Summer Institute in Social Research Methods: Research Assistant Program

Program Description: University of Chicago undergraduates enrolled in the annual Summer Institute in Social Research Methods (SISRM) are eligible to participate in the Research Assistant grant program intended to reinforce and extend new research method skills through a mentored research experience working on a faculty research project during summer (beginning immediately following the Summer Institute course). Awardees will work as part-time Research Assistants on an ongoing research project of a Social Sciences faculty member. All course-participants, including Research Assistants are required to attend the non-credit Workshop on the Practice of Social Scientific Research (daily 12:00-1:30p). 

Program Expectations: Upon successful completion of the course-based portion of the Summer Institute in Social Research Methods, students are expected to engage in on-campus research with a Social Sciences faculty members. Specific responsibilities, working hours, and expectations will be established by the faculty research mentor.  


  • Must be a University of Chicago College students enrolled in at least one course during the Summer Institute in Social Research Methods
  • In good-standing with the University
  • Open to all-years and disciplines, except 4th year students (graduates are not eligible for the RA program)
  • International students are eligible
  • Strong academic record (no minimum GPA)

Additional expectations: SISSRM Research Assistants will be expected to participate in the 2020 University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Symposium, showcasing their summer research in either an oral or poster presentation. If unable to present in this event because of schedule conflicts, RAs will be asked to identify an alternative public forum to share their research. 


  • $4,000 summer research grant
  • Collegial community of summer undergraduate researchers and the opportunity to learn about best practices and ethics in research, as well as presentation and additional funding opportunities, national research fellowships and preparing for graduate school through the weekly non-credit Workshop on the Practice of Social Scientific Research
  • Upon completion of the summer course(s) and Research Assistantship, awardees will also be eligible to apply for a Research Scholars grant to continue in a faculty-mentored research project during the academic year.

Additional benefits: RAs will benefit from the ongoing support of the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) and will be eligible for support through the Dean’s Fund for Undergraduate Research to present their work at a domestic or international research symsposium/conference. CCRF staff will be available to support students in presenting their work and applying for additional funding as relevant.

Application deadline: February 14, 2020

Application process: Candidates will submit their complete application materials online by the stated campus deadline. The application includes uploading a single pdf file that includes all of the following: 

  • A 350--word motivation statement describing your interest in pursuing a research experience with a Social Sciences faculty mentor, including what experiences and background (in addition to the course-based training) you will bring to the experience
  • Indicate which Summer Institute course(s) you intend to enroll in
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) - 2-3 pages is acceptable. For support in developing a CV (distinct from a resume, visit: Please include the names of 2 academic/professional references and their contact information on your CV. They will not be required to submit any materials.
  • A current University of Chicago transcript (please request an official, digital copy from the registrar's office, which you can include as pdf with your application)



  • About the program: please contact Jamie Gentry, Senior Program Manager, Summer Institute in Social Research Methods, Division of the Social Sciences,
  • Review and notification process: applications will be reviewed following the stated campus deadline. 

A program designed, funded, and managed through a collaboration between the University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences, the Social Sciences Collegiate Division, and the College Center for Research & Fellowships (CCRF).