Project SP16b: The State of Survey Research and Implications for Geography

Project SP16b: The State of Survey Research and Implications for Geography

Researcher: Nathan Frey

Position type: literature review, survey research

Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Application URL:

Position description

Surveys as conventionally used by social science researchers, including geographers, have been in decline for decades. Life continues to get more hectic, and as people are bombarded with ever-more requests to take surveys, they've simply stopped responding to them. This phenomenon, known as survey fatigue, has made it increasingly difficult for researchers in our field and others to conduct surveys that accurately portray the population of interest. Much has been written on this subject, but little to nothing to date has discussed what it means specifically for geographers. The student will help to conduct a literature review focusing on some combination of the following three subjects: 1) the most up-to-date research on the current state of surveys from across the social science and public opinion literature; 2) the ways in which surveys are used in contemporary geographic research; and 3) potential alternatives to surveys for answering similar questions.

Desired qualifications

The only required qualification for this work is that the applicant be a good writer with at least some experience in academic literature reviews. Interest in the topic would be a plus. I welcome applicants interested in registering for 1 to 3 credits -- even an organized annotated bibliography on only one of the topics would be helpful, and that might only take one credit's worth of work, but a thorough lit review with a complete write-up on all three topics might require 3+ credits. If the student's final write-up is sufficient and complete enough to use with minor editing in a future manuscript, they would be eligible for co-author status on any publication stemming from this project. If it is not, they would receive a minimum of an acknowledgment on any such publication. Candidates must be willing to contribute 40–120 total hours of work toward the project over the semester, resulting in 1–3 credit hours applied to the transcript. There is no monetary stipend attached to this assistantship, although the experiences gained in this work will be immediately valuable when applying for graduate school or full-time employment.

To apply

Prospective candidates should complete the application form at by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. Follow all instructions.