The summer appears to be evaporating quickly. But you don’t need me to tell you that. By now I’m pretty sure you’ve caught yourself in a momentary chagrin-filled pause, a cognitive fugue, reflecting on how just yesterday the spring quarter ended and the long summer lay stretched out before you, peppered with opportunities for research productivity. How could the summer be half-gone, or half-remaining (depending on how you view things), when I’m just getting started on this project?
If you’re reading this newsletter, I’m going to hazard a guess that you generally feel as though you’ve got too much work to do and not enough time in which to do it. Perhaps you’ve even entertained sci-fi daydreams wherein you benefit from the installation of a second brain and/or the attachment of additional high-functioning limbs.
Although SSRC is a forward-thinking and fast-forward-operating outfit, we can’t help you make such futuristic notions come true. But we CAN help you in ways that you might not even be able to imagine. After all, it’s really hard to figure out how any given resource can be useful if you don’t know what that resource is capable of. For instance, did you know that we can help you train your graduate and undergraduate student researchers? In our “Tricks of the Trade” workshop series, we often concentrate our attention on teaching student research assistants how to conduct all sorts of methodological and analytical operations using qualitative, quantitative, pictorial, and videographic data. We also can train your RAs—in small groups and/or one-on-one consultations—in various techniques, including ethnographic interviewing, field surveys, systematic social observation, and just about any other data-gathering tool.
In this issue we’re publishing material that might be of great interest to your student RAs. SSRC’s mandate and mission dictate a principal focus on assisting faculty, and one of the ways we can do this is by helping faculty scholars train and otherwise support their research assistants. We know that in the absence of grant funding, it’s especially difficult to recruit, train, and supervise a student research assistant. Extramural support or no, we’re here to help you with this part of the research enterprise. Remember, your research is our business. So drop us a line or pay us a visit, and let’s figure out how to facilitate and optimize the working relationship between you and your student research assistant.
Greg Scott, PhD