great way to broaden your ASU experience. You’ll get the chance to develop critical skills in how to gather reliable data, how to analyze this information, and how to present your findings to others in a clear and compelling way. These skills can prove very useful in the workplace. Research experience can also help you decide whether you’re interested in graduate school – and, if you are, it can significantly increase your chances of getting accepted.

Students participating in the SFIS undergraduate research program can choose to receive a stipend ($1200 per semester) or to receive research credit (2 credits per semester). You will be expected to spend 5-7 hours per week as a Research Fellow, including attending a weekly meeting with your faculty mentor and a monthly Research Masterclass. You will also be expected to present a research poster at an end-of-semester symposium. Subject to student interest and faculty approval, students may participate in this program over multiple semesters.

A list of projects now recruiting students for the Fall 2018 semester is available here.

Applications for the Fall 2018 research program are open from 7-18 May, with a closing date of Friday May 18 at 11:59pm. Fall research projects will start the week of August 20th. If you would like to apply for a research position, please complete the online application.

For questions, please contact Elisha Thompson (Elisha.Thompson@asu.edu).

Faculty Advisor

Project Title

Available for Stipend? 

Available for Credit? 

Pre-requisites required?

Dr Lauren Withycombe Keeler

CapaCity: Enabling cities to respond to climate change and build better futures

Yes

Yes

None

Dr Mary Jane Parmentier

Technology for the developing world:  Successes and failures

Yes

Yes

None

Dr Thaddeus Miller

The Present and Future of Self-Driving Cars

Yes

Yes

Yes, see full project description

Prof. Sasha Barab

ThriveCast: Unlocking the Potential of Everyone to Thrive

Yes

Yes

None

Dr Faheem Hussain

Sustainable communication and knowledge platforms for displaced populations: Experiences with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Yes

Yes

None

Dr Emma Frow

Governing access to experimental stem cell treatments

Yes

Yes

None

 


 

Full Project Descriptions

1. CapaCity: Enabling cities to respond to climate change and build better futures

Faculty advisor: Dr Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Assistant Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Research project overview:

CapaCity is a research partnership between the city of Tempe and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society to understand how cities can adapt to climate change. In particular, CapaCity research focuses on what city administrations need to know and be able to do in order to implement carbon reduction strategies, increase their renewable energy use, and build more sustainable communities. Students in this project will be working with Dr. Keeler to design stakeholder engagement workshops. This will include developing game-based methods for capacity building, identifying and contacting key stakeholders, developing and submitting an IRB application, and developing tools to evaluate the effects of the workshops. Results from this research will inform the development of the City of Tempe’s Climate Action Plan.

Any pre-requisites needed? None. However, preference will be given to students with knowledge of sustainability and/or experience working with city governments. All students who participate in the CapaCity project will need to complete the online CITI Human Subjects Research Certification training.

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

2. Technology for the developing world:  Successes and failures

Faculty advisor(s): Dr Mary Jane Parmentier, Clinical Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Research project overview:

What happens when new technologies are introduced into developing regions? With technology being at the center of many national and multinational development projects around the world, it is assumed that it is a critical tool for enhancing quality of life. Yet it is well known that many technological projects fail, from large infrastructure to small-scale initiatives.  However, there is lack of organized data on how many projects fail, what makes them fail, and what contributes to success. This research project will involve investigating online existing data and reports on successful and failed technology for development projects, and categorizing and organizing the information in a useful way for future researchers, development practitioners, and courses in international development. Core student activities will involve internet searches, categorization of technologies, projects, successes and failures, and designing a system for organizing the information in a useful way, all with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Any pre-requisites needed? None

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

3. The Present and Future of Self-Driving Cars

Faculty advisor: Dr Thaddeus Miller, Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Polytechnic School

Research project overview:

Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are rapidly emerging in US cities, including Tempe. This project will support ongoing collaborations between the Center for Smart Cities and Regions and the City of Tempe. This will include helping to develop workshops, conducting background research, and other related activities. Students will learn about how city governments are attempting to manage self-driving cars and other emerging technologies.

