Florian Bodamer (MAIA ’18), an MA candidate at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, recently completed a graduate summer fellowship at The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at BU.
The Pardee Center Graduate Summer Fellows Program is a program for graduate students from across Boston University. It provides outstanding master’s and doctoral students an opportunity for intensive interdisciplinary research and writing on topics that are aligned with the broad research interests of the Pardee Center.
Bodamer’s research during his fellowship focused on the relationship between domestic defense technologies and economic growth, which built on his related research on the political economy of security.
“My research centered around how domestic defense innovations, generally technology that enables countries to conduct war more effectively, influences long-term economic growth,” Bodamer said. “This work built upon some my research on the political economy of security, more specifically defense industrial bases and how states interact with them, so much of the work conducted in those 10 weeks centered around three things.”
According to Bodamer, he began by reading existing literature focused on innovation, its measurements, and its impact on economic growth. He then decided how to measure innovation, collect the relevant data, and then look at the findings. Finally, Bodamer turned his research into a final paper including the literature review, the findings, and a general conclusion with suggested policies for states looking to maximize the impact of domestic defense innovations on long-term economic growth.
“Naturally, between these three things there was a lot of thinking, theorizing, coffee breaks and snacks, as well as set-backs and advances,” Bodamer said.
Bodamer said the fellowship complimented his coursework at the Pardee School, and that he was able to develop valuable research skills by focusing on a single long-term project. The fellows were also able to attend a networking event each week with Pardee Center faculty fellows including Pardee School Professors Kevin Gallagher and Henrik Selin.
“The fellowship was a unique experience compared to regular coursework at Pardee. Instead of slitting time between several projects on any given day, I was able to focus on one paper for the entirety of 10 weeks,” Bodamer said. “Additionally, while the Pardee School is already of interdisciplinary nature, the fellowship was a step further, with the seven other student participants covering topics everything from migration in India’s Sundarban Islands to non-communicable diseases. This gave me valuable feedback and additional perspectives that I otherwise would have not been able to include.”
Bodamer said his advice for current Pardee School students looking for similar fellowships or internships would be to apply early, and apply often.
“My advice is twofold. First, keep your eyes open and start looking early (at least ten months to one year in advance). Before I found this opportunity I already had a list of several interesting summer internships/jobs/fellowships with deadlines,” Bodamer said. “Second, apply even for those positions that you think you have no chance of getting. I did not think I would be selected for various reasons.”
The Pardee Center Graduate Summer Fellows Program is a 10-week fellowship in the summer that includes a financial stipend, structured interaction with Pardee Center faculty and research fellows, and a collegial atmosphere that fosters peer support and intellectual growth. Summer Fellows occupy workspace provided at the Pardee House for the duration of the fellowship while they conduct independent research, and produce a substantive research paper that may be considered for publication by the Pardee Center. Fellows participate in Pardee Center activities and special Summer Fellows’ events.