Chicago State University Undergraduates

The next application cycle opens in January 2025

Chicago State University Undergraduate Students

CSU undergraduates who wish to participate in the Summer Institute in Social Research Methods take one methodological course, participate in the Practice of Social Science Research Workshop, and participate in the paid Research Assistantship program.


Eligibility and Participation Requirements


Chicago State University undergraduate students may apply to participate in SISRM.

All prospective applicants should schedule a brief meeting with Jamie or María prior to applying.


Students in the RA program should expect to commit 315–365 hours for the 10-week summer program:

  • 100–150 hours for coursework
    Courses are condensed 10-week courses and meet all requirements for a standard 100 unit class. As such, students participating in SISRM coursework should expect to dedicate 6–10 hours per week to class time. In addition, we recommend allocating 2–4 hours per day to homework/study time. This time commitment will vary student by student.


  • 55 hours for workshops and excursions
    Workshops meet for the first 5 weeks of Summer Quarter for 75–90 minutes during the lunch hour (lunch is provided). Field trips typically take 2–4 hours and occur on Fridays.


  • 160 hours for the RAship
    RAships require a 160 hour commitment and can be divided up throughout the Summer according to the project’s needs and the RA’s schedule.

Application Requirements

Application Timeline

Students who wish to participate in the paid RA program will:


  • Meet with SISRM to discuss the program requirements;
  • Submit an application to participate in the program


  • Receive notification of RA awards (matches are made by SISRM)



  • Participate in the Practice of Social Scientific Research;
  • Complete the summer methodologies course;
  • Work on the Summer RA project

Starting Your Application

Please select “Chicago State SISRM” from the application menu to apply

Applicants must provide:

  • A letter of approval from the CSU honors college Dean (Professor Steve Rowe);
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor (see notes about letters of recommendation);
  • A CV or Resume;
  • A Transcript from your home institution**Please note: We will accept an unofficial transcript. Additionally, we will also accept a progress report from a student portal that demonstrates the coursework and grades that the student has received thus far.

In addition, you will be asked to:

  • Answer a series of short answer questions (100-300 words);
  • Select 3 courses you are interested in taking during the summer.

Guidelines for Resumes and CVs

Your resume or CV should detail honors, awards, research, leadership/service, and other co- and extra-curricular activities you have pursued since beginning your undergraduate studies at Chicago State University.

If you possess proficiency in a language other than English, please make note of it. Please do not include  details from high school—we’re interested in getting to know about you in this phase of your academic and professional development.

Need inspiration? Check out UChicago Career Advancement’s tips for resume writing.

Applicant Questions

All applicants must answer the following questions in 100-300 words:

  • Describe your interest in participating in SISRM and in pursuing a research experience with a faculty mentor in the social sciences. What kinds of things do you hope to learn through this experience?


  • What are your academic and professional interests and aspirations? How does your current or planned major and interest in that field influence your reasons for pursuing an RAship?  If you have not yet declared a major, how do you anticipate that participation in SISRM will influence your future academic decisions?


  • Describe your previous experiences with faculty research (if any) and/or any existing skill set that you believe will be valuable in your role as a SISRM RA.


  • What kinds of skills do you hope to develop through this experience?

Guidelines for Letters of Support and Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Support

You will be asked to upload a letter of support from your institution. Please request your letter of support from the Dean of the honors college, Professor Steve Rowe. The letter must confirm your good standing in your program and  support for your participation in SISRM. It should be on official letterhead and include contact information for the letter-writer.

Letters of support should address: 

  1. Please explain how you know and interact with the applicant; 
  2. What makes this applicant a good candidate for our program?
  3. A successful fellow is a strong, thoughtful communicator.  Please describe the applicant’s communication strengths and/or weaknesses;
  4. A successful fellow is able to meet deadlines in a timely manner, both in their coursework and with their RA position. Please describe your experience(s) with this applicant’s strengths and/or weaknesses in managing deadlines;
  5. Is there anything else—positive or negative—that we should know about the applicant?

Letters of Recommendation

Your LOR will come directly from SISRM and will be based on your meeting with SISRM’s representatives. Please input as the email address when prompted (Jamie Gentry or María Ferreira as your contact names).