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Opportunities

NEW Opportunity for undergraduate research at SFIS.

SFIS launched an Undergraduate Research Fellows program in Fall 2017, 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 series of Research Masterclasses. 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.

Applications for the Spring 2019 research program will be open from Nov 28, with a closing date of Sunday, December 9 11.59pm. Spring research projects will start the week of January 7th, 2019. 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 Nalini Chhetri

Analyzing the Impact of Education Technology in Classrooms Around the World

No

Yes

None

Dr Faheem Hussain

Dr Mary Jane Parmentier

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

No

Yes

See below

Dr Thaddeus Miller

Planning for an autonomous future: How cities are preparing for autonomous vehicles

Yes

Yes

None

Dr Lauren Withycombe Keeler

Sustainable urban futures: A living lab incubating new futures at the food-water-energy nexus

Yes

Yes

See below

Dr Lauren Withycombe Keeler

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

Yes

Yes

See below

Dr Christy Spackman

Radical commensality: Investigating how college students with allergies learn to eat together across difference

Yes

Yes

See below

Dr Katina Michael

With participation from Dr Emma Frow (Assistant Professor, SFIS), Dr Heather Ross (Clinical Assistant Professor, SFIS) and Rebecca Monteleone (HSD Graduate student, SFIS)

From Tattoos to Microchipping: Perceptions and Attitudes on Body Modification

Yes

Yes

See below

Professor Sasha Barab

Dr Anna Arici

ThriveCast: Unlocking innovation to help people thrive

Yes

Yes

See below

Dr Clark Miller

Dr Netra Chhetri

Dr Nalini Chhetri

Dr Mary Jane Parmentier

Dr Faheem Hussain

Eradicating poverty through energy innovation

Yes

Yes

None

Dr David Hondula

Additional mentors: Liza Kurtz (Graduate student, SHESC) and Paul Iniguez (National Weather Service Science and Operations Manager)

Designing an emergency preparedness exercise for a heat disaster in Arizona

Yes

Yes

See below

Dr David Hondula

Additional mentors: Liza Kurtz (Graduate student, SHESC) and Mary Wright (Graduate student, SGSUP)

Building a real-time indoor temperature alerting system for heat resilience in Maricopa County

Yes

Yes

See below

 


 

Full Project Descriptions

 

1. Analyzing the Impact of Education Technology in Classrooms Around the World

Faculty advisor(s): Dr Nalini Chhetri, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Sustainability

Research project overview:

Technology plays in an enormous role in providing education, a priority of governments and the public alike. Billions of dollars in funding, time, and human resources have been invested in bringing technology to classrooms around the world, to enhance learning. Technology training for teachers and students alike is becoming the norm, and global trends show that more people are getting educated. However, enormous inequity in access to quality education remains. Can technology help to ensure quality education for all? In this project we will carry out a meta-analysis of literature on current education technologies to explore the complex relationship between technology and education, and the role of technology in providing access to and its impact on education around the globe.

Any pre-requisites needed? None

Research available for stipend? ($1200/semester): No

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

 


 

2. 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): No

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

 


 

3. Planning for an autonomous future: How cities are preparing for autonomous vehicles

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

Research project overview:

Self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles (AVs), are being tested on Phoenix area roads, and Waymo plans on starting a commercial ride-share service with AVs in December 2018. This ongoing project explores how cities and regions can plan for and incorporate AVs into their transportation systems in socially just and environmentally friendly ways that do not exacerbate our existing automobile-dominated cities. This spring, our AV research team will continue to work with the City of Tempe on their efforts to plan for AVs. Our team is researching AV pilot projects in cities across the US. This work looks at different AV pilot projects to understand the types of goals that cities are attempting to achieve with AV technology, and what they are learning from the pilots. Students will conduct analysis of relevant policy and industry documents, and may perform interviews and help facilitate workshops with publics and practitioners. Key deliverables that you will be working on include a draft policy document and an academic journal article.

