Over the past semester, I have been working with Dr. Chen in my own independent research regarding indigenous rights after being in a class of hers last year. The current project that I am involved with as Research Assistant for Dr. Chen relates to the portrayal of human rights by a range of different news media sources. Additionally, I am working with Dr. Chen on a research project about the relationship between wellbeing and activism.
As a fairly new research assistant, I have been working on particular trainings related to the research methods utilized in the study. Currently, for the first project I am reviewing the collected data of newspaper articles before it is coded or analyzed. For the other project, I have been emailing and communicating with individuals that have connections to people who might be interested in participating in the study through the interview process.
Although I have not spent much time yet as this position of a Research Assistant, the work that I have done so far has revealed to me firsthand the extensive amount of time and information needed in certain kinds of studies such as content analysis. Because this is my first formal research project that I have been involved with, the experience has put a new scale to the meaning of what a formal research project of this kind looks like, and the different components needed to fulfill it. Understanding more in depth the process of research itself is important to my long-term goals because I need to know the intricacies of the research process in order to be able to conduct my own research in the future. Research in the realm of human rights and media, and even the connection to activism and wellbeing, are both of interest to me and function within types of research used in my own field, so this is a very informative and useful experience.