Office of Undergraduate Research
New Building, Room 8.66.00
524 W. 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
11:00AM – 4:00PM
Student Research Assistants Wanted!
Here are some open positions posted by faculty members looking for student research assistants. Email the OUR if you are interested in applying for any these positions.
What Hate Crimes Can Tell us About Criminal Justice
The way society understands “justice” is reflected in the public discourse, political debate, and media coverage of crime, particularly crimes that involve assaults on members of minority out-groups—notably, the LGBT community, racial minorities, and non-Christian religious groups. Members of these groups are especially vulnerable to victimization motivated by "hate" or bias. The most recent development in criminal law related to these vulnerable populations is the concept of “hate crimes,” codified under state and federal anti-bias legislation. My project at the New Media Lab is an extension of my dissertation research, which examines the cultural landscape in which the concept of “hate crimes” has emerged. This label is a relatively new term used to describe the same violent behavior against minority populations that occurred before the label existed. The research explores such questions as, Why now? What is new about our understanding of the role of law and the goals of justice that created the backdrop for hate crime legislation? To answer these questions, this project takes an historical comparative look at three paradigmatic types of crime (lynching, rape, and attacks in places of worship) occurring before and after the civil rights era. Using case comparisons, the research attempts to understand the nature of justice by explaining the way we make meaning of violent crime and intolerance, and the legal protections given to individual identity, groups association, and personal freedom. Using a digital timeline to host historical data of text (news reports, congressional records, case transcripts), imagery (archival photos, videos), and sound (archival radio broadcasts), the case-study dyads will be expressed in digital form to track the changes in the public discourse and the larger cultural framework that have contributed to society’s intolerance for violent bias-crime. Interested students should contact Professor Roz Myers at email@example.com to apply. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and a letter of recommendation upon application.
Social Support Community Safety, Strain, and Criminal Behavior
Professor Lior Gideon is seeking a hardworking undergraduate student with an interest in social support and its implications of community well being. Research assistant will be trained to search the literature and conduct some analysis using SPSS. Students will gain a great deal of knowledge about the role of the various forms of social support and its importance to communities and to the criminal justice discourse. Working on this project will be great experience for resumes or CVs. Work hours will be flexible.
Applicants should be self-motivated and responsible, have a great attention to detail, familiarity with and use of the internet and electronic data-bases to retrieve relevant literature. Students in their Junior and senior years with strong writing skills that completed both “Introduction to psychology”/ “Introduction to criminal justice”/ “Introduction to sociology” and basic research methods course are highly encouraged apply. To apply, please send a cover letter, unofficial transcript, and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org Students that want help composing the cover letter may contact the O.U.R. for assistance.
The Ecology of Terrorist Attacks
Professors Amy Adamczyk and Katharine Boyd are seeking 7-10 hardworking undergraduate students with an interest in terrorism research experience. Research assistants will be trained to search and code open-source material on terrorist groups for the Ecology of Terrorist Attacks Database (ETAD). Students will gain a great deal of knowledge about global terrorism and how to properly conduct open-source research. The project is funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security and working on this project will be great experience for resumes or CVs. Work hours will be flexible, with students working a minimum of 10 hours per week.
Applicants should be self-motivated and responsible, have a great attention to detail, familiarity with and use of the internet, and an ability to balance working independently with knowing when to ask important questions. Any regional expertise, language skills, or prior research experience would be a definite asset. To apply, please send a cover letter, unofficial transcript, and resume to email@example.com. Students that want help composing the cover letter may contact the O.U.R. for assistance.
Research assistant wanted for Correctional Incident Database (CID) of Collective Violence, Homicides, Hate Crimes and Escapes
Dr. Jeff Mellow is seeking students to help develop the first nationwide Correctional Incident Database. Under the direction of Dr. Mellow and his research assistants, students will compile information from online media and governmental sources on prison and jail escapes. Training on CID's open-source search protocol and supervision will be provided by Dr. Mellow. This project allows for flexible working hours, with students working six to ten hours a week. If interested, please email resume or CV to Dr. Jeff Mellow (firstname.lastname@example.org). Click here for further information on Dr. Mellow and his research.
