CFA: Program Director, Advanced Empirical Research on Politics for Undergraduates Program

In the mail. Apologies for the formatting.


The Society for Political Methodology seeks applicants for the
position of Program Director of the Advanced Empirical Research on
Politics for Undergraduates Program (AERoPUP).

AERoPUP, which is based on the PRIMES-USA program at MIT
(, will match undergraduate
students majoring in political science, statistics, computer science,
economics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, African-American
studies, gender studies, and other disciplines with empirical research
projects and political science faculty advisors from other
universities. The students will conduct original research on their
assigned topics in conjunction with their faculty advisor. The goal is
for each student-faculty team to produce a publication-quality paper
within 12 months. The research projects will be proposed by the
faculty advisors.

A political science faculty member will serve as the AERoPUP Program
Director. This individual will be selected by the President of the
Society for Political Methodology in consultation with the Society’s
Executive Committee and Diversity Committee. The Program Director will
serve a two-year term renewable at the discretion of President and the
two consulting Committees. The Program Director will be charged with
soliciting (in broad, national solicitations, explicitly emphasizing
diversity in terms of gender, under-represented groups, topic, and
discipline) student participants and suitable faculty research
projects, selecting participants (both undergraduates and faculty
advisors), and mediating any conflicts that might arise. The Program
Director will receive $10,000 in yearly compensation for this work.

Excellent candidates for the Program Director position will be able to

— a strong record of mentoring undergraduate and graduate students
— a strong record of research productivity
— strong interpersonal skills
— a demonstrated interest in working across disciplinary boundaries
— administrative experience and strong organizational skills

The timeline of the program is as follows:

— Sep. – Oct. 2014: Solicitation Phase — The Program Director will
solicit research proposals from potential faculty advisors and
build awareness of the program with Directors of Undergraduate
Studies in relevant departments at target undergraduate
institutions. These target institutions will include historically
black colleges and universities, current and historically women’s
colleges and universities, and colleges and universities that tend
to serve economically disadvantaged students. The solicitations
will be widely and publicly disseminated.

— Nov. – early-Dec. 2014: Application Period — Undergraduate
students (typically sophomores & juniors) will apply to the
program. Women, under-represented minorities, and students with
economically disadvantaged backgrounds will be encouraged to apply.
There is no application fee & applications will be accepted from
undergraduates at any accredited U.S. college or university.

— mid-Dec. 2014: Admission Decisions — The Program Director will
select 5 undergraduate students to participate in the program. At
this point, these students will also be matched to an appropriate
faculty research project.

— Jan. 2015: Reading Period — Each faculty advisor will provide her
advisee with a list of background reading material that the advisee
should familiarize herself with. The faculty advisor will be
electronically available to help guide the student through the

— Feb. – mid-Jul. 2015: Active Research Period — The student will
discuss her work on the project with the faculty advisor via
electronic means twice a week for one hour. The student is expected
to spend at least 10 hours per week working on the project.

— end-Jul. 2015: Poster Presentation — The student will present the
initial research as part of the poster presentation at the Summer
Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. Depending on the
division of labor, the faculty advisor may be a co-author.

— Aug. to Dec. 2015: Additional Research & Writing — The student
will continue working on the project in consultation with the
faculty advisor. The student will discuss her work on the project
with the faculty advisor via electronic means at regular intervals
to be chosen by the student and advisor. At the end of this period
the student will have a completed manuscript that can be sent out
to a peer-reviewed journal. Students applying to graduate programs
could also use the manuscript as a writing sample for the
application packet.

Each student will receive modest travel funds to attend the Summer
PolMeth Meeting and to make one trip to their faculty advisor’s home
institution. Each student will also have access to $1,000 to cover
research expenses (data, software, etc.).

Applications for the Program Director position should be sent to Kevin
Quinn at and should include a current CV and a
brief (1-2 page) statement of interest. The Society for Political
Methodology will begin reviewing applications on August 1, 2014.
Applications received before that date will receive priority. We
anticipate that the Program Director’s term will begin on September 1,
2014, conditional on the availability of funds. Questions about the
Program Director position may be sent directly to Kevin Quinn at