Women together in India

Research can enhance local capacity to address community development issues.

In collaboration with our partner the School for International Training (SIT), we are pleased to introduce a new exciting opportunity for Occidental Richter scholars. Students will engage in community-based research, working alongside an SIT community partner organization on their research opportunities in locations TBD.

SIT is a leader in immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates. SIT is a private, non-profit, international organization that has provided programs for 50 years and currently offers more than 70 programs around the world. SIT's partnership will allow students to become deeply engaged in critical global issues while engaging in community-based research. The experience and expertise that SIT can offer in supporting students in independent research and fieldwork, as well as deep connections they have with community-based organizations in India and Jordan, will be a tremendous asset to students pursuing the community-based research track.

SIT places the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of all students. The Office of Student Health, Safety, and Well-Being provides leadership and vision in the areas of health services, crisis management, counseling, housing, safety and security, equity and diversity, community standards, and disability support.

Ready to apply? Jump to the application instructions.

While many partner organizations work on critical global issues, students can identify a particular area of interest in:

  • Climate & Environment
  • Development & Inequality
  • Education & Social Change
  • Geopolitics & Power
  • Global Health & Well-Being
  • Industry & Human Resilience
  • Peace & Justice

Potential projects coming soon...

At this time students are not selecting a specific partner organization to work with. Students are ONLY investigating the kinds of organizations they might be placed with based on their area of interest. Once a student is selected for the Richter, placement will be determined in conjunction with their background and the needs that have been identified within the selected critical global issue and location.

Once a student has identified an area of interest he or she should continue to the Application Process to learn more about what steps to take in order to be a successful Richter candidate.

  • Placement with partner organization
  • Workshops: Educational workshop on key sustainable community- based development topics and tools (participatory project design & management, community engagement, monitoring & evaluation, grant writing, lectures and field visits on key development issues)
  • Research project supervisor
  • On-site orientation
  • Cross-cultural integration and technical support
  • Health and safety support
  • Homestay (includes 3 meals a day)

A complete application consists of the following components:

  1. Personal Statement
  2. Literature Review
  3. Two Faculty Recommendations (one MUST be from your faculty supervisor)

The three-part statement of purpose is the most important part of the application. It is reviewed by the International Programs Committee and the Richter Community Engagement Advisory Board for clearly articulated:

  • research, academic and/or intellectual goals;
  • informed interest in the culture, REQUIRED: do some RESEARCH and CITE your sources.
  • understanding of community-based research versus other research approaches
  • preparation to face the cultural challenges in the community;
  • maturity, motivation, and flexibility.

REQUIRED: do some RESEARCH and CITE your sources.
Address each of the following parts in a double-spaced essay of no more than 300 words each.

Part 1 – Country and Culture
Why this particular country and culture? Why do you want to engage with people from India, or Jordan? What aspects of community development and foreign aid history in your country choice are of particular interest to you? What is your selected critical global issue? Expand on why it is important for you to engage in research on your selected critical global issue and country?

Part 2 – Research Track
In contrast to the other research tracks, which features of the community-based research track will advance your goals for research abroad? How? Which features create challenges and how will you meet those? What outcomes do you envision for your community partner organization? Describe any experience you have that is directly relevant to this program.

Part 3 – Growth and Development
How will research abroad contribute to your development (intellectual, cultural, career, or otherwise) or overall life plans? How will specifically community-based research contribute to your development? What do you plan to DO upon return to Oxy and beyond graduation with your degree . . . and how do you hope research abroad will help?

A literature review is an opportunity for you to explore your research idea. A literature review is a short paper that critically analyzes a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research. It offers an overview and assessment of the current state of knowledge on a topic and will help you insure that research on your topic has not already been done. Unlike an annotated bibliography, a literature review is presented as a structured critical paper rather than a listing and description of bibliographical works researched.

The literature review should cover the following areas:
1. Critical Global Issue—Select one critical global issue and how it is relevant in your country and site selection.

  • Climate & Environment
  • Development & Inequality
  • Education & Social Change
  • Geopolitics & Power
  • Global Health & Well-Being
  • Industry & Human Resilience
  • Peace & Justice

2. History of foreign aid in the country and site selection
3. Community-based development, approaches and tools
4. Community-based, participatory research methods

Tips for Doing Research

Additional information on the literature review

You will be required to submit two faculty recommendations. One of the recommendations MUST be from your supervisor. Oxy's on-line application system will assist you in requesting these and IPO will forward the forms for approved applicants to our partners—no need to fill out program-specific forms. Be SURE to discuss your proposal and/or send a copy of your essay questions to your recommender. They cannot complete the form unless they know your reasons for research abroad.

Community-Based Research Application

*Occidental prohibits travel to regions within countries with Department of State Travel Advisory ratings of 3 (reconsider travel) or 4 (do not travel). Additional policy and procedure applies.

Contact International Programs
McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson 102