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CURRENTLY AVAILABLE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

 

This is only a selection of research opportunities faculty members actively seeking undergraduate researchers have asked CURO to advertise. This is not an exhaustive list! Please see the "Getting Started" guide for tips about how to find more research opportunities. Professors, please contact Kerrie Bethel (kabethel@uga.edu) to advertise a research opportunity here.

 

Spring 2017:

 

Who: Joshua Patterson jrpihe@uga.edu

Department: Division of Academic Enhancement

Website: http://ihe.uga.edu/

Date Advertised: December 2016

 

The Division of Academic Enhancement is looking for undergraduate researchers interested to assist in the ongoing and systemic examination of the Division's unique organizational structures. This project is well suited for students interested in in qualitative research methods, social network analysis, staff perceptions of organizations, higher education administration, human relations, public administration, leadership, strategic planning, organizational behavior, or other related topics.

 

Students participating in this course will engage in the following qualitative and quantitative research techniques:

  • Developing qualitative interview protocols
  • Observing and possibly conducting qualitative interviews
  • Transcribing and coding interviews using statistical software
  • Using statistical software to conduct network analysis and text mining on transcripts and producing visual aids
  • Analyzing and summarizing organizational structure of a higher education administrative unit

The product of this work would seek to analyze and summarize the findings of any/all of the research methods listed above.

 

 

Who: Sophia Anong sanong@uga.edu

Department: Financial Planning & Consumer Economics (at UGA Griffin Campus)

Website: http://www.fcs.uga.edu/fhce/undergraduate-consumer-economics-financial-planning-emphasis

Date Advertised: October 2016

 

Health Status and Financial Well-being

The project explores relationships between financial knowledge, financial well-being, health insurance coverage, and health status. It involves data analysis of a large national dataset that has indicators that include financial literacy, financial confidence, daily management of finances as well as physical and mental barriers to good decision-making and practices in personal financial management.

Students can learn how to survey academic and non-academic literature and conduct data analyses as well as disseminate their research at a national or regional conference.

 

Fall 2016:

 

Who: Watershed UGA

Department: Interdisciplinary

Website: http://www.watershed.uga.edu

Date Advertised: April 30, 2015

 

Watershed UGA is looking for motivated students interested in engaging with sustainability through campus watersheds. Opportunities available in every discipline, including history, design, engineering, ecology, business, art and much more.

 

Campus watersheds, including Lake Herrick, Lilly Branch and Tanyard Creek, are highly developed with portions of the creeks flowing under parking lots, roads and buildings (including Sanford stadium). For years these creeks have been contaminated and ignored. Watershed UGA aims to engage the campus community in these resources. Towards this end, research is needed on a wide range of topics.  Not only do we need a better understanding of watershed history, science and rehabilitation, but we also need to restore and cultivate the communities’ connection to and long term stewardship of our watersheds, and assess the impacts of our actions. For more information or possible research projects, go to the website, contact one of the faculty members below or e-mail watershed@uga.edu

 

Below is a list of potential project advisors who are available to discuss potential project ideas or brainstorm new ones. Students interested in Watershed UGA are not limited to this list.

 

Watershed restoration, management, and policy

Dr. Maric Boudreau (Terry College) - Management Information Systems

Dr. Jon Calabria (College of Environment & Design) – Landscape design, restoration

Dr. Laurie Fowler (Odum School of Ecology, The Law School) – environmental policy & law

Dr. Lizzie King (Odum, Warnell) – Restoration ecology, ecosystem services

Dr. Eric MacDonald (College of Environment and Design) – Chew Crew, historic preservation

Prof. Alfie Vick (College of Environment & Design) –  Landscape design, cultural landscapes, sustainability

 

