SISRM Research Assistantships

The next application cycle opens in January 2025


How SISRM Works

The SISRM RA program is intended to provide students with a mentored research experience that reinforces newly learned methodologies and practical aspects of social scientific research. During the summer program, SISRM fellows complete methodological coursework, participate in the Practice of Social Science Research workshop series, and complete 160 hours as an RA on a research project. SISRM fellows may apply to our general applicant pool (SISRM hand matches students to projects) or they may apply to work with specific research projects (mutually arranged with the research supervisor).

The SISRM RA experience is intended to help students further develop the skills they’ve been practicing both in the course and the workshops. However, RA work does not have to directly focus/specifically focus on the coursework students are undertaking.

SISRM RAs receive a $5,000 stipend for their summer program.


UChicago faculty, instructors, and researchers/research groups working with social scientific methodologies may apply to host a SISRM RA.


SISRM Timeline


January 3–February 29

  • Applications open January 3, 2024
  • Applications are due Thursday, February 29


  • Receive notification of RA awards the first two weeks of April
  • RAs will introduce themselves and work with you to establish the parameters of their summer work

June 10–September 29


  • June 10–July 12: SISRM fellows will take courses and participate in a daily methodology workshop; RAs may work during this time, but their workload should be limited
  • July 12–September 29: RAs may complete their 160 hours of research work

It’s been thrilling to accompany the Summer Institute students on a path that starts with the initial first meetings where everything we’re talking about still seems confusing because they’re still new to spatial ways of thinking, methods and computational tools, where everyone makes lots of mistakes and feels awkward and uncertain about the programming, the data, the questions and the methods. As they’re progressing with Marynia’s class and their project, there’s suddenly more traction after digging in and at the end of the summer, they’ve started to acquire a new spatial perspective on research, learned new spatial methods and have made the tools their own in a way that they’re now flying through them confidently. It’s been a beautiful transition to watch. Several of the students got hooked and we’ll be continuing to work with them on funded spatial research projects that will provide them with opportunities to publish a paper, attend a research conference and collaborate with a policy institution. They are now plugging into the larger spatial infrastructure at the Center for Spatial Data Science with our spatial study group, spatial workshops, and a spatial interdisciplinary community. All this is preparing them to be ready for an increasing number of opportunities that are opening up in the computational social sciences.

Julia Koschinsky, Executive Director, Center for Spatial Data Science