Project Descriptions Fall 2022

Project Number: 1

Faculty: Faye Taxman

Rank: University Professor

Title: National Evaluation of Stepping Up

Project Description: The study examines how reforms are made at the local level to decarcerate jails and better provide for those with mental illness in the community.

Job Description: Data collection, Coding (data entry), Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data, Support in conducting interviews, arranging appointments for interviews, or logistics related to research of this kind, Translation, Proofreading, editing, and/or manuscript preparation

Necessary Skills: Microsoft Office

Desired Skills: Interest in justice policy

Project Number: 2

Faculty: Jim Olds

Rank: University Professor of Neuroscience and Public Policy

Title: Building verifiable carbon sequestration markets

Project Description: Carbon markets don't work unless the amount of carbon sequestered can be verifiably measured. At present this component of carbon markets hasn't been invented and presents a policy challenge for governments. In this project, we are examining the use of data from the NSF's National Ecological Observatory Network to design such functionality.

Job Description: Coding (data entry), Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data, Support in statistical analysis, writing code, scraping data, etc., Proofreading, editing, and/or manuscript preparation

Necessary Skills: Must be able to download and conduct statistical analysis on large on-line datasets.

Desired Skills: R, Python

Project Number: 3

Faculty: Michael Fauntroy

Rank: Associate Professor/Director, RPPC

Title: Literature Review on Race, Politics, and Policy

Project Description: I am launching a continuing research project to develop a (near) comprehensive annotated bibliography of the seminal research on race, politics, and public policy. I need a student who can assist with identifying to citations and preparing the review.

Job Description: Writing literature summaries

Project Number: 4

Faculty: Justin Gest

Rank: Associate Professor

Title: Democratic Drain

Project Description: "Democratic Drain" is a book project focused on the effect of emigration on the prospects for democracy in migrants' countries of origin. Based on interviews and extensive polling in dozens of countries around the world, we study the depletion of people with democratic attitudes from countries teetering on the edge of democracy and authoritarianism. Our URAP will contribute to the process of book-writing.

Job Description: Writing literature summaries, Library research, Translation, Proofreading, editing, and/or manuscript preparation

Necessary Skills: It would be helpful for the URA to read and speak in Arabic or one of the languages of Eastern Europe. Other foreign languages are also welcome.

Project Number: 5

Faculty: Bonnie Stabile

Rank: Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, Associate Professor

Title: Inclusive Syllabi in MPA Programs

Project Description: We plan to review syllabi from Public Administration core courses at Mason and a sample of other universities to assess how inclusive they are with regard to representation of women and underrepresented minorities among faculty, authors of literature used for the course, subject matter of the course literature and guest speaker.

Job Description: Data collection; Coding (data entry); Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data; Library research; Support in conducting interviews, arranging appointments for interviews, or logistics related to research of this kind

Necessary Skills: A general interest in the subject and willingness to learn; attention to detail.

Project Number: 6

Faculty: Jennifer Victor

Rank: Associate Professor

Title: Congressional Caucuses Data Collection

Project Description: I seek to work with 2 - 4 students who will collaboratively contribute to a long-term data collection effort for recording congressional caucus memberships. Student RAs will record individual-level data in a spreadsheet from an existing source. No experience necessary. Students will also be expected to participate in weekly research lab meetings (Fridays at 4pm).

Job Description: Data collection, Coding (data entry), Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data

Necessary Skills: No experience necessary.

Desired Skills: Experience managing data in Excel is useful.

Project Number: 7

Faculty: Jennifer Victor

Rank: Associate Professor

Title: Book manuscript assistant for *Connecting Congress*

Project Description: I seek 1 - 2 research assistants to provide general support for a book manuscript in progress. The research assistant will help with discovering, reading, and summarizing literature; copy editing; project management; data collection. Students with a genuine interest in studying US Congress and strong organizational and writing skills are encouraged to apply.

