At the University of Chicago Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, we want students to have access to academic and cultural resources, but to also have opportunities independent of the classroom and student life. Thus, the following is a list of opportunities where students can go to search for funding, enrich their summers or find work after graduation.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Undergraduate Research Opportunity: Food Deserts

Graduate student in the sociology seeks motivated undergraduate research assistants. Work will involve preparing data on food deserts in major US cities for analysis. The project studies several aspects of Food Deserts.

So what are food desert?
  • Food Deserts are areas that lack access to healthy foods.
  • In 2007, food deserts rose to national attention as potential intermediary mechanisms that contribute to neighborhood-level inequalities in health.
  • Research suggests that poor neighborhoods and neighborhoods with a large proportion of minority residents are more likely to be food deserts.
  • The prevalence of food deserts may also explain why minorities, like African Americans and Latinos, suffer disproportionately from diet-related diseases, like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Research on food deserts thus constitutes a new and evolving area of research, with connections to sociology, economics, public health, public policy and urban planning; and with a clear connection to social justice.
What's in it for you?
  • I cannot offer monetary compensation for this work, but in exchange, you will have access to my data for your own research.
  • You could, for example, use this data for your BA paper.
  • And get guidance on how to craft your BA topic.
  • You would also get help in building your bibliography or literature review, and to finding funding to support your research.
  • This is a great opportunity for students considering interested in getting graduate-level research experience in an area that is applicable to both academic scholarship and public policy.

So are you fit for this?
The right undergraduate collaborator will
  • Have an interest in research in inequality
  • Be hardworking, thorough and have good attention to detail.
  • Having experience with ArcGIS is a plus, or willing to learn the skill sets needed.
  • Contact Anjie at
  • When you write, please describe why you are interested in this project, and what experience (courses, skills) you have that make you a good fit for collaboration.

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