What is Research?
Research is the collecting of information about a particular subject in order to carry out studious inquiry, examination or investigation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. All research begins with a large research question, which is then refined into a specific topic that can actually be examined, in order to produce a thesis (statement of point of view) that is supported by a structured argument and adequate evidence. Research varies in methodology, evidence and product depending on the discipline.
STSC and HSOC majors do research as assistants on large projects, within courses, and on independent
projects (including writing an honors thesis). Scroll down to "Student Research News" to see how student research can move beyond coursework.
Some major-based opportunities for doing research:
on undergraduate research awards and funding, go to
Penn Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF)
For information about human research participants (IRB approval) go to
Penn Office of Regulatory Affairs--Institutional Review Board
Opportunities to publish undergraduate research in the College
Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal)
Penn History Review (History Department)
In Situ (Anthropology Department)
The STSC UAB publishes an online journal, Momentum. It can be found on Open Scholar and on Scholarly Commons.
All types of work are eligible - not just strictly academic work - provided it is relevant to STSC. Examples include:
* Papers written for a course, independent study projects, theses
* Short critical pieces on contemporary issues (i.e. op ed pieces from an STSC perspective, commentary on current events)
* Reviews of books, movies, museum exhibitions, etc.
* Photographic projects, artistic or digital/multimedia work
Additional Roles: Interested in design, layout, formatting and/or editing? We’re looking for students to help with other aspects of putting together the journal besides writing.
Watch for a call for submissions in fall 2012.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any
questions or to find out more information.
Student Research News
HSOC major Maria Bellantoni '12 was invited to be part of two poster sessions at the 2012 American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting in Seattle presenting her research (from her senior honors thesis) on factors affecting age-of-entry into long-term care. One of these sessions is a special student session sponsored by the Hartford Foundation.
HSOC alum Brian Mertens '11 co-wrote an article with Dr. Susan Sorenson that was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. The paper was originally developed in the HSOC 471 Guns and Health class in Fall of 2010.
HSOC alum Lora Rosenblum '12 has a portion of her senior honors thesis on obesity and junk food published on Huffington Post