Job Description: Writing literature summaries, Library research, Support in conducting interviews, arranging appointments for interviews, or logistics related to research of this kind, Proofreading, editing, and/or manuscript preparation

Necessary Skills: Organizational skills

Desired Skills: Writing skills

Project Number: 8

Faculty: Jennifer Victor

Rank: Associate Professor

Title: Building a relational database of the US Congress

Project Description: Description: I seek 1- 2 skilled research assistants to join an existing team working to create a relational database of legislative activity from existing data. The ideal applicant has experience with, and enthusiasm, for programming in R or SQL. Students who are interested in expanding existing data science skills to applications related to legislative networks are encouraged to apply.

Job Description: Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data, Support in statistical analysis, writing code, scraping data, etc.

Necessary Skills: Working familiarity with R and/or SQL

Desired Skills: Experience building a relational database; experience with tidyverse, ggplot, statnet, or igraph R packages.

Project Number: 9

Faculty: Bassam Haddad

Rank: Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program

Title: Knowledge Production Project

Project Description: Knowledge Production Project is a dynamic, open-access archive, search tool, and data visualization platform. This project, almost a decade in the making, endeavors to gather, organize, and make available for analysis all knowledge produced on the Middle East since 1979, in nine databases. The Knowledge Production Project is seeking a research assistant to work on all nine of its databases.

Job Description: Data collection, Coding (data entry), Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data

Project Number: 10

Faculty: Michael Hunzeker

Rank: Assistant Professor

Title: Mapping the Cross-Strait Military Balance

Project Description: I am trying to build a detailed map of the cross-Strait military balance. To pull this off, I need a small team of RAs who can help me scour open source documents in order to build an accurate map of American, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese military bases, ports, airfields, radar sites, silos, urban centers, beaches, navigable waterways, MSRs, etc. This map will help support future policy research on cross-Strait security and stability.

Job Description: Data collection, Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data, Library research, Translation

Necessary Skills: Potential RAs should be interested in East Asian security and/or military affairs; and they must be responsible, reliable, and able to work independently.

Desired Skills: A military background, familiarity with military terminology, and/or the ability to read simplified and traditional Mandarin characters are all desirable (but certainly not required)

Project Number: 11

Faculty: Lucas Núñez

Rank: Assistant Professor

Title: Military Service and Electoral Performance

Project Description: "Military service is thought by many to ingrain veterans with characteristics usually perceived as essential to leadership. Conventional wisdom suggests that military veterans should have an advantage when running for office over their non-veteran counterparts. But is that the case?

This project aims at determining the impact of past military service on the electoral performance of political candidates, as well as the legislative performance of those who are successful. A significant portion of the work will be devoted to data collection, particularly on past military service of primary election candidates for federal offices.

In addition to studying the electoral performance of these candidates, the project will seek to understand how these candidates differ in their campaigning relative to non-veteran candidates, with particular attention to campaign website biographies and press releases. "

Job Description: Data collection, Coding (data entry), Managing spreadsheets or databases; organizing data, Library research, Support in statistical analysis, writing code, scraping data, etc.

Necessary Skills: Attention to detail, willingness to learn, independent worker.

Desired Skills: Experience with manipulating data in Excel; experience in Stata or R

Project Number: 12

Faculty: Paul Bubbosh

Rank: Adjunct Professor

Title: Climate Action Plan Implementation

Project Description: Work with a local government and community to implement a climate action plan. This work requires modifying research completed by URAP students and applying the research with a local Virginia community. The project involves working closely with local government and community members, attending and facilitating meetings (evenings only), and developing and writing a climate action plan.

Job Description: Support in conducting interviews, arranging appointments for interviews, or logistics related to research of this kind, Implementing a climate action plan with a local Virginia community

Necessary Skills: Comfort level with speaking in front of groups and engaging local government and community members in a dialogue about climate action plans.

Desired Skills: Outgoing personality; willing to travel within Northern Virginia at least 1 evening per month.