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Seeking new Doctoral Student in Sociology for Research Assistant Opportunity at the University of Utah, to begin Fall 2021

Information about the position:

We are seeking to hire one doctoral student in sociology as a research assistant on a collaborative NSF research grant entitled: Collaborative Research: Effects of mentoring relationship heterogeneity on student outcomes among NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program participants.  The selected research assistant will work on a multi-institutional research team under the direction of Dr. Sara Grineski in Sociology at the University of Utah, and be part of a research team that includes Dr. Tim Collins (also at University of Utah), Dr. Danielle X. Morales at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and research assistants from UTEP.

The selected student will gain in-depth interview experience as the lead interviewer for the project, qualitative data analysis skills, survey data collection and quantitative data analysis skills, and academic writing skills. They will have the opportunity to coauthor journal articles and conference presentations with the team, as well as develop and complete an individual project to meet graduation requirements. 

A 4 year (with Master’s degree) or 5 year (with Bachelor’s degree) funding package will be provided to the selected applicant, conditional upon satisfactory progress to degree. The graduate research assistantship provides 3 years of funding at 12 months per year, with the additional years of guaranteed funding provided through teaching and/or research assistantships. The position will include health insurance and a tuition waiver covering in-state or out-of-state tuition.

Information about the project:

There has been a longstanding interest in enhancing diversity in the United States STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) research workforce. Mentored undergraduate research experiences (UREs) have been shown to be particularly effective for increasing the diversity of students who pursue graduate programs and research careers. Women and racial/ethnic minority scientists remain underrepresented at the faculty level, so undergraduate researchers from traditionally underrepresented groups tend to work with faculty mentors from different socio-demographic backgrounds than their own. However, the impacts of those heterogeneous mentoring relationships have never been systematically examined in the context of broadening participation in STEM research through mentored UREs. Therefore, our study will examine the mentorship outcomes of ~900student participants in~90 NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site summer programs that will take place in 2022 and 2023. We will collect data at three points in time. First, at the conclusion of each summer program, we will survey all participants as well as interview 42 student participants. Second, after six months, we will conduct a follow-up survey of all participants. Finally, one year later, we will conduct another follow-up survey and in-depth interviews with these same students. Planned analyses include multilevel modeling (for quantitative data) and matrix analysis of semi-structured interviews (for qualitative data).


The ideal applicants will be curious; motivated; team-oriented; passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion; eager to learn about STEM education, research, and mentorship; committed to mentoring undergraduate student research assistants; and interested in using qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze data. Previous experience with undergraduate research would be helpful, but is not required. 

How to apply:

First, contact Sara Grineski ( via e-mail by no later than December 1, 2021, to express interest in the position. You will also need to apply for admission to the Sociology PhD program after interacting with Dr. Grineski. The deadline for applying to the PhD program in Sociology is December 15, 2021, and you can apply here. This program accepts students with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Indicate your interest in this position in your Statement of Purpose and send Dr. Grineski an e-mail to notify her once you have submitted your application.

If you have questions:

Contact Sara Grineski:

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Last Updated: 9/9/21