Student research assistants wanted for the Historical Memory Project (HMP)
The Project documents the history of war, genocide and military-civil dictatorships in the Latin American region. We are seeking bilingual (Spanish-English) students able to read and write in Spanish fluently and with an interest in human rights and/or Latin America. Should be self-motivated, able to multi-task, communicate effectively and meet project deadlines. Students in the following scientific and humanity disciplines are especially encouraged to apply: Sociology, history, political science, law with emphasis in international law, criminology, Latin American Studies.
The student will conduct research about Human Rights crimes, statistics, historical facts and narratives and disseminate findings, search bibliography in Spanish international data search, examine books, journals, newspaper articles and criminal court files, expand relationships and collaborations with local partners in various Latin American countries, perform digitization, transcription, and coding of data, help in the development of new courses related to the project's topics of interest (including but not limited to attending conferences, meetings, helping create syllabi, researching sources for course, etc.), have knowledge of statistical software (SPSS and/or excel), and update website (to be discussed).
We offer: Training on a critical research seeking to understand human rights crimes, opportunity to liaisewith scholars from around the world, opportunities to attend conferences at the United Nations, opportunities for co-publishing, and the possibility of stipend or scholorship support through the Office of Undergraduate Research. Interested students should contact OUR@jjay.cuny.edu to express interest.
NIH-funded project on parolee health issues
Several faculty members have recently been awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to study health issues that face individuals returning to society from incarceration. These faculty are currently seeking undergraduates to work as paid research assistants with this exciting research project. Expected commitment: 10-15 hours per week. Minority students are especially encouraged to apply. Ability to speak Spanish fluently strongly preferred. The ideal student is a sophomore or junior with a strong GPA in a Criminal Justice-related major.
Social Justice Sexuality Project
Professor Pastrana's research interests are in the intersections of race, sexuality, human rights, and social movement activism. He is a Co-Investigator of a multi-year, national research endeavor titled Social Justice Sexuality Project, which seeks to understand and build knowledge about the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color in the U.S. Throughout, Professor Pastrana has connected with a vast number of leaders, organizations, and groups, and welcomes collaboration with John Jay students as research assistants. Some skills that you will develop include analysis of quantitative data and preparation of reports for various audiences (i.e., community partners, media professionals, as well as academic reviewers). For more information about the project, visit: www.socialjusticesexuality.com and contact Professor Pastrana directly via email.
Research assistant for investigating stalking and violent behavior
Dr. Michele Galietta is seeking talented undergraduate or MA students for research assistant position in lab investigating stalking and violent behavior. Position requires 1 year minimum commitment. Position can be voluntary or can serve as externship or research course for credit. Requirements: proficient in SPSS and Excel, availability Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. If interested, please email resume or cv to Dr. Michele Galietta (email@example.com).
Legal Decision Making and Witness Behavior Lab
The Legal Decision Making and Witness Behavior (LAW) lab is searching for new research assistants to work on a variety of projects. We are currently conducting research on eyewitness identification issues, expert testimony in court, and juror decision making. Much of this research is funded by the National Science Foundation. Research assistants may be expected to focus primarily on one project, or may be asked to split time amongst several projects. Expected commitment: 10 hours per week. The ideal student is an upper-level student who is conscientious, enthusiastic about psychological research, and very detail-oriented. For more information click here.
Legitimate Authority in non-state actors in asymmetrical wars
According to just war theory, war must be declared by a legitimate authority. Modern conflicts, however, often pit states against non-state groups, which raises the question of legitimate authority for just war in these contexts. Writers such as Nicholas Fotion and Virgina Held have argued that the conditions of legitimate authority need to be reexamined. Thus, this project will also explore the blurring of lines between terrorism, political violence, and all-out war. The ideal student for this project is a junior or senior student who has taken upper-level philosophy courses and has interest in the philosophy minor or major, and graduate studies in philosophy, law, sociology, or related disciplines.
Alaine Locke and contemporary philosophical discussions of toleration
This project focuses on developing an article, which will serve as the basis for a later book-length publication, that argues that Locke's writings make important contributions to our current discussions considering tolerance. In this project, together we will discover how Locke's work has timely relevance to race theory, deliberative democracy, pluralism, relativism, and cultural theory. The ideal student for this project is a junior or senior student who has taken upper-level philosophy courses and has interest in the philosophy minor or major, and graduate studies in philosophy, law, sociology, or related disciplines.