Fall Research Assistantships

Interested in being a Research Assistant in the fall? We’ve already received lots of opportunities for Honors students from faculty from across the university for this coming semester. We continually update our site with current openings as we get them!

You can also get academic credit for being a Research Assistant through Honors contract courses. You can read all the info on our website here. Keep in mind that the deadline to request credit is September 25th.

If you have any questions, please reach out to a Program Manager via email or by making an appointment. Happy browsing!

Apply to Be A 2020-2021 Enosinian Scholar!

The Enosinian Scholars Program is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. Each year, this program welcomes a select group of rising seniors to conduct student-driven research in a variety of academic areas. Students apply at the end of their junior year to begin the program their senior year.

If you are interested, please check out the program description as well as the application form. Applications are due by June 12, 2020 by 5pm.

If you have further questions, please reach out to Professor Bethany Cobb Kung at bcobb@gwu.edu.

Professor Antwan Jones has TWO research opportunities for you!

Do you have an interest in sociology, psychology, or social science research? Professor Antwan Jones has two research projects you should consider: one research project titled “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child and Young Adult Mental Health Outcomes” and another titled, “Stress and Obesity in Adulthood“.

While the deadline to earn academic credit through Honors has closed for the spring semester, both projects are a great opportunity to get engaged in meaningful research.

Join the Rodriguez Lab (Chemistry) & perform research to fluorescently image & treat cancer.

From Professor Erik Rodriguez:
“We are looking for freshman or sophomores interested in doing significant research during their undergraduate studies, including summers with possible funding.”
Read more on position descriptions and application information here. Please contact Professor Erik A. Rodriguez at erik_rodriguez@gwu.edu with resume and any questions.

Paid RA position for Prof. Christov

I am looking for a research assistant to assist me in a research project on the idea of self-determination. The remuneration for this position is up to $1,500 and available immediately.

In asking “How did the self-determination of a people and nation building come to be seen as virtually synonymous?”, the project seeks to map out the political, legal, and historical literature on the subject. The RA job is to research articles, books, and historical data on the development of self-determination from the 18th century to the present.

All interviews will be conducted this Wednesday, Feb 5. Email Prof. Christov (christov@gwu.edu) if interested.

Two Hundred Years of Financial Globalization – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Graciela Kaminsky

Department: Economics

Title: Two Hundred Years of Financial Globalization

Description: This project compares two episodes of financial globalization.
The first episode started with the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).
The end of these wars fueled a reduction of public spending and a bonanza in
international lending as interest rates in England and France sharply
declined.  This episode ended with the Great Depression in 1931.  It is at
the onset of the Great Depression that governments around the world erected
barriers to capital mobility in their effort to eliminate volatility in
financial markets.  International capital markets basically disappeared.
The second episode of financial globalization restarted with the collapse of
the Bretton Woods System in the early 1970s.   As exchange rates started to
fluctuate, governments around the world could implement an independent
monetary policy without the need of capital controls.  Controls on capital
mobility were abandoned and international capital flows restarted.
This project examines the characteristics of international capital flow booms
and busts in these two episodes of financial globalization.  Are capital
flows becoming more unstable?  Do all capital flow bonanzas end in financial
crises?  Do Central Banks in the financial center fuel volatility in capital
flows to the periphery?  What type of shocks trigger turmoil in international
capital markets?
The project involves the creation of two databases for the first episode of
financial globalization.  For the first database, students collect
information on international capital flows using data on bonds and shares
issued in the financial centers of that time: London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg,
Frankfurt, and New York.  For the second database, students collect data on
prices of government bonds in the financial centers and data on a variety of
news using the digital collection of the London Times and the Economist
during the 19th century and early 20th century.

Duties: Students may be involved in the creation of the two databases.  The
data on bonds and shares issued in the financial centers as well as the data
on prices of government bonds is in photos taken in archives.  The data on
economic, political, and financial news is collected from the London Times
(for the years 1820 to 1842) and from the Economist (for the years 1843 to
1931).  Students will work under the supervision of faculty and periodical
meetings will be set to help the students in their work.

Time commitment: 10 or more hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 3

Number of openings: 2

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: graciela@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

Species Delimitation in Desmognathus Salamanders – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Alex Pyron

Department: Biological Science

Title: Species Delimitation in Desmognathus Salamanders

The Dusky Salamanders, genus Desmognathus, are one of the most diverse and
abundant animals in the eastern forests of the United States. They are
classic study organisms for ecology and behavior. Despite their visibility
and imperilment, we know little about their genetic diversity and
evolutionary history. While there are only 21 currently named species, recent
work using DNA sequencing has revealed at least 45 potential species, which
would more than double the size of the group.

Duties: The research assistant will work with me to collect data and build a
computational model to distinguish between cryptic species of Desmognathus
salamander. Classes in ecology/evolution and experience with statistics are a

Time commitment: 1-3 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 1

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: rpyron@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

Using CT Scans of Fossil Reptiles to Study their Evolutionary Anatomy – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: James Clark

Department: Biological Sciences

Title: Using CT Scans of Fossil Reptiles to Study their Evolutionary Anatomy

Description: CT scans of fossil reptile skulls are important tools because
they access internal anatomy that is otherwise difficult to study.  However,
they must be processed manually to highlight these internal anatomical
features, such as bone sutures and the openings of nerve foramina, resulting
in 3D images of individual bones.  This project involves CT scans of the
skulls of ancient fossil crocodylian relatives to determine their detailed
anatomy and use it in evolutionary analyses of these extinct species.

