Undergraduate Research Experience

SHPRS’ Undergraduate Research Experience places undergraduate students into research assistant opportunities working with individual faculty members on their research projects. Students will enroll in HST/ PHI/ REL 494: Undergraduate Research Experience* and may earn up to 9 hours of elective credits (and in some cases, apply them towards their major). All students in good academic standing are invited to apply (minimum GPA 2.0). 

Undergraduate research opportunities will be added as they become available. Please check back regularly for new opportunities.

* As with any course at ASU that earns credit, regular tuition charges apply. 

**Undergraduate Research Experience can only count as elective credit within the major and cannot substitute for required courses. If you have already fulfilled all of your major electives, the course will only count as general elective credit. If your major is not in SHPRS, please consult with your major advisor.

Apply here for Fall 2020

Benefits of the program 

  • First-hand experience of professional research
  • Learn applicable research skills
  • Invest in valuable relationships with faculty


Program highlights 

As a research assistant, you will:

  • Work with SHPRS faculty supporting his or her research
  • Earn credit commensurate with the number of hours of work (determined in advance and detailed in the URE contract)
  • Learn applicable research skills
  • Strengthen your resume and grad school application 


Steps to apply

1. Review the URE opportunities available and determine which one(s) interest you. 

2. Submit your application. You may apply to more than one research opportunity, but you must submit a separate application for each. Faculty leading the project may request a follow-up interview. 

3. Receive an email announcing selected applicants and next steps. Once you’re in the door make the best of the opportunity…learn what you came to learn, get your questions answered, make a connection that lasts a lifetime.

Questions? Email Marissa.R.Timmerman@asu.edu

Fall 2020 Opportunities 


Curating Phoenix
Professor Mark Tebeau, History

This project, “Curating Phoenix,” will allow students to curate, through the Salt River Stories project, the history of Phoenix and central Arizona. Students will curate the region through its landscapes and material culture, producing stories in which they are the named authors. To date, more than 50 students have contributed about 300 stories accessible at saltriverstories.org. Topics range widely and, to some degree, are determined by what interests the student. Project partners include the Arizona Historical Society and other major historical agencies and organizations around the region. This is a fabulous opportunity for students to meet and intersect with leading public historians and preservationists and the region. Student work often includes collecting oral history.



Aliens and Empire: Immigration and the Expansion of U.S. Borders
Professor Julian Lim,  History

This project, “Aliens and Empire: Immigration and the Expansion of U.S. Borders,” will explore and denaturalize key assumptions about U.S. sovereignty and the sanctity of borders that many take for granted today. Focusing on a particular Supreme Court case from 1889 that established Congress' power to set immigration law as it sees fit, this project analyzes the broader historical context in which U.S. immigration law was federalized. It examines questions of territory, sovereignty, and borders that Americans debated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and places the development of federal immigration law in conversation with federal Indian law and the expansion of U.S. borders and empire at the turn of the twentieth century. Geographically, the project connects the U.S.-Mexico border region to the American West more broadly, as well as to the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.


Informational Design and Philosophy
Professor Michelle Saint, Philosophy

This project, “Informational Design and Philosophy,” offers a rare opportunity to work at the intersection of philosophy, the science of teaching and learning, and the visual arts. The purpose of this experience is to develop visually inviting informational materials concerning how to read, interpret, and write philosophical arguments. The ultimate goal will be to produce infographics or related materials that highlight different strategies, tips, or techniques for improving one’s philosophical reading, writing, and thinking. The produced materials can be PDFs, webpages, or some other format. This project will be most beneficial to students who: A) intend to go into an education-related field, B) enjoy graphic design / web design / informational design, and/or C) would like to learn how to improve their own philosophic reading, writing, and thinking. Here is an example of the type of material to be developed.



Beyond Violence: A Global History of Guns in Modern Times
Professor Lei Duan, History

This project, “Beyond Violence: A Global History of Guns in Modern Times,” explores the social and cultural history of guns in a global and comparative perspective. Guns have been studied by military historians mainly as instruments of state-sponsored destruction. Starting from the early nineteenth-century, innovations in small arms technology began advancing by leaps and bounds. These modern guns’ greater penetration, accuracy, and ease of operation spurred many non-military individuals to arm themselves. Private gun ownership, as a global phenomenon, brought about profound and diverse social and political implications in different societies. In the process, guns became invested with social and symbolic meanings. By placing the gun in its social and cultural contexts, this project attempts to investigate the interwoven relationships between privately- owned guns and broad processes of social change in a comparative perspective. Based on current secondary scholarship, this book-length project seeks to examine the following questions. How did global arms transfers in the nineteenth and twentieth century affect indigenous patterns of social change? How did private gun ownership lead to changes in the state-society relationship? How did different countries carry out gun control policies?



Applied Philosophy Website Editor/Journalist
Professor Maura Priest, Philosophy

This project, “Applied Philosophy Website Editor/Journalist,” will involve remote work to help manage and edit the applied philosophy webpage in collaboration with Dr. Priest. This webpage posts articles about applied philosophy interviews of applied philosophers (both written and audio) debates between philosophers on applied topics, and has an ethics advice column. Students may be involved in writing philosophy interviews, hosting and recording debates between philosophers (this involves coming up with a topic and asking questions) soliciting questions for the advice column, and conducting audio interviews recorded on their phone. No tech experience needed. 



Food Insecurity and the Food Landscape in Arizona
Professor Joan McGregor, Philosophy 

This project, “Food Insecurity and the Food Landscape in Arizona,” requires a complete analysis of the state of the food system within Arizona. Particularly, the focus of the research will include the volume and location of children with food insecurity and current responses in place. The project will culminate with a brief synopsis of the Arizonan food landscape.