Any pre-requisites needed? None

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

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

 


 

4. Sustainable urban futures: A living lab incubating new futures at the food-water-energy nexus

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

Research project overview:

The Sustainable Urban Futures Incubator is a partnership between Arizona State University, the Cities of Tempe and Phoenix, and Local First Arizona Foundation that is developing pilot projects to test new ways to produce, deliver, and reduce waste from the food system. Did you know that Arizonans get 3% of their food from local sources? If we are going to reduce carbon emissions from the food system we need to grow more food locally and with less water. Transforming the food system is a tremendous opportunity to create local jobs and remedy inequities in food access and food quality. In this project, students will work directly with Professor Keeler to develop a participatory workshop where stakeholders from the local food economy will vet pilot projects. After the workshop, students will develop an evaluation scheme for pilot projects to monitor their impact on the local food system and local communities.

Any pre-requisites needed? Previous experience working in collaborative research settings that include non-academic stakeholders (e.g. city governments, non-profits, or community organizations) preferred but not required.

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

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

 


 

5. 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

 


 

6. Radical commensality: Investigating how college students with allergies learn to eat together across difference

Faculty advisor: Dr Christy Spackman, Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Research project overview:

For the vast majority of new college students learning how to eat away from home is one of the core challenges of adjusting to life at college. This is especially true for students who have little-known allergies to food. This study seeks to understand how the first cohort of college students with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE), a recently identified disease category, are navigating the challenges of eating together with friends, roommates, and strangers across a vast gustatory divide. For many with EOE the foods most harmful to them do not necessarily cause any immediate, visible signs of an allergic response; as such it can be difficult to navigate between adhering to one’s personalized medical plan and sharing a meal with friends. This study asks what strategies and techniques college students with EOE in the Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa metropolitan area are using to navigate between medical and social risk and in turn investigates what tools or institutional changes could be developed to better facilitate the transition from home to college. During Spring 2019, students will work alongside Dr Spackman to conduct a literature review of the state of the field, and will collaborate on writing a proposal for Institutional Review as well as a funding proposal.

Any pre-requisites needed? Students need to have taken at least an introductory writing course, need to have taken and passed the CITI training for Social and Behavioral Research (available for free at https://researchintegrity.asu.edu/human-subjects/training) and need good typing skills. Spanish is a plus.

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

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

 


 

7. From Tattoos to Microchipping: Perceptions and Attitudes on Body Modification

Faculty advisor: Dr Katina Michael, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School for Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering

With participation from Dr Emma Frow (Assistant Professor, SFIS), Dr Heather Ross (Clinical Assistant Professor, SFIS) and Rebecca Monteleone (HSD Graduate student, SFIS)

Research project overview:

From the ancient tradition of tattooing to the modern trend toward functional RFID chip implants, body modification has always been a critical element of human socialization. Increasingly, modification has become tightly coupled with technological intervention, yet the relationship between traditional forms of body modification and technoscientific innovations remains under-researched. This project seeks to understand the relationship between various forms of body modification, from relatively socially accepted forms such as tattooing and piercing, to more contentious forms including functional implants. This project seeks to engage with two sets of stakeholders – tattoo artists and functional chip sellers/resellers – to understand the decision to adopt (or not adopt) chip implantation as part of service delivery, to identify individual business codes of conduct around body modification, their relationship to internal and external policies and regulations, and the complex relationship between body modifications on the body (i.e. tattoos), through the body (i.e. piercings), and in the body (i.e. subdermal nonfunctional implants and chip implants). Students will assist with preparing a literature review, qualitative and quantitative analysis of existing datasets, and potentially conducting interviews with owners of tattoo businesses in Arizona.

Any pre-requisites needed? Students should have some research experience and ideally be in their Junior or Senior year. In their applications, students should identify a preferred strength in either quantitative or qualitative research.

