Student Research

At the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, you will have opportunities, even as undergraduates, to work side-by-side with some of the top minds in the social sciences and affiliated discplines. A good way to begin is to explore the resources and tips below, which will help align your passion with one of the many projects our faculty and graduate students lead.

We typically support about 30 graduate students through some type of research funding, and nearly 50 undergraduates are involved as volunteers, apprentices or paid student workers on research teams across the school.

Undergraduate students

  • Start early. It’s never too early to get involved in research on campus – even as a freshman. The earlier you start, the farther you can go. Some of our students are even co-authoring published articles with faculty members!
  • Find what interests you. Review our faculty and graduate student research projects and contact those whose work sounds intersting to you. Check out the calendar pages and attend brown bags and talks by ASU and visiting faculty. Read ASU News for stories about new and ongoing research projects on campus. Join the student association or national association for your field of interest and attend a conference. Often, associations such as the American Anthropological Association have special low rates for students.
  • Network early, network often. Contact faculty directly and explain what interested you about their project and that you are looking for opportunities to get involved. Get to know your professors, and help them get to know you. You will be glad you did when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation for graduate school, or an introduction to a potential mentor.
  • Talk to your academic success specialist. Let your academic success specialist know about your research interests and get personalized guidance and support. Also check out the School of Human Evolution and Social Change Undergraduate Blackboard for a list of opportunities on the Involvement page. Watch for e-mails from your advisor at the beginning of each semester, listing new research opportunities for students.
  • Get involved! See our student Involvement page for internships, practicums, study abroad, field schools and other activities that will enrich your experience and help build lifelong friendships and academic colleagues.


Graduate students

Our school is a highly productive research enterprise with more than $4M in annual research expenditures. Our faculty lead several National Science Foundation Coupled Natural and Human Systems grants, as well as many other interdisciplinary and disciplinary research grants. Our students are actively engaged in all of our research efforts and the resulting publications.

Our graduate students are also extremely successful in securing funding for their own dissertation research. Funding proposal support is integrated into the curriculum with a credit bearing proposal writing course that culminates in a fully developed proposal. Additional submission and award management support is provided by our Research Advancement and Financial Services teams.

Consult with your committee members and the graduate academic success specialist for support and guidance on achieving your specific research goals. Keep up-to-date on the latest opportunities for graduate research assistantships by regularly visiting the Graduate Student Blackboard.