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Graduate Student Summer Research

Submitted by Natalie Mc Martinez on September 8, 2021 - 10:34am

Summers can be difficult financially, especially for graduate students with 9-month funding. Some make it through the summer without support, while others seek temporary employment opportunities off-campus.  This past year, the department was able to help its students by creating research opportunities with its faculty. We invited faculty to submit requests for summer research assistance and then paired them with graduate students based on shared interests or research skills. This enabled the department to advance faculty research while helping to address a critical funding gap and therefore enabling more graduate students to focus on developing their research skills over the summer.  

Brian Huang

One such student has been Brian Huang. When asked about his experience, he reports, "This summer I worked with Jamie Mayerfeld doing a deep dive into libertarian thought as background for a planned section of his manuscript. We did a close read of Nozick, Hayek, Rothbard, and some contemporaries and discussed the political upshots of their thought in relation to morality, justice, climate change, etc. It was an invaluable experience for me as a junior scholar to peek behind the curtain of professional academic work and be a part of the sausage-making process!"

These research opportunities were funded by the recent shift in financial responsibility for summer courses. The department is now responsible for summer courses rather than the College of Arts and Sciences resulting in a windfall for Political Science because our classes attracted more students than it cost to staff them. We hope that this new revenue stream will enable us to support graduate students and faculty in the years ahead.