Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) Directory

The FRAP Directory allows students to identify UCSB faculty who are looking for undergraduate students to participate in their research projects or creative activities. Please use the links below to find opportunities by discipline. Students, if your desired discipline is not listed, please contact the Undergraduate Research Initiatives office at 805-893-3090 or urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu for assistance. Faculty, if you would like to post your research or creative activity opportunity, please complete the online submission form.

Communication

Andrew Flanagin

Location:
SS&MS 4131
893-7892

Research Project

This study will take the form of an online experiment on the perceived credibility of information originating from a type of Yelp/Foursquare application that provides ratings of various venues (e.g., restaurants, parks, bars, etc.). The main focus is on the extent to which particular features matter (and how they matter) to users, including the geographic proximity of the "rater" (who provides the information) to (a) the venue being rated, and (b) to the "consumer" (the person seeking the information). The study will also assess other indicators of reputation, such as how much information the rater has provided previously, as well as the impact of other factors such as the sex of the people involved, the type of venue being rated, etc.

Undergraduate Contribution

The main duties of the RAship would require helping to plan, design, test, and execute the study. It would require some research, providing feedback on the experimental stimuli (which we will collectively design), and providing basic input on the study. The RA would learn a lot about this particular study, and would be in a position to see how research is designed and carried out more generally. Necessary skills include commitment to the research topic, familiarity with the various kinds of online tools examined in the study (as a user, not as a programmer, etc.), research skills (finding and reading relevant research, and communicating those ideas in meetings), and a natural curiosity about research. Also, people who are willing to speak up and give their opinions/ideas are highly valued.

Requirements

Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or greater, interest in the topic.

Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Kathy Foltz

Location:
3156 Marine Biotech
893-4774

Research Project

A main research question in our group centers on how eggs are activated at the time of fertilization. We use several marine invertebrates as model systems to address this process, which is highly conserved across all multicellular species, including mammals. Some of our projects focus on specific proteins and signaling pathways, others are more discovery-based.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates can contribute in several ways. First, students can learn how to evaluate large, information-rich data sets and search public databases as we compile and annotate the thousands of proteins that undergo changes in phosphorylation state or exhibit dynamic interaction complexing in the first few minutes post fertilization. Students can also assist in validation and characterization of candidate proteins. Finally, we are initiating a transcriptome assessment using deep sequencing in order to gain even further insight into the changes occurring in the egg to embryo transition and students will participate directly in mRNA isolation, library construction, and sequence analyses. All undergraduates in the lab assist with husbandry of marine invertebrates in seawater aquaria, learn to collect gametes, and to set and culture embryos.

Requirements

Students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be passionate about investigating biological phenomena, viewing this as an opportunity to immerse in the process of science. There are no specific course requirements, though a strong background in genetics, cell biology and developmental biology is desirable. Familiarity with computers is helpful and any experience with RNA isolation and library construction is a plus. A minimum time commitment of 15 hr per week is required.

Sociology

John Foran

Location:
3417 SSMS
893-8199

Research Project

“The Climate Justice Project” is an ongoing collaboration of UCSB-affiliated students, graduates, and myself on the global climate justice movement. We have conducted a number of in-depth interviews with climate activists at the last five U.N. climate summits including at Paris in December 2015, when a global climate treaty was signed. Our challenge is to contribute to the efficacy of global civil society in building a social movement capable of forcing the governments of the world to negotiate a binding, ambitious, and just climate treaty to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, which the “Paris Agreement” does not accomplish.

At this network’s core is the principle of climate justice: the desire that all humans claim responsibility for our impact on the world’s climate, so that communities may reclaim their rights to “live well” with healthy, creative lives rather than to simply “live better” or consume more, and that together we construct a future based on equity, deep democracy, and cooperation.  This involves unlocking the creativity of everyone to re-imagine the world in which we live in order to make way for new possibilities.

The Climate Justice Project is excited to be part of this life-affirming movement.  Among our research products and projects are reports, scholarly articles, and videos. Our work can be viewed at www.climatejusticeproject.com and at www.iicat.org.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates have been working on this project for several years, in a variety of capacities: transcribing audio and video interviews with climate justice activists; making research notes on key books, articles, and other documents; helping log and edit video footage for films in the making, including a full-length film on the global youth climate justice movement, tentatively called "Not Yet the End of the World."

Requirements

There are no prerequisites except an interest in the topic.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Peter Ford

Location:
4649C PSBN
2443

Research Project

The Ford lab researches biologically relevant small molecules such as CS2, NO, and CO. Projects involve synthesizing small molecule donors as well as nanoparticles to create systems for light activated small molecule release. In particular we have demonstrated the release of CS2 from dithiooxalate (DTO), a CS2 donor, and further studies are directed towards other reaction products. For example, the photocatalyzed reaction using quantum dots and DTO releases CS2.