Any pre-requisites needed? Some knowledge of urban policy and planning is preferred.

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

4. ThriveCast: Unlocking the Potential of Everyone to Thrive

Faculty advisors: Prof. Sasha Barab, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers’ College

Dr Anna Arici, Assistant Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Research project overview:

While people naturally aspire to great things, many of us lack the resources, motivation or support to create change in our lives. Some look to technology to ‘fix’ us, but we believe the power of innovation is to augment our own inner capabilities. To this end, the Center for Games & Impact has created ThriveCast, an innovative approach to unlocking human potential, powered by platform technologies and driven by people’s desire to do great things. Through the ThriveCast Platform, people connect with opportunities related to their growth interest and are supported in their journey to create their own unique growth. Different than many other online learning systems, ThriveCast is a growth platform focused on connecting individuals, inspired through peer stories, supported through carefully designed learning challenges and peer mentoring, and culminates in real-world stories of impact, shared back with the community. We currently have growth opportunities in multiple areas, including Digital Literacy, Dimensions of Wellness, Financial Growth, Innovation & Me, Growing Character, STEM Mio (career pathways for Latino youth), and Successful Student Teaching, among others.

Over the semester, researchers will be serving the role of Learning Scientist as they grow, cultivate, and test hypotheses about how to unlock human potential through the platform. In this role, you will examine activity in the platform, conduct interviews with users, map user journeys, evaluate community submissions, build thrive opportunities, and leverage insights to create new designs to be tested in subsequent iterations. You will learn about different models for unlocking human potential, how to create innovations, evaluate their effectiveness, and convert data to inspire subsequent design changes.

Any pre-requisites needed? None. Desired skills include being responsible, good with people, able to think logically, and organized. Students joining the project will be supported to complete CITI online training to participate in the research program.

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

5. Sustainable communication and knowledge platforms for displaced populations: Experiences with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Faculty advisor: Dr Faheem Hussain, Lecturer, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Dr Mary Jane Parmentier, Clinical Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Research project overview:

How can one communicate with others while fleeing persecution at home? What are the ways a refugee can access her Facebook account in a makeshift refugee camp without electricity? Who can help in a foreign land with real-time, badly needed translation during emergency medical situations? What are effective ways to provide education for children who were until recently banned from going to school, and where formal schools do not exist? In recent times, around a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are facing these challenges. The primary focus of this project is to research and address communication and information needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Students will assist with performing a literature review on information and communication technology (ICT) needs in refugee camps, collating information about existing initiatives to support Rohingya refugees, and identifying potential funders for future research projects.

Any pre-requisites needed? Some interest in global development, mobile applications, and/or refugee crises preferred.

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

6. Governing access to experimental stem cell treatments

Faculty advisor: Dr Emma Frow, Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Biological & Health Systems Engineering

Research project overview:

Would you consider an experimental stem cell treatment to help manage a chronic medical condition? What kind of information or evidence would you look for in making your decision? What role do you think the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should play in deciding whether or not a treatment should be made available to patients? This research project focuses on current, lively debates around the regulation of experimental stem cell treatments in the US. Our focus is on the different kinds of evidence that get used to advocate for more or less regulation of these treatments. Students will perform online research and data analysis to examine what counts as persuasive evidence for different stakeholder groups, and investigate different possible models for regulating these experimental procedures.

Any pre-requisites needed? None. Some familiarity with the biology of stem cells is useful.

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): Yes

Research available for course credit? (2 credits/semester): Yes

 


 

The Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society (CENTSS) is looking for interns for fall of 2016! You can be an undergraduate or graduate student. Please see the internship form CENTSS INTERNSHIP.

As we become aware of other opportunities, we will be posting them to this page, so check back every so often!