Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants Program

IPR is committed to involving Northwestern undergraduates in its research enterprise. To this end, IPR has run its Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants (SURA) Program since 1998. The program gives students first-hand experience in the conceptualization and conduct of policy-relevant social science research.

The SURA program starts off with a course in statistical computing, and students spend the rest of the time working on real-time research projects with IPR faculty.

It is hoped that some RAs will continue to work for faculty during the following academic year and/or write honors theses that incorporate policy-relevant topics and research.

Program Details

  • Eligibility: Current Northwestern freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. International student applicants must have an eligible F-1 visa.
  • Program dates: Runs for 10 weeks, typically starting the third week in June. (The program is flexible at the discretion of the faculty sponsor and students can negotiate starting dates, any time off, and ending dates.)
  • Compensation: $12.00 per hour, typically working 35 hours per week for 10 weeks. All students must submit electronic timesheets and are paid for the number of hours they work each week.
  • Training: An informal course in statistical computing provides instructions on how to use web-based social science data archives and data services. The course will also provide a basic introduction to STATA and SPSS statistical packages.

Application Process

  • The application includes fields to copy your resume that describes your education, work experience, and computer skills; and a short personal statement.
  • Professors could request an unofficial Northwestern transcript, but it is not necessary to provide one with the online application below.
  • The deadline for 2019 applications is April 19. However, students are advised to apply early, as faculty members may begin reviewing applications at any time.
  • Apply here.

Selection criteria: Selection will be based on the student's record, the faculty member's proposed research, and the nature of work the student will do.

Learn More

Find about more about the actual experiences of IPR summer undergraduate RAs, including how their experiences have shaped how they think about social science research, in addition to their education and career plans.

Information for Faculty

Are you an IPR faculty member interested in having a SURA student work with you? Apply here.