2018 Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon Outcomes: Undergraduate Support and Training

About the Hackathon
The APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement held a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boston, chaired by Mala Htun and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.  At the hackathon, teams developed strategies to address key challenges facing the profession, build partnerships, and plans to move forward. This series of PSNow posts highlights those proposals and links to more resources for the profession.

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Undergraduate Support and Training: Plans to improve recruiting, training, and develop partnerships for the Society of Political Methodology’s AERoPUP program! Team led by Brian Pollins.

Women and other under-represented groups in APSA are a particularly small percentage of members within the Methods sub-field.


Women and other under-represented groups in APSA are a particularly small percentage of members within the Methods sub-field. Preparing such individuals for the profession needs to begin during undergraduate years. This is true whether we are preparing students for academic or for private sector.

  • Society of Political Methodology (SPM) has a program in place which funds 4-6 undergrads/yr to complete a research project and present results at a poster session at SPM’s Annual Meeting in July.  This AERoPUP Initiative has been fairly successful, but recruitment has been difficult and the program is costly in relation to results.
  • Immediate Adjustments: Key need is for a means of more effective candidate recruitment, particularly w/r/t young people of color
  • D’Andra Orey (Jackson State) notes that U Michigan Political Science somehow gathers such a list for grad recruitment purposes. Perhaps they would share those names.
  • We also can adopt methods training support beyond the “Thesis Presentation” model which AERoPUP now employs.
  • In this approach, SPM might partner/cooperate with training programs like:

Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (Duke)

  • ICPSR (Sandra Schneider as contact has already expressed interest)
  • UCSD STARS (David Lake offers to serve as contact)
  • USC SPEC Program (Megan Becker, Ben Graham as contacts)
  • CalTech SURF (Mike Alvarez might help us find best contact person?)

Other Programs

  • SPM might support this with travel to Annual Meeting or other professional networking/educational opportunities?
  • Long-Term Adjustment: January 2019 and Beyond.   We can reach out to/bridge to the “Women in Methodology” (WiM) program that is based at the University of Zurich.  Justin Esarey (Wake Forest) is already in contact with Mariken Van Der Velen and Anita Gohpes, founders of WiM, who are interested in bridging to the USA. The idea is to expand the program to include other under-represented groups, not only women, and to add at U.S. home base (possibly Wake Forest).  This would all link to the coming NSF Proposal.

Products from this Hackathon

Undergraduate Research Support for 2018-2019 Academic Year:

  • Possibly AERoPUP project support in same form as done 2015-2018 (3-4 students)
  • Joint funding/support with some/all programs listed above

NSF Proposal January 2019 (approx.). Pending discussion among relevant individuals and committees in SPM, we seek funding to (in part or all) a) continue some support for thesis research and poster presentation at Annual Meeting, b) develop ways of cooperating with existing programs to recruit and train targeted undergraduates, and/or develop a U.S. base and extension to the Zurich WiM program which reflects our objectives.

Hackathon Team Members: Megan BeckerShakira Byerly, Bruce Desmarais, Justin Esarey, Ben Graham, D’Andra Orey and Kimberly Turner. Hackathon Summary by: Brian Pollins