The Center for Innovation in Social Sciences (CISS) offers year-long, paid undergraduate research intern support to social science faculty and CISS affiliates. We welcome proposals for internships where an undergraduate student(s) will focus on three thematic areas: 1) social justice and inclusion, 2) inequality, and 3) sustainability. The research project should draw on social science methods and explore questions related to human society and social behavior. Priority will be given to projects that directly involve undergraduates in the analysis and/or collection of data, where data are construed broadly to encompass qualitative, quantitative, archival, digital, and other forms. Center affiliates and BU faculty from any CAS department are eligible to apply.

The purpose of this initiative is two-fold: 1) to support and advance faculty research in these areas and 2) to provide undergraduate students interested in honing their research skills with an experiential learning opportunity. This initiative will run for the course of Academic Year 23/24 with student interns presenting their final work at the CISS-sponsored research symposium featuring the interns and their mentors in April 2023. We encourage applications from pairs or teams of scholars with interdisciplinary projects that are appropriate for placing two interns. 

Learn more about our previously funded projects and meet the past CISS interns.

Program Details

The Center provides funding and professional development opportunities to research interns. The research project itself will be organized and managed by faculty members. Therefore, we are seeking proposals from faculty who are conducting research on the identified topics and have defined a role for undergraduate student researchers. We expect the student to be an integral research partner: (i) developing preparing, and presenting their work within the research project, (ii) gaining research skills training and experience, and (iii) contributing up to eight hours a week. 

We are accepting proposals from faculty who have a student who is interested in working with them and those looking to actively recruit students (learn more about our undergraduate research assistant recruitment support here). We encourage two or more faculty members to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that might employ two student interns. 

Funding: Students will be compensated up to $2,500 per student research intern. It is expected that students will contribute approximately 133 hours over the two semesters.

How to apply: Faculty members should apply using our online application portal here. Application components include the following:

  • Brief explanation of the research project goals, significance, and approach (2–3 paragraphs)
  • Description of the specific role of the research intern(s) in the project (1–2 paragraphs), including the methods used and a description of the skills and knowledge the student(s) will acquire as a result of the work
  • Tentative timeline of the research interns’ work over the year (1 paragraph)

CISS plans to award up to five funded internships in AY 23/24. Proposals will be evaluated by faculty affiliates and members of the center Steering Committee. Criteria will include the project’s relevance to the themes of social justice/inclusion, inequality, and sustainability; clarity and feasibility of research plan; and potential for students to hone effective research skills and knowledge. 

Apply Here

Applications are due September 18, 2023.  An informational session will be held via  Zoom on September 12, 2023 from 3:30-4:30 (register here). The Center will announce the selected projects in the first week of October 2023. Final presentations will be held in April 2024. (The AY 2023-24 application cycle has now ended. The call for AY 2024-25 interns will be released in Spring 2024).

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Landis, Center Administrator (ciss@bu.edu).