Soc 320 Research Opportunity, Fall 2021: University Recruitment of High School Students in Taiwan

Term: Fall 2021 (Soc 320, Section 281)
Status: Open
Contact: Please contact Mikki Liu with your resume and cover letter (see details below) to apply for this position. It is available for 1-3 credits.
Description: This research aims to provide an overview of how different universities recruit and select high schoolers. Focusing on administrative data consisting of 165 universities in Taiwan, the research asks two questions: first, how different types of merits are consolidated in admission criteria. Second, how different types of universities operate admissions policies to react to state intervention. The research will mainly focus on Taiwan’s higher education but will contribute to general discussions on meritocracy, fairness, and educational opportunities.
Duties: The undergraduate research assistant will contribute to this research project in several ways:

1. They will be provided a set of quantitative administrative data and assist in using descriptive statistics to analyze overall trends.
2. They will help to clean and reorganize administrative data, as well as visualize these numbers in a way that the general public audience can understand.
3. Based on researchers’ analytical themes, they will provide descriptive statistics based on highlighting themes.

The primary researcher will provide guidance on arguments, but the undergraduate research assistant needs to have basic skills in Stata (Skills in descriptive statistics, data cleaning, basic visualization should be sufficient).

Expectations for how quantity and quality of work will translate to time spent: The primary researcher will expect the RA to keep an updated work log of their time working on this project. They will meet weekly via Zoom and set goals for the administrative data analysis each week. The primary researcher will review the first or second data analysis and provide guidance for the following analysis. The primary researcher will also co-analyze and discuss with the RA if something inconsistent emerges. A potential co-author opportunity may be offered based on the performance of an undergrad assistant.

If the RA 1) maintains a work log throughout the entire semester, 2) demonstrates they are putting in the necessary hours each week and meeting the expected goals determined in weekly meetings, and 3) demonstrates a willingness to learn and engage in the data analytical process, then they will receive an A.

Readings: n/a.
Meetings: The Undergraduate Research Assistant will meet weekly with the primary researcher to discuss progress and go over any questions. The time and day of meetings will be determined in consultation with the RA during the first week of classes.
To Apply: To apply, please send the following to by September 30, 2021:
1) A resume
2) A cover letter (no more than 1-page) describing what software and statistic skills you have learned, why you would like to participate in this research practicum, and why you think you would be a good fit for this position as well as any relevant experiences you have in statistics.
* The ability to read Chinese will be a plus, given that some data descriptions are written in Chinese.

Preference will be given to applicants who have experience with quantitative skills or a demonstrated interest in higher education, inequality, and college admissions. You are encouraged to apply and ask questions.