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Place-Based Research

We know that many of you are facing academic challenges because of the move to physical distancing and online learning, compounded by the personal challenges we all are facing. “Place-Based Research” is designed to involve student researchers in projects that will document and collect data on local responses to the pandemic.

Several projects led by faculty mentors have been launched, such as collecting and analyzing political cartoons about the pandemic or tracking the response to crisis of communities previously awarded “healthiest” ratings in national surveys. We also encourage you to engage in some research thinking of your own and propose a project that can be done safely from where you are. What are you noticing that is new or of interest in your local community that may help us understand this pandemic and our individual or communal resilience after it’s over?

Please bear in mind that we will continue to recognize traditional pathways to completing the scholarly project—there is no need to pivot to Place-Based Research if your work can continue safely and on time. If you have questions about your scholarly project, or any other academic issue, please reach out to your Honors College advisor ASAP.

*Please note that the registration form is a SharePoint site, which works best with Firefox and BOILERAD\username (on Windows) or (on Mac) as your login.

 Frequently Asked Questions:

A: Yes, but at this point, we are reaching out only to students who matriculated in fall 2017-2018. We want to match those students closest to graduation with projects first. If spaces remain available, they will be offered to other HC students.
A: Here’s a wishy-washy answer: we hope so, but not immediately. We are creating a list of interested student researchers at the same time as we are recruiting projects. In the short term, we will likely work behind the scenes to match students with projects so that you can get started working ASAP. Our goal is to ensure that all our students get a good research or original creative experiences. Even if you work on a project not directly related to your major or future career plans, you will be honing skills that are transferable.
A: That is the plan, but again, we are building out the projects as we recruit students to the program. That said, we will keep recruiting projects for the project so long as students are looking for matches.
A: Not automatically. If you are planning to register for classes in the summer, consult with your Honors advisor about the possibility of course credit. If you are not planning to register for the summer, most projects can be completing during fall/spring 2020-2021, and you may enroll in independent research to complete analysis or conclude the creative work during the academic year.
A: All projects have the clear potential to fulfill the requirement. You will need to propose the project through our usual online portal, explaining your particular role in the project. To discuss your role, contact your Honors College advisor or contact Dr. Bross for an appointment by emailing her assistant (
A: We will begin matching students to projects ASAP, but we expect that more projects will come in over the summer and even into the fall.
A: We also encourage you to engage in some research thinking of your own and propose a project that can be done safely from where you are or once we return in the fall (if we are able to return). The form has a space for sharing your ideas. We will work with you to develop the idea into a true project proposal if we can.
A: There’s no need to register for P-BR if you have another project in the works or that you can launch that you can safely pursue on time to graduate. The regular proposal process is in place, and the next deadline is September 30. However, if you wish to be added to the P-BR email listserv so that you can learn about new opportunities and developments, email and ask to be included.