An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is tasked with protecting the rights and welfare of research participants. IRB’s ensure that your research project abides by ethical standards and will protect the wellbeing and confidentiality of your research subjects. Some sociological research does not require IRB approval for publication. However, given the sensitive nature of some observation and experimental settings, IRB approval is often required to publish your research.
While IRB approval is not required for fulfillment of undergraduate research projects, it is nonetheless worth considering, especially for students interested in pursuing publication of their projects in academic journals or students interested in applying to PhD programs.
Information about the IRB process at the University of Chicago can be found here. These training sessions can help you figure out whether IRB is required for the publication of your research project and clarify the application process.
The College offers a number of research and internship grants that can facilitate research, provide access to interesting research sites, and help make graduate school applications more competitive. For a listing of available opportunities please check here.
The PRISM research grants, which average $1500, are a particularly popular option for students conducting B.A. Thesis research. Students can apply for PRISM research grants in April of each year. Further information on PRISM grants can be found here.
The Chicago Journal of Sociology (CJS) is a student publication supported by the University Of Chicago Department of Sociology. Its mission is to showcase excellent undergraduate work in the social sciences, while giving student editors experience turning coursework into publishable academic articles.
CJS looks for papers that offer well formulated arguments about topics of sociological interest. It values clear, straightforward prose, careful citation, and a wide range of methodological approaches. For more information, please visit the journal's website here.
BA Thesis Award
For research toward the B.A. Thesis, students can apply for departmental recognition of highly qualified work. Theses are judged by a committee of sociology faculty and graduate students during the Spring Quarter. The top submissions are invited to present their work at the annual Sociology BA Mini-Conference (held in the Spring Quarter), at which the top paper is announced and awarded a prize. In previous years, honorable mention designations have also been given to works of exceptional merit.