Duties: The student will be taught to use the program MIMICS to process the
CT scans. They will use MIMICS to manually recognize boundaries between bones
and other anatomical features and remove the parts of the image created by
the rock encasing the fossil. Their work will be used in a phylogenetic study
of the evolutionary relationships of these extinct species.

Time commitment: 4-6 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 2

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: jclark@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

Data sharing approaches to reconstructing ancient technology – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Kylie Quave

Department: University Writing Program and Anthropology

Title: Data sharing approaches to reconstructing ancient technology

Description: The objective of the Cuzco Archaeological Ceramics Project is to
understand how the Inca state (ca. 1300-1530s CE) impacted local economies in
the heartland of the Inca empire (Cuzco, Peru). This project is a
collaboration between Peruvian and North American researchers and
specialists. Our focus is on ceramic sherds, which have been excavated in
pre-Inca (1000-1400s CE) and Inca archaeological sites in the region of
Cuzco. By studying changes in ceramic style and technology over several
centuries before and during Inca imperialism, we reconstruct how local
peoples interacted with the empire and responded to it, as well as how the
Incas used craft economies (specifically ceramics) to change labor landscapes
and alter daily lifeways.

In Phase 1, my colleagues and I identified excavated sites from which to
sample that would provide a broad cross-section of the Inca heartland in
these periods. Ceramic sherds were drawn (to compare forms and uses of
ceramic vessels) and photographed. We recorded attributes of artistic style
by photographing the sherds themselves, and recorded technological attributes
by taking digital microscope photos of the paste (the interior material) of
each sherd.  These drawings have been partially re-drawn in digital format
and all images have been organized and curated in a private database.

In Phase 2, we will migrate all the drawings, images, and associated metadata
to a public repository such as Harvard Dataverse where other researchers and
lay persons may have access to our database. From that public database, we
will create a survey in which users (both experts in ceramics and others)
will sort images and drawings to create categories of ceramics. We will seek
IRB approval before deploying this survey and will use the results of the
sorting exercise to demonstrate interobserver error among researchers and

In Phase 3, for which we are currently applying for funding, we will use
archaeometric methods (geochemical provenance studies and image-based
granulometry) to differentiate technological traditions among pre-Inca and
Inca ceramics. This final phase will take at least three years and will also
include annual workshops with researchers from Cusco, in which we will
continue to share data, create protocols for future data sharing, and build
consensus about how best to continue studying Inca imperialism through
ceramic sherds.

Duties: The research assistant will be responsible for research related to
digital data management (Phases 1 and 2), data sharing (Phase 2), and some
bibliographic research (preparation for Phase 3). Using Adobe Illustrator,
the RA will complete digital drawings of ceramics rim shapes and maintain the
organization of the files. The RA will also use Harvard Dataverse or a
comparable repository to design and build a database of project files that
may be publicly shared, with metadata attached to all files. Once the
database is composed, the RA will design and construct an online survey that
includes images, using an open source platform such as Google Surveys.
Finally, the RA will conduct library-based research on granulometry and the
use of JMicrovision for analyzing ceramic technologies. They will annotate
the bibliographic citations.

The preference is for a candidate with knowledge of coding and JSON who can use
the Dataverse API: http://guides.dataverse.org/en/latest/api/native-api.html.
The RA should also be able to conduct library-based research.

I am seeking one RA for 7+ hours per week, two RAs for 4-6 hours per week, or three RAs for 1-3 hours per week.

Time commitment: 4-6 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 2

Number of openings: 2

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: kquave@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

Comprehensive Analysis on Children’s Musician-Educator Ella Jenkins – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Gayle Wald

Department: American Studies

Title: Children’s Musician-Educator Ella Jenkins

Description: I am researching and writing about Ella Jenkins, the most
important children’s musician of the 20th century. At 95, Jenkins has
released more than 40 albums on the independent Folkways record label. She
has won a Grammy and been deemed a “national treasure” and the “first lady of
children’s music.” Jenkins wrote liner notes (written texts) to go along with
every one of her albums. They are a rich literary archive of her thinking as
an African American woman whose career was shaped by civil rights and
anti-fascism. I am looking for someone to collect all of these texts and
perform a content analysis of them.

Duties: The RA will collect Jenkins’s digitized liner notes (written texts
that accompanied each of her albums) and perform a content analysis of them.
What are the themes that run through these texts? What turns up as quirky or
unusual? How does Jenkins tell a story about herself in these texts? How do
her themes change over time?

If you are interested in US cultural history and woman’s and African American
history, this will be a fun project. This is a project that will allow you to
use skills in literary/ textual /cultural analysis.

Time commitment: 1-3 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 1

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: gwald@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

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