Join the Lab

The mission of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Lab is to strengthen the role of mission driven organizations in society. We apply qualitative methodologies to assess crises facing the sector and to make sense of societal perceptions of voluntary action.

The Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (NOVA) Research Lab accepts students into most research projects. Research assistants are asked to participate in all aspects of the working of the research group and also are given the opportunity to work on an individual project under the mentorship of Dr. Wiley. NOVA Research Lab also occasionally has job openings for research assistants.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

NOVA Research Lab welcomes students at all disciplines, though preference is given to FYCS majors and nonprofit minors. Opportunities for students vary depending on level of experience, interest, and availability, but can range from working on a small project during a summer vacation to developing an independent project to working on a multi-semester grant-funded research project.

Undergraduate RAs are involved in many ways on research projects, including but not limited to: literature searches, data entry and management, participant recruitment, data collection (conducting interviews, collecting social media posts) and manuscript/poster preparation. Attendance at weekly lab meetings is required. All volunteer RAs are expected to commit to at least 4 hours a week. All paid RAs are expected to commit to at least 10 hours a week.

To apply, please complete and submit the online application. Positions are competitive - we generally take students with a strong academic record, but no previous research experience is necessary. First and second-year students are encouraged to apply; previous coursework is not expected at this stage but should be taken as soon as possible. Upper-level students should have completed 1-2 nonprofit courses and research methods prior to working in the lab.

Prospective Graduate Students

As a mentor, I aim to support and guide a graduate student mentees towards their self-defined career goals. Mentees are research collaborators supporting lab research agenda and building their own research program. The mentoring relationship is built within a learning community of peers and multilevel mentoring. I promote accountability between myself and mentees through formal and informal communication channels and regular individual and lab meetings. I prioritize four areas of mentorship: (1) setting and fulfilling goals, (2) supporting professional development, (3) collaborating in research, and (4) promoting work-life balance. My work focuses broadly on the role of nonprofits in society while employing innovative qualitative methods and aim to work with graduate students with similar interests. Take a look at the current lab projects to get an idea of the types of projects we manage in our lab.

I am not accepting a primary Ph.D. or MS student for Academic Year 2021-22. To find out more about UF’s FYCS graduate program, please check out the FYCS Graduate Program webpage. FYCS offers a fully funded (tuition paid) four-year PhD program, including a graduate stipend for cost-of-living. To inquire about a graduate assistantship in the lab, complete and submit the online application.