Doctoral Research Fellows


The Institute for Policy & Social Research is pleased to announce the IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows Program for the 2017-18 Academic Year. The program will help develop the next generation of KU interdisciplinary social science scholars by providing a select group of graduate students with training and support in interdisciplinary social science research skills and by creating a community of graduate students across the social sciences to support each other at KU and in the future.

Program participants meet throughout the academic year to share research plans and findings, gain knowledge of interdisciplinary social science research methods, skills, and analysis, share experiences and knowledge associated with their graduate studies. The program concludes with presentations to their graduate advisors, IPSR Faculty Affiliates, and other social science graduate students. Upon completion, participants will be designated IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows.

Click here to view the 2017-18 IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows.
 Topics Covered
  • Conducting Surveys
  • Preparing for Academic Interviews
  • Using Atlas.ti
  • Conducting Focus Groups
  • Evaluating Secondary Data
  • Text Mining using SAS
  • External Research Funding

Program Details


Attendance Requirements: Regular attendance is expected. Active participation adds to the strength of the program. If a Fellow misses three sessions over the course of the program, the Fellow may be removed from the program at the discretion of the IPSR Director after discussion with the student’s advisor. Fellows are responsible for notifying the IPSR Director (or designee) in advance of absences.

Completion: The program will conclude with Fellows project presentations to graduate advisors, IPSR Faculty Affiliates, and other social science graduate students. A Fellow will complete the program by attending the sessions and presenting at the presentation session. While up to three absences are allowable, the presentation session cannot be missed. If a Fellow successfully completes the program, he or she will be awarded the title of IPSR Doctoral Research Fellow.

Participation Following Completion: IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows, having successfully completed the program, are invited to attend sessions in subsequent years while enrolled at KU to refresh their skills. Fellows are expected to informally mentor future Fellows so that skills and knowledge can be shared between cohorts.

FAQ about the IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows Application


How can I tell if a faculty member is an IPSR Faculty Affiliate?
IPSR faculty affiliates are listed on this website. If a faculty member is interested in affiliating with IPSR, they should send a note of interest to IPSR Director Steven Maynard-Moody.

How are the applications reviewed?
With advice and coordination from the IPSR Director and Associate Director, applications are reviewed by past program participants. Applications are reviewed based on the level of interest in the program, the strength of the nominating statements, and the demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary engagement.

If I applied last year and was not selected, can I apply again?
Yes. Applications are reviewed each year without reference to past applications.

If I am a first year graduate student, can I apply?
Participants must be KU students enrolled in a Ph.D. program. Often the Fellows group is composed of a wide range of students in terms of years of experience in their program. However, more senior Ph.D. students tend to participate more frequently, likely because they have had more time to demonstrate their interest in interdisciplinary engagement through research projects, writing, etc.

If I am a KU student in a school other than the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, am I eligible to apply?
Yes. IPSR is a research center for social scientists from across the KU-Lawrence campus. Any student regardless of their school is eligible to participate. However, the student must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a social science discipline, or be actively engaged in research with a social science perspective.

When will the meetings be?
The meeting times are determined after the students are selected based on student availability. There is a small chance that no common time will work for all selected students, in which case the selected student will have to decide what course of action they would like to take. Most meetings last one and half hours.




Here is what past Fellows said about the program:

"As someone just starting their dissertation, I found that the Fellows program really helped me think through my project. Being surrounded by people who were at different stages of their research was really instructive in seeing what worked for some people and what issues seemed to be part of the dissertation process. Additionally, all of the sessions were so useful in preparing me to think about a research agenda and the sorts of professional endeavors required within academia. I feel much more prepared--and much more enthusiastic--about diving into my dissertation after this year with the IPSR Fellows."

"I feel more well-rounded as an academic and better equipped as a young scholar to finish my dissertation and to enter the job market. Thank you!"

"The IPSR Fellows program has provided me with the opportunity to gain knowledge about a variety of research methods and learn about best practices in research from experienced and successful IPSR-affiliated faculty and fellowship alumni. Through the program I have gained valuable insight into successful navigation of the job market and routes to achieving professional academic goals (such as publishing and dissertation completion). I expect that these tools will benefit me immensely as I enter a competitive job market and continue to develop as an academic."

Click here to view previous IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows.