Undergraduate Students

The typical undergraduate research assistant (URA) spends 3-6 hours/week in the lab. Lab work includes assisting in recruitment and study outreach, collecting data, coding documents or interviews, transcribing audio clips, or working with data.

URAs also participate in project meetings that involve discussions of current research, professional development, and other topics related to family studies, intimate partner violence, and law.

There are many benefits to working in the MAKE IT lab. Lab members have the opportunity to attend research and professional development-oriented lab meetings during which they can gain unique insights and information. Through each experience, lab members will gain valuable research skills and experience working in a collaborative team environment.

URAs in good standing are eligible to receive a letter of recommendation from the leadership team when applying for graduate school or related jobs upon completing one full semester’s lab work. Letters of recommendation are typically stronger for RAs that commit to the lab for multiple semesters.

UGRAs can register for HDFS 294: Research Internship for 1-2 credit hours per semester in the lab, which can count toward their degree requirements.

In some situations, URAs may be permitted to volunteer in the lab without registering for course credit. The lab expectations are identical for undergraduate RAs in the lab for credit and those who are volunteering, except that volunteers may be provided more flexibility to work fewer hours when discussing their beginning of semester contract.

For James Scholar honors students, opportunities are available to fulfill the independent research project and presentation requirement. Undergraduate RAs should expect to work closely with graduate student RAs, who may serve in supervisory roles or as mentors for James Scholar honors projects. Previous James Scholars in the MAKE IT lab have completed various projects investigating intimate partner violence, women’s and children’s well-being, and the court system.

Visit the James Scholar Honors Program website to learn more.

For inquiries related to joining the MAKE IT lab, please contact Dr. Jen Hardesty (hardesty@illinois.edu) or Dr. Brian Ogolsky (bogolsky@illinois.edu).