This panel discussion—featuring faculty and staff with experience engaging in and advising sensitive research—is aimed at graduate student researchers who are considering research topics that are politically charged, present unique risks to human subjects, and/or have potential to put researchers into conflict with state authorities. Topics of discussion may include: protection of vulnerable populations/subjects, mitigating risks on field sites, data security, privacy and confidentiality, and publication risks.


Benjamin Lessing, Associate Professor in Political Science, studies “criminal conflict”—organized violence involving armed groups that do not seek formal state power, such as drug cartels, prison gangs, and paramilitaries. His second book project explores the counterproductive effects of mass-incarceration policies, fostering the growth of powerful armed criminal groups at the core of the state’s coercive apparatus.

Kristen Schilt, Associate Professor in Sociology, studies sociology of gender and sexualities, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of work and occupations. A central focus of her work is finding new ways to make visible the taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about gender and sexuality that serve to naturalize and reproduce social inequality.

Dali L. Yang, William Claude Reavis Professor in Political Science, focuses on the politics of China’s development, governance, and global impact. Yang is currently at work finishing a book manuscript on China and COVID-19. His other research interests include China’s regulation, environmental governance, social and political trust, and state-society relations.

Cheryl M. Danton is the Managing Director of the Social & Behavioral Sciences IRB. The primary purpose of an IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research activities being conducted under its authority. The IRB offers guidance on research with vulnerable populations, federally protected data, international research, data security, privacy and confidentiality, and more.

Event Details

Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 2:00–3:00pm CST
Zoom Webinar
Open to graduate students, as well as interested faculty and staff