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

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

 


 

8. ThriveCast: Unlocking innovation to help people thrive

Faculty advisor: Professor 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 sustain 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. 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. Over the semester, student researchers will be serving the role of Learning Scientist as they grow, cultivate, and test hypotheses about how to unlock human potential through this platform. We currently have growth platforms in multiple areas, including The 8 Dimensions of Wellness (with applications to personal wellness, as well as juvenile detention center curriculum, and sobriety/recovery centers), Me as Innovator (unlocking personal innovation, an SFIS digital course), Social Work (immersive training for home visits), STEM Mio (STEM career and college pathways for Latino youth), and inspired Student Teaching (in ASU’s Teachers College), among others. In this role, you will examine activity in one of these platforms, conduct interviews with users, map user journeys, evaluate community submissions, and leverage insights to build new platform growth opportunities, 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

 


 

9. Eradicating poverty through energy innovation

Faculty advisor: Dr Clark Miller, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Dr Netra Chhetri, Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Dr Nalini Chhetri, Clinical Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

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

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

Research project overview:

1 in 7 people worldwide lack electricity and 1 in 2 have inadequate energy access in one form or another. These challenges link closely to global poverty and inequality. The Grassroots Energy Innovation Laboratory (a part of the Center for Energy & Society) is working on projects in numerous places, from Puerto Rico and Canadian First Nations to Pakistan, the Philippines, Bolivia, Uganda, Nepal, India, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere to reverse this equation and use distributed and sustainable energy innovation as a strategy for generatively creating social value, improving livelihoods, meeting the UN sustainable development goals, and ending global poverty. We welcome students who would like to pursue research projects in support of our efforts. Based on research interests and skills, students will be matched with one of the faculty mentors above. You will primarily be conducting studies using social science research methods, with opportunities to do both qualitative and quantitative research.

Any pre-requisites needed? None

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

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

 


 

10. Designing an emergency preparedness exercise for a heat disaster in Arizona

Faculty advisor: Dr David Hondula, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and SFIS affiliate faculty

Additional mentors: Liza Kurtz (Graduate student, SHESC) and Paul Iniguez (National Weather Service Science and Operations Manager)

Research project overview:

Large-scale power failures occur rarely in the United States but have been steadily becoming more frequent over the past two decades. In Arizona, a prolonged, large-scale power failure in the summer months could have disastrous public health consequences given the widespread dependency on air conditioning to avoid dangerous heat exposure. ASU researchers have been studying the possible effects of such a scenario for several years as part of the NSF-funded 3HEAT project. This project will leverage the extensive data collected by the 3HEAT project, including interviews with Phoenix-area residents and emergency management officials, to design an emergency management exercise for a heat disaster to improve organizational coordination and response should such an event ever occur. The culminating activity of the semester will be a first run of the exercise with public officials and ASU researchers.

Any pre-requisites needed? None required, but familiarity with emergency management, hazard mitigation, disaster research, qualitative data analysis, and/or game/simulation design would be advantageous.

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

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

 


 

11. Building a real-time indoor temperature alerting system for heat resilience in Maricopa County

Faculty advisor: Dr David Hondula, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and SFIS affiliate faculty

Additional mentors: Liza Kurtz (Graduate student, SHESC) and Mary Wright (Graduate student, SGSUP)

Research project overview:

Extreme heat is a significant threat to public health and well-being in Maricopa County. Each year thousands of people are seen in regional hospitals for heat-related illnesses, and more than 100 cases result in premature deaths. Of cases of fatal heat stroke, a significant percentage are associated with indoor heat exposure. This project will pilot test a real-time, indoor temperature alerting system based on peer-to-peer information exchange to build heat resilience in Maricopa County. Students will help design and implement a pilot test to gain feedback on system and sensor performance, user needs, data quality, feasibility, and scalability. If successful, the pilot test will inform a larger-scale deployment in summer 2019, which the student will have the opportunity to help shape in partnership with local city governments and public health officials.

Any pre-requisites needed? None required, but interest and experience working with real-time sensors, evaluating user experience, designing web tools, or direct engagement with residents would be advantageous.

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!