Making research-engagement a core part of the undergraduate student experience

We are surrounded by ever-more data and technologies that are changing how we experience the world. Regardless of your academic or career aspirations, developing a strong understanding of social research methods and applications is an important foundation to knowing what all that information means and why it matters. Social research methods help us learn about people and societies through collecting, analyzing and interpreting data.

The Summer Institute in Social Research Methods provides students with an immersive summer experience through a combination of classroom instruction, skills-building workshops, and hands-on research experience.

Students who participate in SISRM will:

  • Earn course credit and fulfill methods requirements majors or minors (UChicago undergraduates)
  • Gain mentored experience as an RA on faculty research projects (UChicago undergraduates)
  • Be eligible for academic year awards to continue RA work with faculty (UChicago undergraduates)
  • Finish the program well-positioned for future internship and research assistantship opportunities within graduate education and/or positions in the private sector


We realized that undergraduates at the University of Chicago are eager to be involved in research but may not know how to get involved in a project. A significant motivation for creating SISRM was to connect faculty and these students around research projects, fostering awareness of the kinds of research in which social science faculty are engaged.

Paul Poast

Director, Summer Institute in Social Research Methods; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

A SISRM fellow examines Nuclear Energy, a sculpture memorializing the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, during the Chicago: American Century tour given by Professor Paul Poast in Summer 2023.

The Institute is a program of the Division’s Social Sciences Research Center (SSRC). Established in Fall 2017, the SSRC fosters team-based and multi-method collaborative approaches to understanding complex social problems.