Social Work/Psychology

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Volunteer, UROP

Overview

A close-knit research team at BU School of Social Work is seeking enthusiastic and detail-oriented undergraduate research assistants to help with multiple research qualitative research projects related to youth mentoring. Research assistants will work with a dedicated team of doctoral students, MSW-level interviewers, and undergraduate peers on several long-term research studies exploring components of formal one-to-one youth mentoring relationships. Many of these studies are conducted in collaboration with various research universities and mentoring organizations, like Big Brothers Big Sisters and YouthBuild, across the country. The majority of our research is qualitative in nature, meaning that we are conducting semi-structured interviews to understand more of the stories and nuances behind mentoring relationships.

Because we are actively in the data collection phase, we have opportunities for data analysis on several projects:

  1. Study to Analyze Relationships: This study focus on youth mentoring relationship that have ended prematurely. It aims to identify patterns and predictors in these endings and provide imp
  2. Youth Initiated Mentoring Study: This study explores youth-initiated mentoring– an innovative approach to mentoring in which youth select mentors from existing social networks as opposed to being matched using more traditional strategies.
  3. Quality Mentoring System Study: This study explores the implementation of quality improvement initiative for mentoring programs across 8 states.
  4. Military Mentoring Project: This project aims to develop and evaluate a school-based mentoring program for military-connected youth

Research Assistant duties may include the following:
*Verifying transcribed interviews, which involves listening to the audio-recording of the interview to ensure accuracy of the transcription
*Coding qualitative data using NVivo, a qualitative analysis software, and writing thematic memos based on the findings
*Assisting in the creation of qualitative codebooks
*Creating narrative summaries of interviews

This is a great opportunity for a student seeking first-hand experience conducting social sciences research or a student with a specific interest in youth/adolescent development or social work. No prior research experience necessary, just a positive attitude, motivation to learn, and willingness to work independently at times. Specific duties would be determined by matching student interests and skills with current project needs. Volunteers should be able to offer at least 8 hours a week, during the summer.

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