The MIRI training program operates on a learning-by-doing philosophy. Our goal is to involve students at all levels of the research process – everything from helping to entering data to helping to design and test stronger social scientific theories.
In the first semester working in our program, students can expect to assist with many of the basic tasks that are critical to research success. Interns help with everything from content coding of response data, to assisting with construction of online questionnaires, to assisting experimenters as they deliver high-impact experimental manipulations in the laboratory. Over continued semesters, interns have opportunities to take on greater responsibility by assisting in the training and orientation of new members and, in some instances, pursuing directed research under the supervision of one or more faculty members. The research skills and experiences students acquire are valued by employers and graduate programs in the field of communication.
Regardless of seniority, all interns are expected to attend weekly research meetings with the faculty, graduate students, and other interns working with MIRI. In these meetings, we all come together to assist one another with ongoing research. We help one another ask better questions, employ more effective research methods, and draw more informed lessons from our research findings. In these meetings, everyone has a chance to contribute and it is the nature of our research focus that it is often the most junior members of our team (i.e., the interns) who have the most to contribute. It is a simple fact that younger generations know far more about new and emerging forms of media, and so you can bring your insights to this laboratory, helping us conduct more meaningful research.
Experiences helping to conduct research through MIRI can thus prove invaluable to Aggies interested in gaining admissions into graduate schools or in pursuing future careers in communication science.
Interns commit to 7 hours per week, plus 1 hour in a weekly group laboratory meeting. Hours are flexible and designed to work around all class and academic commitments.
In their first semester, most interns are enrolled in Comm 491 (Research), although students may request course credit in other departments from participating faculty (e.g., Psch 491). After two semesters of satisfactory participation and with a letter of approval from the head of the intern’s department, those interested can enroll in Independent Honors Studies (e.g., Comm 497) and pursue honor’s research, supervised by one or more MIRI faculty.