Stream and Aquatic Ecology, Water Quality

Dr. Scott Connelly (Odum School of Ecology) – stream ecology

Dr. Erin Lipp (Environmental Health) – water quality

Dr. Quint Newcomer (Odum School of Ecology, UGA Costa Rica) – stream ecology

Dr. David Radcliffe (Crop and Soils Science, CAES) – water quality

Dr. Jay Shelton (Warnell School) – aquatic ecology

Dr. Seth Wenger (River Basin Center, Odum School of Ecology) – Stream ecology

 

Watershed science, education, outreach, and participation

Dr. Malcolm Adams (Mathematics)

Dr. Mary Atwater (Mathematics & Science Ed)            

Prof.  Pratt Cassity (College of Environment and Design)

Dr. John Dowd (Geology)

Dr. Daphne Norton (Chemistry)

 

Watershed and humanities

Dr. Ron Balthazor (English)

Prof. Mark Callahan (School of Art)

Prof. Michael Marshall (School of Art)

Dr. Debra Miller (English)

 

 

Who: Dr. Logan Fiorella lfiorella@uga.edu

Department: Educational Psychology

Date Advertised: 8/22/16

 

I am looking for motivated undergraduate students interested in conducting research in educational psychology beginning Fall 2016.  In my lab, we conduct experiments aimed at understanding how students learn and how to help students learn, particularly in science.  Tasks include preparing experimental materials, scheduling participants, reviewing the research literature, and collecting and coding data.  Students should be able to commit a minimum of 6 hours/week on a volunteer basis at first, with the possibility of later receiving course credit. 

 

Interested students should send a brief statement of interest and their resume to Professor Logan Fiorella at lfiorella@uga.edu.

 

 

Who: Dr. Zhong-Ru (Paul) Xie paulxie@uga.edu

Department: Engineering

Date Advertised: 8/22/16

 

The cost of bringing a new drug to the market has been increasing dramatically; therefore, computational drug design has become one of the top interests of industry and academy. Our research group is particularly interested in the research topics of computational drug discovery. You will learn the knowledge of the relationship between protein 3D structures and their functions, gain hands-on experience in operating state-of-the-art software in virtual drug discovery, and publish the results on peer-reviewed journals after participate in our research projects.

 

Any undergraduate student who is studying Bioinformtaics, Bio-/Computer/Chemical related Sciences/Engineering, Medical/Pharmaceutical Sciences, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics or any other related fields is welcome to join our group. The experiences of virtual drug discovery will be a big plus for your career. Please send me an email (to paulxie@uga.edu) if you are interested or if you require further information.

 

 

Spring 2016:

 

Who: Dr. Lillian Eby leby@uga.edu

Department: Psychology

Website: http://psychology.uga.edu/research/labs/eby-lab

Date Advertised: 12/4/15

 

Dr. Eby’s research lab focuses on occupational health psychology. Some of our current projects center on family social support, work-family conflict, and mindfulness. Involvement in the Eby Lab requires a time commitment of at least 6 hours per week, including a weekly lab meeting. Research assistants can expect to be involved in a variety of tasks, including data collection, data analysis, and research presentations. To apply to the lab, contact doctoral student Melissa Mitchell at melmitch@uga.edu.

 

 

Fall 2015:

 

Who: Dr. Hitesh Handa hhanda@uga.edu

Department: Engineering

Website: http://handahitesh.wix.com/handaresearchgroup

Date Advertised: 7/13/2015

 

Some of my group’s research interests are in: Translational Research, Medical Device Coatings to Prevent Thrombosis and Infection, Wound Healing, Artificial Microfluidic Lungs, Nitric Oxide Releasing Materials, Microfluidic Devices for Drug Delivery, Protein-Surface Interactions, and Tissue Engineering (more details about publications are in the following link to my lab home page). Please let me know if there are any CURO students who will be interested in working on any of the above mentioned areas of research.

