Paid Undergraduate Research Opportunity: Deadline May 18

Are you a currently enrolled UH Manoa undergraduate student with intermediate or advanced Japanese language skills? Want to earn money while learning about the social science research process and statistical analysis? Apply by Monday, May 18 to work with Professor Kristi Govella of the Asian Studies Program on a mentored research project this summer.

This work for this research position can be done from anywhere—all activities are online. No previous research experience or statistical training is required. Students from all majors are welcome to apply.

The student will work collaboratively with Professor Govella to examine foreign firms in Japan, and the undergraduate will also have an opportunity to shape his or her own independent project. The student will meet with the professor on a regular basis to discuss progress and get feedback. This is an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience with social science research and build skills for graduate school or future employment. Through this project, the student will learn how to code quantitative data, formulate a research question, and conduct a descriptive statistical analysis of the data they have coded.

Position pays $11.65/hour up to a maximum of $2,330 total for the summer. Dates and schedule are negotiable.

In order to be eligible for this opportunity, you must…

  • Be a current undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (not graduating before the end of Summer 2020)
  • Have access to a computer and the Internet
  • Possess research competency in English
  • Possess intermediate to advanced Japanese language skills
  • Not be concurrently funded with UROP Project Funding in Summer 2020

Application Instructions: Access the official job listing at this link (or search for Job Number 253776 on the SECE job listings website) and submit a cover letter, resume, and transcript through the SECE system. The cover letter should include a description of how well you meet the required qualifications, including a description of your Japanese language training/ability.

If you have any questions, contact Professor Kristi Govella at

A description of the project is below:

Although many countries have opened their markets to foreign firms, there is significant variation in how these firms behave once they enter a host country. Why do multinational firms abroad push for market liberalization in some cases but condone protectionism in others? Japan provides a fruitful context in which to examine these firms because its market was remarkably closed until a relative boom in inward foreign direct investment in the 1990s and 2000s. Therefore, analyzing the ways in which the presence and behavior of foreign firms changed over this time period can illuminate the ways that specific trade policies influenced firms and vice versa. The undergraduate student working on this project will collaborate with a professor to code quantitative data from Japanese-language books that provide a wealth of information on the presence and characteristics of foreign firms in Japan, and their data will be combined with other data describing these firms’ political activity to create a new dataset that will generate new insights on the changing landscape of trade politics in Japan. The findings of the broader project will contribute to the existing scholarly literature by demonstrating how trade policy shapes firms’ behavior, interests, and corresponding political strategies in ways that influence the future trajectory of not only Japan but also the global political economy. This work will shed light on how globalization is reshaping the political arena in countries around the world.

This project is supported by a Faculty Mentoring Grant for Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Works, sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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