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A Vertically Integrated Project Approach to Ethnographic Methods Training


  • Shaozeng Zhang Oregon State University
  • Kellen Copeland
  • Bastian Thomsen
  • Michael Harte
  • Shelby Copeland
  • Dane Nickerson
  • Sam Fennell
  • Bryan Breidenbach
  • Kelly Faulkner
  • Chiayi Chen
  • Marshall Floyd
  • Liann Goldmann
  • Reilly Scheffing
  • Megan Mooney
  • Price Willoch
  • Matea Mihaljevic
  • Sommer Dallabona
  • Max Duggan
  • Amy Schneider
  • Mayley Taylor
  • Asier Hernandez-Saez
  • Laun Michael



The Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) model, developed in engineering, is a methodological approach that integrates undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty in projects for both research and student training. Recent applications of this model report that it could foster student-faculty collaboration, empower senior students to mentor juniors, transcend disciplinary silos that often hinder research, and promote diversity and inclusivity in higher education. Our cross-disciplinary experimentation with this model in ethnographic methods training demonstrates its value to facilitate or even institutionalize faculty-student collaborative research and mutual learning in social sciences. We also suggest transforming this model to be less hierarchical in collaboration, more mutually beneficial for all involved, and more sustainable for long-term projects.