 

 

Who: Dr. Malissa Clark clarkm@uga.edu

Department: Psychology

Website: http://psychology.uga.edu/directory/malissa-clark ; http://www.waferlab.org/

Date Advertised: 6/22/2015

 

The Work and Family Experience Research (WAFER) lab is looking for two or three highly motivated and conscientious undergraduate students to join our lab as research assistants. Currently, the WAFER lab has research opportunities that include research on work-family conflict, workaholism, and women’s work and family issues. Applications can be found on the lab website, and should be sent to Kate Conley (kmc81050@uga.edu).

 

 

Who: Dr. Chad Howe chowe@uga.edu

Department: Romance Languages, Program in Linguistics

Website: https://faculty.franklin.uga.edu/chowe/

Date Advertised: 6/18/15

 

Dr. Howe is seeking motivated undergraduate researchers to collaborate in documenting language use among Spanish speakers in Georgia.

 

This project is being developed in tandem with the Roswell Voices project, which began in 2002 as a partnership between researchers at the University of Georgia (Professors William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. and Sonja Lanehart) and the Roswell Folk and Heritage Bureau, to document language and life in the community. Preliminary work indicates extended contact-induced language shift, observed in both the English and Spanish of bilingual communities (Wilson 2013, Limerick 2014). We, along with our collaborators in North Carolina, have argued that the Mid-Atlantic US in general and Roswell, GA in particular represent an ideal test case for studying emergent speech communities in that it displays several of the benchmarks of demographic change characteristic of American urbanization during the end of the twentieth century. The combination of demographic and linguistic factors exhibited in Roswell offers a compelling new case study in our attempt to answer questions about the emergence of language patterns in the presence of relative social, ethnic, and linguistic heterogeneity. In the proposed study, we assume the perspective of individual speakers as loci for the adaptation and innovation of social practices, in this case manifested by language variables. The aggregate affect of individual speaker behavior is then proposed as a way of representing the language of a speech community. By observing the linguistic behavior of Spanish speaking residents in Roswell, this study takes advantage of a timely opportunity to observe patterns of language use as a function of the social practices of disparate communities of language users. Student involvement would include: (1) transcribing oral interviews in English and Spanish, (2) preparing transcripts for analysis of linguistic features (e.g., rates of subject pronoun usage), and (3) conducting field interviews with Spanish speakers in the Athens area.

 

Students interested in this opportunity must have at least an intermediate to advanced level of Spanish proficiency. A background in linguistics is also a plus but not required. Interested students should contact Dr. Chad Howe at chowe@uga.edu for further details.

 

 

Spring 2015:

 

Who: Dr. Chris Linder linder@uga.edu

Department: College Student Affairs Administration, Counseling & Human Development

Website: https://drchrislinder.wordpress.com/research/

Date Advertised: April 2, 2015

 

I am looking for undergraduate student researchers interested in learning more about qualitative research and helping to collect and analyze data about college women’s experiences on college campuses. The purpose of this study is to better understand undergraduate college women’s experiences with campus environments. Grounded in critical epistemology (Pasque, Carducci, Kuntz, & Gildersleeve, 2012) and case study methodology (Merriam, 2009), I will explore campus environments for undergraduate women. The research questions for this study include:

  • How do college women experience campus environments related to their gender?
  • What messages do college women receive about their gender?
  • What strategies do college women employ to navigate campus environments? 

 If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Dr. Linder at linder@uga.edu.

 

 

Who: Dr. Bingqian Xu bxu@engr.uga.edu

Department: Engineering

Website: http://xulab.uga.edu/index.htm

Date Advertised: March 18, 2015

 

Dr. Xu is looking for 2-3 highly motivated undergraduate researchers  for the following 3 projects: 1) Molecular Electronics: utilizes our patented SPM single-molecule breakjunction, a robust and tunable platform, to probe the inherent electronic, mechanical and optical properties of single molecules (now focus on DNA molecules) and gain fundamental understanding of molecular-scale electronic element; 2) Single Molecule Biophysics: use single molecule recognition imaging and single molecule dynamic spectroscopy to directly observe molecular behavior that can be obscured by ensemble averaging and enables the study of important problems of ranging from the fundamental biophysics of single molecule interactions, such as the energetics and non-equilibrium transport mechanisms in single molecule junctions and the energy landscape of biomolecular reactions, associated lifetimes, and free energy, to the study and design of single molecules as bio probes and high‐affinity, anti‐cancer drugs; and 3) Molecular Biofuel: focus on single molecular study of lignocellulosic fine structure and its interaction with hydrolytic enzymes.

