Hello Grad Students,

A Research Assistantship is available starting August 15 to be filled as soon as possible (50% PhD preferred, but MA candidates will be considered). The project will help us better understand young adults’ perceptions of East Asians and mechanisms for improving cultural awareness, competency, and inclusivity. See below for project summary.

The project is part of the University of Illinois Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program and is joint collaboration with the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (Investigator: Dr. Angie Lyons) and the Department of Sociology (Investigator: Dr. Tim Liao). Ideally, the appointment will be renewed for Spring and Summer conditional upon a good match.

This is an applied socioeconomic and demography study that will involve original survey design and primary data collection. Programming skills in STATA and/or R are required. Some experience in collecting primary survey and focus group data is preferred, but not required. Primary duties will include, but are not limited to: survey design; quantitative and qualitative data collection; organizing and analyzing data; collaborating with research team in preparing publications; presenting findings in publications; preparing external funding proposals; other core research activities related to the project.

Interested candidates may submit inquiries and a resume/CV to Dr. Angie Lyons ( Interviews will begin immediately until the position is filled.


Dr. Angela Lyons
Associate Professor

Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Director, U of I Center for Economic and Financial Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics


Project Title: Understanding young adults’ perceptions of East Asians and mechanisms for improving cultural awareness, competency, and inclusivity

Project Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront anti-Asian biases and racism that previously had been sporadic and overlooked, especially towards those of East Asian descent. The negative effects of racism and discrimination can be particularly harmful to young adults who are at a critical stage of development. The extent to which these biases may be impacting them is still not well understood. This project aims to deepen our understanding of the experiences of young adults of East Asian descent and the impacts that their peers’ cultural (mis)perceptions may be having on their identity formation, social networks, relationships, mental health, etc. To our knowledge, this project will be among the first studies within the state and the nation to measure cultural awareness, competency, and inclusivity of East Asians among local young adults. This project will focus on the Champaign-Urbana community, with the intent to replicate and scale the project to other communities and states in the future. The results from this project will inform recommendations and best practices that will improve cultural awareness, competency, and inclusivity of East Asia in our schools and community, and reduce anti-Asian biases, stereotypes, and misperceptions.