Our department conducts an annual data collection project known as the Sociological Research Practicum. Each year, a faculty member is chosen as the Principal Investigator (PI) to design and manage the data project.
One goal of the project is to to give first-year graduate students the experience of the process of data collection and analysis. Observing and participating in the research process allows our students to develop their skills as empirical researchers.
The focus of the data collection project varies each year, reflecting the interest of the PI. Students may conduct in-depth interviews, record field notes, or survey a random sample of people. Undergraduates may also participate at the discretion of the PI. Typically, undergraduates help with some aspect of data collection or coding of data.
The topic of SRP also varies each year. Recent projects have collected data on attitudes toward the family, how people view national security, the activities of regional nonprofits, and healthcare management.