 

Interested applicants must send their applications to Dr. Bingqian Xu at bxu@engr.uga.edu by March 30, 2015. Please include your resume and a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested and qualified for the specific position.

 

 

Who: Dr. Leidong Mao mao@uga.edu
Department: Engineering
Website: 
http://micronano.engr.uga.edu
Date Advertised: 
February 10, 2015

 

Dr. Mao is looking for an undergraduate researcher for the following project: Cell Enrichment Microfluidic Chip for Lung Cancer Cell Counting

 

Background: Access to tumor samples without the need for painful and expensive tumor biopsies, would allow clinicians and researchers to frequently analyze patient samples and have significant impact on patent care. Thus the great potential in recent circulating tumor cell (CTC) research lies in the use of these rare cells present in the peripheral blood as an accessible biopsy that would permit repeated minimally invasive sampling of tumor cells. The concentration of CTCs is also believed to be an important indicator of cancer progression and metastasis. As a result accurate counting and analysis of CTCs are critical to diagnosis and therapeutic response monitoring of various types of cancer, including lung cancer. However, only 1-100 CTCs exist in 1 mL of whole blood (that is around 10^9 red blood cells and 10^6 white blood cells), which makes the enrichment, characterization and analysis of CTCs challenging.

 

Hypothesis: Recent advances in microfluidic systems at the Dr.Mao’s lab have lead to the development of a label-free micro-scale ferrofluidic cell separation platform that can enrich cells of interest based on their sizes with high throughput, high enrichment ratio, high purity and very low cost.  The specific hypothesis for project is that microfluidic cell enrichment will increase the detection rate of lung cancer circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patient samples.

 

Student activity: The student project will work with a graduate student and collaborators at Georgia Regents University to develop an optimized magnetic microfluidic system based on the previous generation of enrichment chip that can be used to process lung cancer specimens at a CTC recovery ratio of over 90% with a cell-processing throughput of over 109 cells/hour. Our initial experimental results indicate that ferrofluids under magnetic fields can be used to enrich cancer cells from whole blood at approximately 10^8 cell/hour with the current design. The throughput this separation scheme needs to be systematically optimized to allow for over 10^9 cell/hour throughput for CTC detection. In addition, the dependence of separation efficiency on the channel geometry needs to be characterized in order to fashion a separator that performs optimally with lung cancer specimens. The student will investigate: 1) The cross section of the microchannel will be increased to allow for faster flow rates (~100 μL/min) to  process more cells; 2) Multiple microchannels will be integrated together onto one chip to increase the throughput by at least one order; 3) CTC traps will be included into the chip to retain sorted cells for further analysis.

 

Expected Outcomes: The student is expected to contribute and co-author journal and conference papers. The student may have a paid summer research internship in Dr. Mao’s lab based on progress.

 

Skills required:

  • Must have: strong chemistry synthesis skills, strong engineering hands-on skills with making microdevices, experience in handling cells.
  • Must be able to work together with the graduate students on the project.
  • Must be willing to learn new tasks as the needs for the research project evolve.

 

Applications should be sent to Dr. Leidong Mao at mao@uga.edu. Deadline of application is March 1, 2015. 
Please include the following in your application:

  • Your resume with contact information for 2 references.
  • A brief paragraph explaining why you are interested and qualified for this position.
  • A tentative schedule of when during the week you are likely to be available.