UMass Boston

Student Research Opportunities

About the Center for Social Development and Education

For over 40 years, the goal of the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) has been to enhance the overall quality of life of children who are at risk for adverse outcomes due to environmental, behavioral, or genetic factors. Unique to CSDE's mission is the value it places on the social development of children and adolescents who have learning or behavioral problems, and on fostering relationships with families and schools to ensure the development of a socially competent and well-adjusted student. As a result of the many accomplishments of its multidisciplinary staff, CSDE is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally (in 28 countries) as one of few institutes that addresses the social aspects of students in education. As a multifaceted institute, CSDE is also recognized for its success in creating a nexus between research and practice. CSDE's research findings have guided the development of evidence-based instructional curricula and professional development programs.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

  • Psychology Students
  • Sociology Students

Graduate Research Opportunities

The Graduate Assistant (GA) for the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) will provide research support for exciting and dynamic research and program evaluation related to youth with disabilities. The GA will work with a team of researchers on projects focusing on peer social relationships, attitudes, and social inclusion of students with disabilities in schools. Under the supervision of the Director of Program Evaluation, and as part of the research team, the GA will assist in study design and data collection for one or more research projects. The GA will also be expected to help prepare written reports, conference presentations, and journal articles summarizing study findings.

Example of responsibilities

• Assist Research Assistants, Project Coordinator, and Director of Program Evaluation with the daily operations of one or more research objectives on a large, multi-objective research study;
• Conduct literature searches to help guide the development of hypotheses and study variables;
• Assist with developing research protocols and methodologies for data collection, in collaboration with other members of the research team;
• Assist with data collection occurring multiple levels (e.g., individual students in a school or school staff from multiple schools)
• Assist with IRB requirements such as consent forms and IRB paperwork for continuing reviews and modifications
• Assist with qualitative and/or quantitative data management, such as entering and coding survey data and coding and analyzing interview transcripts;
• In collaboration with Director of Program Evaluation, write up study findings and collaborate on written products for a variety of venues, including articles for journal publications, conferences, and national organizations;
• Collaborate in making presentations at meetings, conferences, and webinars;
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Demonstrated competency working independently and as a member of a team;
• Excellent writing skills and familiarity with writing styles common for educators and policymakers as target audiences;
• Strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills;
• Strong attention to detail and initiative;
• Familiarity with and experience synthesizing literature from scientific journals
• Basic knowledge of SPSS and experience carrying out simple statistics.
• Experience working in schools and/or classrooms.

Center for Social Development and Education

10th Floor, Healey Library,
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125 USA