Another project is concerned with developing new procedures for the conversion of biomass to chemicals and fuels.  We are working with catalysts prepared from Earth-abundant elements thus avoiding the consumption of irreplaceable rare elements

See website for details.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates are fully involved in the projects including synthesizing nanoparticles, small molecule donors, and studying their release using various instrumentation and techniques with guidance from graduate student mentors.

Requirements

Completion of the General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry sequences and the associated labs. The other essential requirement is the strong desire to participate in a creative process that requires intellectual involvement and commitment.

East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies

Sabine Frühstück

Location:
HSSB 2232

Research Project

Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan. In nine short chapters, this book will provide an introduction to the experiences of and debates about sex, gender, and sexuality with regards to males and females in modern and contemporary Japan. It will draw from and integrate historical, ethnographic, and cultural studies scholarship and emphasize moments of debate and conflict. In addition, it will include critical assessments of a select number of black and white visuals. Each chapter will be accompanied by both a short bibliography of key scholarship and a list of literary and film examples that represent or address the historical moments and issues described in the text—all in order to facilitate further exploration by a broad range of readers in and outside the academy.

Undergraduate Contribution

Reference search and verification, creation of a bibliography, summaries of publications, image searches.

Requirements

Excellent English, basic research and documentation skills, reliability, time management and communication skills. Good Japanese language skills a plus.

English

Patricia Fumerton

Location:
2506 South Hall
708-0540

Research Project

English Broadside Ballad Archive, http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu. This project is devoted to mounting online facsimile images, citations, transcriptions, and recordings of broadside ballads of the seventeenth century and earlier. Broadside ballads are large sheets (hence "broad) on which are printed many illustrations, a song, and a tune title.

Undergraduate Contribution

Undergraduates work alongside graduate students to create "facsimile transcriptions" (in which the student opens up a facsimile of the ballad in Photoshop and a transcription in Word, and then carefully replaces the original text of the ballad with the transcribed text, matching font size and spacing and preserving the ballad's ornamentation). Students also help catalogue ballads and convert ballads into TEI/XML using a handy easy-to-follow program called X-Balled. Students in the process learn much about early printing techniques, popular culture, Photoshop, and text encoding.

Requirements

Detail-oriented, reliable, and a basic knowledge of Photoshop.

Bishnupriya Ghosh

Location:
South Hall 2607A
893-3478

Research Project

The Catalyst Project supports four research assistants, members of the editorial board for the literary arts magazine, responsible for producing the 2015-16 issues of the magazine.

Undergraduate Contribution

The research assistants lead the production of the Catalyst magazine and related arts events in Isla Vista. This includes leading the writing, designing, and printing of the magazine copies as well as organizing and hosting events. The costs include designing and printing (5000+ per issue), art supplies (around $200-400), and events supplies (around $300-400).

Requirements

Editorial skills
Technical or design skills
Organizational ability
Collaborative capacity

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Shelly Gable

Location:
Bldg.251, Rm.3837

Research Project

Our research looks at topics such as approach and avoidance motivation (the desire to go after positive outcomes vs. the desire to avoid negative outcomes), relationship and personal goals, personal goal support, relationship motives, capitalization, positive emotions, etc. A number of projects centered on motivation and relationship research will be going on in the lab. We conduct observational studies with couples, questionnaire studies, diary studies, as well a number of experimental studies.

Undergraduate Contribution

Responsibilities include running participants, coding data, entering data, brainstorming ideas for follow-up studies, preparing study materials, etc.

Requirements

We are looking for bright, responsible and reliable research assistants (no prior experience is necessary). Please complete our lab's application, located here:
https://collinslab.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b9JeQub9geWGmrP

Earth Science

Phillip Gans

Location:
1034 Webb Hall
893-2642

Research Project

Investigation of the geologic evolution of various localities through a combination of field and analytical work. Geologic mapping, sample collecting, compilation of field data using GIS software, preparation of presentation graphics, statistical analysis of structural data, preparation and analysis of geologic samples using a variety of methods, including radiometric dating (40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb), petrographic studies, SEM and Microprobe.

Undergraduate Contribution

Assisting with field work, preparation of samples for petrographic and microstructural work, compilation and analysis of data using Excel, computer graphics using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, preparation of high purity mineral separates for geochronological analysis (crushing, grinding, sieving of rock samples, density and magnetic separations)

Requirements

Prefer some geologic background - ideal for entry level earth science majors. Experience with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite are desirable for some of the work.

Mechanical Engineering

Fredric Gibou

Location:
Engineering II Bld
805 893 7152

Research Project

The focus of our lab is the design and applications of novel computational methods. Applications range from the study of fluid flows to the simulation of solidification processes to the study of bioengineering topics.

Undergraduate Contribution

Typical undergraduate contributions range from the design and implementation of computational methods to the application of such methods to physical and biological phenomena.

Requirements

Good programing skills is viewed positively. Motivation and good analytical skills.

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