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The School of Communication both welcomes and encourages undergraduate student involvement in the research programs of faculty and graduate students by serving as undergraduate research assistants. Research assistants play a vital role in the research of any university, by helping with data collection and analysis, computer programming, library research, and writing of research reports for presentation and conferences and for publication. Undergraduates in the social sciences with research experience (especially in the form of an undergraduate thesis) and who meet other entry requirements are often highly sought out by graduate schools, including the graduate program in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.  Furthermore, people with research skills are also sought out in industry and the corporate world. Thus, serving as a research assistant can give you a competitive advantage in your quest for furthering your education in the social sciences or obtaining employment upon graduation. If you need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member for graduate school or a job, you will get a much stronger letter if you work in a faculty member’s lab. Because there is no such thing as too much experience, we especially encourage students to get involved early in their education, at least a year before graduation. It sounds a lot better for a faculty member to say that that you worked in their lab for two, three, or even four years than only a semester.

The School of Communication recruits undergraduate research assistants for ongoing research projects.  You may earn "independent study" course credit by working on these projects or get involved on a voluntary basis—details are to be discussed with the faculty/project contacts.


Summer 2024 Opportunities:

  1. Meta-Analysis Coder

    Faculty supervisor: Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D.

    Contact information: bushman.20@osu.edu

    Total number of research assistants sought: 2

    Project location: Remote/online

    Minimum commitment per week: 3 hours 

    Preferred qualifications: Experience with Excel, organized, close attention to detail, strong reading comprehension. 

    Project description: This project involves coding research studies for meta-analytic reviews. The term meta-analysis literally means “analysis of analyses.” It is a quantitative literature review that combines the statistical analyses (e.g., correlations, standardized mean differences) from different studies conducted on the same topic. I am conducting a meta-analytic review with colleagues from Germany on the topic of power and aggression. Preference will be given to those who can also work AU24 and/or SP25 semesters. This opportunity can be taken on a voluntary basis or for credit in Communication (COMM 4998). 

    Remote or in-person: Remote/online, emails and weekly Zoom meetings. 


  2. Social support and self-disclosure in online support communities

    Faculty supervisor: Dr. Jingbo Meng

    Contact information: Jiaqi Qin, qin.661@osu.edu 

    Total number of research assistants sought: 2

    Project location: Remote

    Minimum commitment per week: 3 hours

    Preferred qualifications: Attention to detail, strong reading and comprehension skills, ability to complete tasks timely and with high quality. 

    Project description: This project focuses on how community members disclose stressful experiences and provide social support in online support communities. RAs will assist with the annotation of the posts and replies from several subreddits on Reddit (e.g., r/parenting, r/careeradvice, and r/depression). The task requires RAs to read and code each post/reply into certain categories based on the coding guides. The coding task is mainly about the content characteristics of the posts and replies (e.g., whether the post/reply involves any form of social support or self-disclosure). We will provide detailed explanations of the coding guides and go through examples to ensure consistent coding among all RAs. After reaching the acceptable agreement, coders will work independently on completing assigned tasks. Students can choose to enroll in Comm 4998 Research course credit or get involved on a voluntary basis.

    Remote or in-person: Remote, We will have weekly or bi-weekly Zoom meeting to discuss coding details and progress.


More opportunities may be added as projects become available.

Communication Research Experience Program (C-REP)

Research experience is an important part of undergraduate education in the School of Communication. Some classes require student participation in research, while others allow students to earn extra credit in this way. The Communication Research Experience Program (C-REP) helps to connect students and researchers, and provides a way to track which studies a student has completed. The resources listed below provide more information about C-REP.

Video: A Student Guide to CREP




Sona (School of Communication Research Participation Portal)

Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact schofcomm@osu.edu.