The Social JUSTICE Research Lab is affiliated with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the College of Social Work.


To Prepare Women Students to be Social Change Agents Through the Development of Research and Presentation Skills


  • “Pursuing justice is just as urgent of a matter as saving a drowning woman—both require immediate attention.” Dr. Jacquelyn C.A. Meshelemiah, Director, The Social JUSTICE Research Lab

    To mentor women students through the research process on projects focused on women, race/ethnicity and other forms of marginalized diversity; human rights; and equity or inclusion in the context of social justice
  • To provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaboration
  • To offer basic hands-on research experiences
  • To provide opportunities for formal presentations in professional settings


Must be an OSU student (undergraduate,  graduate/ or professional); identify as a woman (especially a woman of color); committed to the highest degree of research integrity; operate as a team player; can meet demanding timelines; and will bring passion to the laboratory.


The Social JUSTICE Research Laboratory (SJRL) is intended to prepare women students to be critical thinkers, researchers, presenters, leaders and social change agents.  All projects in this lab will have a focus on women, race/ethnicity and other forms of marginalized diversity; human rights; and equity or inclusion in the context of social justice.

The SJRL is intended for undergraduate, graduate and professional level student researchers.  Undergraduate research is one of several commonly recognized high impact practices (Kuh & O’Donnell, 2013). High impact practices have been shown to increase: deep learning, personal gains, GPA’s, positive views about one’s learning, and first to second year retention (Finley & McNair, 2013).  According to Easley (2017), undergraduate research helps the student to:

  1. explore career directions;
  2. develop transferable skills;
  3. build the resume;
  4. learn to advocate for and defend one’s work;
  5. prepare for graduate and professional school; and
  6. impact the world through her or his knowledge.

According to Schmidt et al. (2012), research at the graduate level is shown to 1) build community; 2) encourage interdisciplinary training; and 3) introduce students to varied methodologies.  Graduate students at both the master’s and doctoral levels as well as professional students are appropriate for the SJRL.

According to Thelwall (2018), “…female-authored research is more downloaded more in many, but not all, countries, suggesting that female-authored research might tend to have a wider audience, although the nature of the additional audience is unknown” (para. 2). This assertion points to the importance of research by women.  The capacity to reach wider audiences may lead to making a difference. This research laboratory is intended for students who have an interest in participating in research and scholarly activities related to the pursuit of justice.

Welcome Video:  Social Justice Research Laboratory

Dr. Jacquelyn C. A. Meshelemiah, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
at The Ohio State University

Intended Outcomes and How They Will Be Achieved

The student will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Collaborations with research partners internal to the student’s discipline
    Students will be matched with higher ranked students, staff and faculty in their discipline (when possible).
  • Collaborations with research partners external to their discipline (Interdisciplinary)
    Students will be matched with higher ranked students, staff and faculty across disciplines.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic research
    Students will be assigned tasks related to completing IRB protocol and literature reviews; conducting quantitative/qualitative/mix methods research; developing Qualtrics surveys and interview guides; conducting focus groups and face to face interviews; completing data entry; and conducting data analyses.
  • Involvement in research that is specific to topics on women, race/ethnicity and other forms of marginalized diversity; human rights; or equity or inclusion in the context of social justice
    Central areas will include marginalization of women of color; gender stratification; racism; women as leaders; strategic decision-making as leaders; diversity, equity & inclusion; women as social change agents; impoverished women;  human trafficking, and human rights.
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals
    Students will serve as co-authors on all papers that they contribute to in meaningful ways as articulated in the SJRL manual.
  • Presentations at professional conferences
    All co-authored papers will result in abstracts being submitted to professional conferences. Pending funding, students will co-present in an effort to strengthen communications. Good leaders are good communicators (Luthra & Dahiya, 2015). Presenting will sharpen these skills.
  • Creation of policy briefs
    Students will work with researchers to co-author policy briefs.
  • Secure additional funding to sustain Lab’s work
    Students will assist PIs in completing grant proposals so that conference fees, travel expenses and hotels are covered.

Course Credits:  Individual Studies (1-3 Credit Hours)

Although not required, students are encouraged to enroll in 1-3 credit bearing hours of Individual Studies for each semester that they are involved in the SJRL.


Easley, J.A. (2017). 5 Reasons why undergraduates should do research. Retrieved from

Finley, A. & McNair, T. (2013). Assessing underserved students’ engagement in high-impact practices. Washington DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Kuh, G. & O’Donnell, K. (2013). Ensuring quality & taking high-impact practices to scale. Washington DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Luthra, A., & Dahiya, R. (July – Sept 2015). About Communicating Effectively: Connecting Leadership and Communication. International Journal of Management & Business Studies, 5(3), 43-48.

Schmidt, A.H., Robbins, A.S.T., Combs, J.K., Freeburg, A., Jesperson, R.G., Rogers, H.S., Sheldon, K.S., & Wheat, E. (2012). A new model for training graduate students to conduct interdisciplinary, interorganizational, and international research. BioScience, 62(3), 296-304.

Thelwall, M., 2018. Does female-authored research have more educational impact than male-authored research? Evidence from Mendeley. Journal of Altmetrics, 1(1), p.3. DOI: