Undergraduate Research Assistant Program

What is the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program?
The Undergraduate Research Assistant Program fulfills purposes related to Pro Futuris and Illuminate. It simultaneously provides support for research productive faculty and provides undergraduate students the opportunity to learn and be mentored as they assist professors with their research efforts.
Who is eligible to apply for an Undergraduate Research Position?
Research assistants must be students in good standing within an Honors College program who can commit 5-15 hours per week to a research project. Once research projects are approved through the Dean's Office, positions will be posted through student employment. Applicants are required to submit a brief cover letter, resume, and references.
Application Procedures for Faculty

Faculty seeking an Undergraduate Research Assistant for a research project should download and complete the application attached here. On the application, you will need to provide your project title, a brief description of the project, the type of research assistance needed, prospective research assistants (if known), and signature support of chair. Completed applications will need to be returned to the Dean's Office for final approval. First consideration will be given to faculty holding regular full-time appointments within the Honors College, but applications from any Baylor faculty member will be considered. 

Available Undergraduate Research Assistantships

Dr. Elizabeth Corey | Research Project Title: Research on Liberal Education | Hired: Christopher Thompson 

  • Project Description: Reading, discussing, and writing on the topic, "What is Liberal Education?" to contribute to Dr. Corey's book about Oakeshott and liberal education. 

Dr. Victor Hinojosa | Research Project Title: Romero and the New Migration | Hired: Elizabeth Lemann

  • Project Description: Since 2014, more than one million children and families have sought asylum in the United States from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. This migration differs from the kind of migration typically seen along the southern U.S. border (where for most of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century the typical migrant was the single, adult, male, traveling alone, for economic reasons) as well as from the traditional migratory patterns in Central America (which have been within country and within the region) as more Central Americans now see Mexico and the United States as their preferred destination. We draw upon the life and thought of martyred El Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero to argue that this new migration-driven by the ordinary violence of landlessness, along with urban and rural poverty; by the rise of gang, social, and gender-based violence; and by the pressures, climate change puts upon smallholder farming - should be seen in relationship to older forms of violence and migration patterns.

Dr. Kelly Jo Hollingsworth | Research Project Title: Pre-Service Music Educators' Perceptions of Adaptive Materials in the Elementary Music Classroom | Hired: Kaylee Smith

  • Project Description: The purpose of this study is to inform pre-service music educators of adaptive materials and tools used for students with disabilities in the elementary music classroom. Participants (N=130) will be music education majors attending a required music education convocation early in the fall semester. Using 
    a pre-post survey, the study assesses changes in pre-service educators' knowledge and attitudes toward using adaptive tools in their classes. Assessments, which will be online surveys, will be administered before and after a demonstration and hands-on exploration of materials, which will allow educators to visualize using these items practically in their classrooms. Results will be analyzed using a matched pairs I-test. This study will be presented at the research poster session at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) annual conference in mid-February and an article will be submitted to the Texas Music Education Research journal. 

Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray | Research Project Title: The Lost Book  | Hired: Harper Leigh

  • Project Description: Development work on a 60-90 minute documentary called "The Lost Book: Wisdom from Medieval Europe" (working title}. Shot in high definition and intended for distribution via PBS (in association with the BBC and Canal+), this documentary deep-dives into the world and culture of medieval France and Europe through the lens of the Old French Ovide moralise (Moralized Ovid) one of the most ambitious cultural translation projects ever undertaken. We will show that the Ovide moralise, composed in verse at the dawn of the fourteenth century, is the Divine Comedy of France. In 2020, the team led by Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray with the assistance of Dr. Matthieu Boyd, and with support from an NEH translation grant, completed the translation of the entire 15 books {over 2000 pages in the critical edition), and has been accepted for publication by Boydell & Brewer (in press). By unlocking the treasures of the text, a whole world of opportunities emerges for navigating and understanding the complex renaissance of learning, art, and culture that took place in fourteenth-century Europe. Thematically, we will trace the development of Ovid's mythology in Classical Rome, and its dissemination across Europe after Rome's fall, from the monastic strongholds of Ireland to the cloisters of Carolingian and later twelfth-century France: through the cathedral schools, into the halls of the first universities; and back to Italy with the Renaissance of art and culture in 15th-century Florence and Rome. During development, we will follow film-industry standard protocols for developing such a high-quality film for worldwide release. 

Dr. Melinda Nielsen | Research Project Title: Translating Prosper's Liber Epigrammatum: a study in St. Augustine's earliest interpreter

  • Project Description: The project will be producing the first-ever English translation of Prosper of Aquitaine's Liber Epigrammatum. Prosper, a married layman and correspondent of Augustine, selected sayings from Augustine's writings and wrote brief poems about them, translating Augustine's ideas into verse form. Prosper intended the collection to be an authoritative, easy to read-and-recall guide to Augustine's thought. The work became a mainstay of medieval education alongside texts like Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy and Isidore of Seville's Etymologies. The epigrams, though little known and studied today, were widely read throughout the Middle Ages, in the debates of the Reformation over the nature of predestination and grace, and again in the controversies over the teachings of Port Royal. The Liber Epigrammatum or Book of Epigrams thus became the first distillation of Augustine of Hippo's vast body of writing, shaping Augustine's interpretation for the next millennium. Despite the text's inherent interest and great historical importance for the fields of theology and education, until now there has been no translation of the work. The project makes Prosper's Liber Epigrammatum readily accessible to scholars and students today by publishing a Latin-English facing text together (under contract, Catholic University of America Press) 
  • Apply here to assist Dr. Nielsen.

Dr. Matthew Whelan | Research Project Titles: Agroecology and Christianity & The Christian Right in Latin America | Hired: Mike Ortiz and Kylie Vernon

  • Project Description: Christianity and Agroecology is a book project examining convergences between agroecology's understanding of agricultural resilience and Christian conceptions of natural law, bringing a largely ignored science (agronomy) into conversations surrounding theology and science. The book is currently under contract with Cambridge University Press. 
  • Project Description: This November, Dr. Whelan will apply for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connections Grant in order to study the Christian Right in Latin America from the Cold War to the present. 
  • Apply here to assist Dr. Whelan.