Wanted: Research Assistants

N.B. See Sociology Department's 92r Program for more details.

Project Title: Forced Migration and the Ukraine War

We invite students interested in being Research Assistants for a project on refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons) in the Ukraine-Russia war. RAs will be tasked with translating, transcribing, coding, content-analyzing and interpreting refugee testimonials recorded as audio files. Who are refugees? Where do they come from, and why? How are they displaced? What do they need? What happens when massive forced migrations in warfare reach the level of 1/3-1/4 of an entire population of 44 million, as is the case in Ukraine? Students will learn about the nature, causes and consequences of contemporary refugee waves through the case study of one of today's most formative conflicts. 

Skills and Tasks:

Students will learn skills in qualitative methods, including basic coding, content analysis, the logic of comparative social science and sampling, archival digging, evaluating sources, differentiating factoids from context in testimonies, reviewing literature, and techniques for judging credibility of primary and secondary sources on politicized issues. RAs will train to become strong critical thinkers and analysts in a customized, small-group setting. 


Meetings with the instructor will be every two weeks, and students are expected to produce assignments regularly and promptly (e.g. transcripts, coding schemes, etc.) as agreed. Refugee testimonials are extremely sensitive data, so there will be strict rules about handling the data and zero tolerance for distortion or politicization of the interviews. No prerequisite training is required, but knowledge of Russian and Ukrainian is recommended. Knowledge of Ukrainian history, culture, etc. advantage.