Student Research Partners Program

Students gain hands-on experience with scholarship in a specific field with the Student Research Partners ProgramGeared toward incoming first-year students, this program pairs a student with a faculty mentor to work on a project related to the faculty member's research or creative area. Students gain hands-on experience with scholarship in a specific field, and may elect to continue during their sophomore year. Participation is selective, based on high academic achievement.

Students are expected to work a maximum of 7 hours per week, for a compensation of $10/hour. Up to $800 can be earned as a Student Research Partner over the course of the year.

If you are interested in this program, view the list of available projects below, think about what interests you, and fill out the online application form.

We will be hosting a reception in the KC living room on September 13 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for interested students to meet and talk further with the faculty members. Completed applications are due on Saturday, September 16 by 4 p.m. online. Faculty sponsors will choose their SRP students by September 25.

If you have questions, please contact either Dr. Ian MacInnes () or Renee Kreger () for more information.

Here is the (growing) list of projects available for 2017-2018:


There are projects available in the areas shown below.



Cultural Anthropology with Dr. Allison Harnish

Project Description: In 1958, 57,000 Gwembe Tonga were forcibly displaced by the construction of Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River in what was then the British colony of Northern Rhodesia in southern Africa. The resettlement was a traumatic event for the Tonga people, whose homes, ancestral grounds, and productive cropland were consumed by the man-made Lake. Although the Tonga bore the social costs associated with the dam, it was primarily people from outside the dam basin who enjoyed its benefits, as the dam was built to generate hydroelectric power for the mines in the Zambian Copperbelt. Other industries associated with fishing, tourism, and irrigation benefited from the new reservoir—which remains today the world’s largest by volume. Today, many of the relocated Gwembe Tonga struggle to eke a living in marginal lands with limited access to electricity and basic infrastructure. Tonga who have voluntarily resettled to fertile lands abutting Kafue National Park are regularly harassed by wildlife police officers and fear they may be relocated a second time to make way for wildlife tourism. Over the last sixty years, researchers have sought to understand the long-term social and environmental impacts of Kariba Dam while advocating for the Gwembe Tonga and other communities affected by similar large-scale international development projects. This project is a continuation of such research. 

Student Responsibilities: The student research partner will assist in the transcription of interviews conducted in summer 2017. Much of this work will utilize Microsoft Word and Google Drive. 

Qualifications: Preference will be given to students with interests in anthropology and sociology, African studies, women’s and gender studies, international development, postcolonial studies, and/or environmental studies. Applicants must have good writing and time management skills as well as a solid work ethic. Strong organizational skills and an ability to work independently are a must. 

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Media Artifacts Research with Dr. Andy Boyan

Project Description: This project involves researching and cataloguing obsolete media artifacts such as records, film, video game consoles, video games, telegraphs, typewriters, and other obscure, and not-so-obscure media from the past. There will be handling of antique items, organizing, internet research, and typing.

SRP Responsibilities: The student will confer with me on a set of media artifacts to research in a given week. The student will investigate each object for defects or damage, see how they work, and research their purpose and history online. The student will then write short summaries of each object (3-4 sentences each) as if it were for display in a museum. Occasionally this research may include items that have not yet been purchased. In this case the student will assist in the logistics of purchasing, shipping, and storing the artifacts.

Qualifications: A passionate interest in music, film, and other media. The ability to write clear, concise text without grammatical errors. The ability to work on a variety of tasks and track progress across multiple sub-projects. Be an interesting person. Be willing to listen to the occasional tangent. Have an open mind to all genres of music, even if you prefer some over others.

The proposal is open to students at large. If you have a mind for tinkering and fixing that is a plus, but not required. Would be open to one or possibly two students.

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The History of the Albion College Choir with Dr. Clayton Parr

Project Description

We have quite a bit of historical information on the choir but it has never been gathered in one place.  The student researcher will help compile the history of the choir, by going through Music Department documents, programs, photos, yearbooks and College archives, with the goal of producing a book, in print and/or electronic form, to be published in the future for alumni and friends of the choir.

Student responsibilities

Gather and compile information and photos from College and Music Dept. archives
Work with Dr. Parr to draft text for the publication
Work with Dr. Parr on layout and physical appearance of final published product 


Ability to work independently on research
Basic computer skills (use of scanner, database, word processing, etc.)
Good writing skills
Publication layout experience welcome but not required

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International Responses to Mass Atrocity Crimes with Dr. Carrie Booth Walling

Brief Description of the Project:  I am looking for a student to assist me in initiating or completing a series of research and writing projects in the general area of international responses to mass atrocity crimes, including responses by the United Nations Security Council and the International Criminal Court.   

Student Responsibilities: Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, student responsibilities will include monitoring media coverage on selected cases, conducting scholarly literature searches, creating annotated bibliographies, reviewing literature in the field, examining and analyzing United Nations Security Council documents, editing manuscripts and helping to get them publication ready (copyediting), and helping to prepare conference presentations. The projects that I am working on include a book chapter on international responses to genocide post-1945, a book chapter on the influence of human rights norms on the UN Security Council decision-making, an article on the relationship between the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court, and a conference paper on the evolution of the justice norm (accountability through human rights trials for international crimes). Student case studies will include ISIS atrocities against the Yazidis in Iraq, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, and Security Council decision-making in Syria, among others.   

Desired Qualities for Student Research Partner: I am looking for a student research partner who is interested in learning more about human rights, international organizations or international politics. The student should be organized and self-motivated and able to work well independently but still have room in their schedule to meet with me on a weekly basis. The student should have good written and oral communication skills and be willing to learn new things. The student should be reliable and have good interpersonal skills.  Attention to detail and thoroughness when completing tasks is especially desired. The position is open to students exploring all majors but students with a particular interest in political science are especially encouraged to apply. Exceptional student researchers may be asked to continue their research for a second year.

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