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Program Spotlight: Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment and Retention

The following departmental programs and initiatives have been submitted to APSA by representatives from each individual department. If you would like to submit a program for recognition, please send your information through this form

Additional program spotlight resources for recruitment and retention can be found here.


POIR Predoctoral Summer Institute for First Generation and Minority Scholars 

University of Southern California

The USC POIR predoctoral summer institute is for students both in and outside the southern California area, but those from nearby universities have most frequently participated. It is an opportunity for undergraduate/MA students to come to USC to (1) learn more about political science and social science PhD programs and to learn what getting a PhD in political science is like; and (2) for institute participants to receive direct feedback and advice on how to craft a successful and competitive application for admission to a PhD program in social science, political science, and international relations. 

Academic Population Served: Undergraduate, MA, or law students interested in PhD in political science or allied social science fields (e.g. sociology, economics, or public policy).

Specific Groups Served:  First-generation and minority scholars 

Program Goals: Recruitment, Retention, Advancement

Number of staff or faculty involved with the program: Five USC Dornsife political science faculty members and six current POIR PhD students were on hand to work directly with institute participants. 

Which college or university unit is primarily responsible for this program? POIR (Political Science and International Relations)

Program time frame: One day

For how long has this program been in existence?  Since June 2016.

Program Impact: Nearly 100 applications for 25 places at the institute. 

Is your department an APSA MSRP Recruiting Department? Yes

Contact: Dr. Christian Grose, ([email protected]) PhD Director POIR Program, University of Southern California


Office of the Director of Equity and Inclusion

University of Chicago

The office of the Director of Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Political Science was created in 2015, prompted in part by a Report on the Status of Women Faculty in the Division of Social Sciences. The purpose of this office is to facilitate informed reflection by members of the Department, individually and collectively, about how our professional activities intersect with larger structures of social power, and to thereby to help the Department create and sustain the conditions under which each of us can pursue our work, as well as negotiate the competing requirements of professional and extra-professional life, free from the effects of illegitimate forms of inequality and privilege. https://political-science.uchicago.edu/content/equity-and-inclusion

Academic Population Served: undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty

Specific groups served: individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, first generation scholars, LGBT individuals, individuals with disabilities, women

Program Goals: Recruitment, Retention, Advancement

Number of staff or faculty involved with the program: 3

Which college or university unit is primarily responsible for this program? Department

Program time frame: Academic year

For how long has this program been in existence? Two years

Program Impact: The Committee has sponsored faculty meetings around inclusiveness in the classroom and a workshop inspired by the University’s recent Campus Climate Survey. It has sponsored mentoring events for female graduate students and students of color with successful female scholars and scholars of color, respectively. Additionally, the Committee has provided recommendations to the Department, on transparency and non-transparency in Department life, based on conversations with faculty and students about the extent to which they feel included in or excluded from information about activities, policies, and decisions that affect them. Finally, it has analyzed admissions, progression through the PhD program and graduation data with an eye to drawing conclusions about the department's equity and inclusion efforts. 

Is your department an APSA MSRP Recruiting Department? Yes

Additional comment: The department is an active participant in University of Chicago programs to promote diversity and inclusion such as postdoctoral programs, faculty recruitment and retention, and training for faculty search committees.

Contact: Dr. John Mark Hansen, ([email protected]) Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Chicago


Emerging Scholars in Political Science

Princeton University

The goal of the Emerging Scholars in Political Science program is to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs in political science. The ESPS program provides students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to explore their research interests and prepare for graduate school through intensive research, coursework, and mentoring. https://www.princeton.edu/politics/graduate/emerging-scholars-program/

Academic population served: pre-graduate students

Specific groups served: underrepresented minorities

Program goal: advancement

Number of staff or faculty involved with the program: 7

Which college or university unit is primarily responsible for this program? Department of Politics

Program time frame: year

For how long has this program been in existence? 18 months

Program impact: The program has facilitated faculty research and aided participants in moving to top ranked PhD programs.

Contact: Kristopher Ramsay, ([email protected]) faculty, Princeton University Department of Politics



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Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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