Summer 2021 SRP Opportunities

Science students apply to the Keck Science Department for summer research opportunities in faculty labs (contact Velda Yount,, not to the SRP.

Supervised Student Research: Independent Project

Students are invited to design a research project of their own and seek out a willing summer faculty advisor. In doing so, students are required to secure an advisor’s approval of the project and agreement on the work expectations and outcomes (e.g., check-ins, lab reports, research paper/poster) before submitting the application.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. William Lincoln (Economics)

This project will explore the process of lobbying the federal government by firms. We will work with data on firms’ lobbying expenditures as well as other aspects of their operations to better understand their incentives to engage in this behavior. The project will potentially include reviewing the literature on lobbying as well as related literatures, constructing links between different data sets, and doing empirical analysis. Of particular interest will be differences in which types of firms lobby, which don’t, and what the consequences of this are.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Jessamyn Schaller (Economics)

This summer research opportunity is full-time work for 8 weeks (May 24 – July 16) on an independently designed research project focused on economics. Specifically, Professor Schaller supports projects focused on:

  • Labor Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy

If interested, contact Dr. Jessamyn Schaller ( Advisor must approve of the application, including the work expectations and outcomes (e.g., check-ins, lab reports, research paper/poster), before submission.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Mark Huber (Mathematics)

Project Title: Testing Acceptance Rejection Stitching for point processes

Project Description: Point processes are often used to model spatial data in statistics. Acceptance Rejection Stitching is a new method for drawing samples from these models in order to undertake inference of parameters. In this project students will implement in R simulations from these models, with a goal of seeing how efficient the algorithms can be.

Advisor must approve of the application, including the work expectations and outcomes (e.g., check-ins, lab reports, research paper/poster), before submission.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. William Ascher (Government & Economics)

The fate of ethnic minorities in remote and typically economically-backward regions in Southeast Asia are typically beset by severe, inter-connected challenges. Government leaders of these economically-backward areas are often eager to exploit the natural-resource base, with the triple risks for the ethnic minorities of 1) government appropriation of the minorities’ natural-resource user rights; 2) unsustainable resource practices cutting off the long-term opportunities for economic growth for all in the area; and 3) stress and conflict over goods and services as migrants enter the areas; 4) displacement of the ethnic minorities; 5) erosion of the minorities cultures in the face of all of the above factors.

The most consequential cases are the “Dayaks” of Malaysia’s Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak and Indonesia’s Bornean provinces of East, West, Central, North, and South Kalimantan; the “Upland Khmer” of Cambodia’s northeast provinces; the multiple ethnic groups in Myanmar; and the Karen and other minorities of Thailand’s North.  However, the experiences of other ethnic minorities in the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam would contribute enough cases to enhance the possibility of finding positive experiences.

The following questions are to be addressed:

1)    What patterns have resulted in the problems faced by many of the ethnic minorities?

2)    What natural-resource impacts have been problematic (e.g., deforestation; oil-palm plantation encroachment; mangrove destruction)?

3)    Have any of the governments adopted more enlightened policies in terms of sustainability of development, supportive interactions with the ethnic minorities, and greater overall equality across regions?

It would be feasible to have two CMC students conducting the research: writing synopses of articles, gathering statistics, and writing vignettes about the experiences of minorities.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Heather Ferguson (History)

Professor Heather Ferguson is offering research opportunities to explore how historical developments in AfroEurasia have shaped contemporary ideas about race and colorism for self-identified Muslims. This project addresses how the emergence of Islam in the seventh-century Arabian Peninsula re-defined racial, social, and economic hierarchies and generated a new Qur’anic discourse of race and identity. Students will assess how interpretations of this Qur’anic discourse within distinct political contexts led to vernacular expressions of meaning and agency across diverse geographies and historical periods. Possible areas of research focus include: the evolution of slavery within and beyond Muslim polities of the 9th to the 18th centuries; the tropes of “blackness” and “whiteness” in literary genres; Muslim reform movements in imperial and neo-imperial contexts; reclamation projects that adopt Islam as a discourse of empowerment (some examples: Haiti, the United States, France); resistance movements to the exclusionary projects of nation-state building; definitions of citizenship; and the intersection between race and religion within womanism and feminist movements.

If interested, contact Prof. Heather Ferguson,

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Andrew Sinclair (Government)

Andrew Sinclair (Government) is interested in offering a summer research opportunity in electoral institutions and administrative reforms. This project will involve historical and contemporary research in state and local politics and administration. Applying students should have an interest in the use of quantitative methods for studying social science problems, although prior experience is not required and students from any major or program of study at CMC are welcome to apply. Project length is 8 weeks. For further information, contact

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Caitlyn Gumaer (Psychology)

Project Title: Assessing the Effectiveness of Telehealth Programming for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Project Description: Due to COVID19, the Claremont Autism Center (CAC) has offered a myriad of telehealth programs to youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families for the 2020-2021 school year and will continue to do so into June 2021. The CAC offers programming for children and adolescents (4.5 to 19 years of age) and their families, including sibling support programs and parent symposia covering relevant topics and areas of concern. This research aimed at assessing the effectiveness of social skills programming, Acceptance-and-Commitment Therapy (ACT), and other programs being offered.

Qualifications: Priority will be given to students who have completed a semester (i.e., PSYC 119, PSYC 120) at the Claremont Autism Center. If interested, please contact Prof. Gumaer (

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Alison Harris (Psychology)

Project Title: Individual differences in EEG correlates of body movement perception

Project Description: From jumping jacks to jumping for joy, the “body language” of human movement provides important information about the intentions and emotions of others. Growing evidence suggests that we understand others’ mental states by internally recreating, or simulating, their external actions. This process may be altered in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental condition associated with social perception impairments, as well as varying across the neurotypical population. This research involves the analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) data examining brain activity associated with action simulation during observation of emotional body movements. You should be detail-oriented, able to work independently, and comfortable with computers. Experience with Matlab and/or EEG data analysis preferred.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Stacey Doan (Psychology)

Project Title: Effects of the Pandemic on Biological and Psychological Well-Being

Project Description: The current National Science Foundation funded research looks at a sample of families over time, from before the pandemic and during the pandemic at multiple time points. A multitude of risk and resilience factors were assessed. Survey, biological and qualitative data were collected. The study focuses on examining variables that predict changes in mental health including depression and anxiety as well as potential factors that may exacerbate or mitigate these changes.  We look for students that are detail-oriented, have lab experience, and have demonstrated interest in social science research. Students who participate in the lab during the summer may also be able to use the data for their future theses.

Supervised Student Research with Prof. Jennifer Feitosa (Psychology)

Research opportunities to study diversity and teamwork in the workplace through supervised research projects with Prof. Jenn Feitosa at the METRICS Lab. METRICS Lab stands for the Methodological Examination of Teams Research in Inter-Cultural Settings. This summer research opportunity is full-time work over 8 weeks (May 24-July 16, 2021) either on a current diverse teams research project with the METRICS Lab or an independently designed research project focused on diverse teams at work. We are looking for responsible, motivated, and hard-working individuals.

The METRICS Lab conducts research on diverse teams topics such as:

·         Developing a model of DEI for global organizations,

·         Training of diverse teams: A meta-analysis,

·         Bridging the gap between science and practice of diverse teams at work

·         Interventions to foster belonging while leveraging diversity

If interested, contact Dr. Jenn Feitosa ( Advisor must approve of the application, including the work expectations and outcomes (e.g., check-ins, lab reports, research paper/poster), before submission.