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 2019

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 2019 Opportunities 


History of Water in Arizona
Professor Mark Tebeau, History

A collaborative team that includes the student Professor Mark Tebeau, and researchers from the Arizona Historical Society will curate the history of water in Arizona through creating a tour for the Salt River Stories mobile app. The team will identify stories, research those stories, and curate the history of water, including selecting photographs, writing interpretive text, and developing multimedia. Salt River Stories is a mobile interpretive project developed by Professor Tebeau and ASU students, with more than 35,000 annual visitors.




History of the American Racial Wealth Gap
Professor Calvin Schermerhorn, History

This project Investigates the 400 year history of America’s racial wealth gap, from colonial disinheritances, early national dispossessions, and recent Decapitalizion. Today, African-Americans earn on average 1/10 the income of white Americans, 50 years after Civil Rights and 150 years after slavery. Going back 20 generations, this project seeks to understand why the racial wealth gap is so persistent.



Slavery in the Medieval World: Archival and Pedagogical Approaches
Professor Hannah Barker, History

The goal of this project is to create a publicly available website with two parts. The first part will be a finding aid for scholars who want to conduct research on slavery in the late Middle Ages in the state archives of Venice and Genoa. In essence, this is an expanded and annotated version of the archival section of my book’s bibliography, helping other scholars translate call numbers into source collections. The second part will provide pedagogical resources for professors who want to teach a unit or an entire course on slavery in the medieval world. The core of this section will be a collection of primary sources which have never before been translated into English.



Applied Philosophy 
Professor Elizabeth Brake, Philosophy

The project is to contribute to an applied philosophy website hosted by SHPRS.  The student may interview philosophers working in applied philosophy and write short blog posts in an area of research selected by the student.  The contributions will showcase applied philosophy research in ethics, AI and computing, robotics, experimental philosophy and philosophy of psychology, and any other areas of interest.  I will give the student examples and criteria for guidance, but he or she can also take initiative in proposing new ideas. 



The Ethics of Dating 
Professor Maura Priest, Philosophy

I am working on a book project concerning the ethics of dating. This is an unexplored area in philosophy and applied ethics. I want to look at the early stages of relationships and pinpoint the ethical issues. Once the ethical issues are identified, an analysis of the normative import of these issues is in order. Some issues I hope to cover include: physical attraction, dating "deal breakers", approaching a potential date, online dating, sex in earlier relationships, 'ghosting', polyamory, and breaking up.



Religion and Mental Health in the United States
Professor Doe Daughtrey, Religious Studies

This project is associated with the prospective development of a conference on religion and mental health that will explore the ways in which a person's experience of religion can both enhance mental health resilience and produce trauma. One goal of the project is to provide me with a bibliography of relevant peer-reviewed research into the topic of religion and mental health from the last 30 years in order to get a sense of the state of the field. In addition, this project involves gathering examples of how individuals and groups use various social media (e.g. Facebook, Reddit, Instagram) to discuss the connections between religion and mental health, with the goal of better understanding the lived experience of the religious influence of religion on mental health. This data will help support conference development.