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Farrell Fellowship Application

Application Information

Applications are now open for the 2021-2022 academic year.  View the projects that are hiring below and apply through the online application: Farrell Fellowship application form

The application deadline is Monday, September 27 at 11:59 pm CT.

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2021-2022 Farrell Fellowship Projects

Professor Jaime Dominguez | Chicago Democracy Project

Project: The Chicago Democracy Project (CDP) is a user-friendly database that houses federal, state and local election results. It continues to serve as a resource for scholars, students, and local nonprofits so they can conduct specific analyses of the data. Over the past year, we were able to conduct analyses of the 2020 presidential elections including examining competitive races at the congressional level. We also examined ballot initiatives such as the graduate income tax. For the upcoming year, the goal is to put together a series of reports that look at registration, turnout, and outcomes for specific aldermanic elections.

The Farrell Fellows will continue this effort and conduct original research using the database. There will also be updates to existing databases and fellows will gather data from suburban Cook County jurisdictions to include elections in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th congressional races. In addition, fellows will update US Census and demographic data taken from the 2021 American Community Survey. Fellows will join a research team and work with faculty and graduate students connected to the CDP.

Seeking: One or two Fellows for the academic year (October 2021 – June 2022). Position can be held in conjunction with other work study positions, internships, or research assistantships.

Research Training & Outcomes

The Fellows will:

  • Collect elections return data and incorporate demographic Census information into the database
  • Analyze election results using statistical and GIS software
  • Write text interpretations that make election results and data meaningful to the public

The Fellows will join the existing research team and a scholarly community of support so that they can utilize this experience to build more academic agency in their overall academic program at NU. In particular, Fellows will gain:

  • Concrete skills and experience working with electoral data and using creativity to answer interesting questions about local politics.
  • Experience using research tools including GIS, Stata, and the coding of election data.
  • A greater understanding of and affection for public policy so as to engage in political debate.

Preferred skills and experience: 

  • Interest in engaging with data analysis software and with voting trends in city politics
  • Interest in urban politics, policy analysis, and advocacy
  • Experience using Excel, Stata, and/or GIS is helpful but not required (training will be provided)

Learn more about Professor Jaime Dominguez  |  Apply Here

Professor Daniel Galvin | Enabling “Wage Theft” in the South: Regional and Racial Disparities in Labor Standards Policies, Enforcement, and Violations

Project: With only 6% of private sector workers now belonging to unions, the vast majority of American workers must rely on employment laws, lodged primarily at the state level, as their sole source of workplace protections. Thus, where these laws are weak or under-enforced, so too are workers’ rights. The strength of state employment laws and enforcement capacities vary significantly, however, by region: workers in the South, for example, have access to both the weakest statutory rights and the weakest state enforcement capacities in the country. Initial analysis indicates that workers in the South are also much more likely to be paid less than the minimum wage—one of the most pernicious forms of “wage theft”—than similarly situated workers in other regions, all else equal.

The political choice not to enact or enforce robust labor and employment laws in the South has implications for racial disparities in wages as well, since Southern states are home to the highest concentration of Black workers in the U.S. By denying Black and other low-wage workers in the South equal access to worker protections and public enforcement, Southern employers are effectively permitted to exploit these workers with impunity.

However, little systematic research has been done to examine the relationship between employment law strength and wage theft by region, race, or other factors—or to flesh out the historical processes that produced these relationships. This empirical and theory-building project takes the first steps in this direction. This project involves three major empirical components. First, we will construct the most comprehensive and nuanced database of all 50 states’ (statutory) enforcement capacities in existence. Second, we will use Current Population Survey (CPS) data to estimate the minimum wage violation rate in every state and region in the U.S., which will enable us to estimate the relationship between violations and state enforcement capacities while interrogating other variables of theoretical interest (race, gender, citizenship, education, industry, occupation, etc.). Third, we will use exploratory, in-depth comparative case studies to identify and theorize a repertoire of mechanisms linking the legacy of slavery and the post-slavery racialized economy in the South to weak state enforcement capacities and minimum wage violations. Each component will likely take several months. We will begin work on the first component in fall 2021 and go from there.

Seeking: Two Fellows for the academic year (October 2021 – June 2022). Position can be held in conjunction with other work study positions, internships, or research assistantships.

Research training and outcomes: 

The Fellows will:

  • Work with Professor Galvin and the research team to identify and refine coding categories for state enforcement capacities
  • Carefully read and systematically code the summaries of state minimum wage laws provided by the online Cheetah database
  • Conduct intercoder reliability tests with the research team
  • Help build CPS database for minimum wage violation estimates
  • Help identify states for case studies and begin data collection process
  • Meet frequently with the research team to discuss the research process
The Fellows will join an existing research team working on this research project that is in its beginning stages. This will allow the Fellows to learn how to design, launch, and troubleshoot a large, multifaceted research project. In addition, Fellows will gain:
  • Experience collaborating with a team of researchers
  • Skills conducting systematic coding of qualitative data and conducting intercoder reliability tests
  • Experience doing legal research, working with state legal codes, the Cheetah database, and Current Population Survey (CPS)
  • Deep substantive knowledge about disparities in labor standards enforcement and minimum wage compliance across the nation and demographic groups

Preferred skills and experience:

  • Experience working with Excel
  • Interest in law, legal studies, labor and workers’ rights, and racial justice

Learn more about Professor Daniel Galvin  |  Apply Here

Professor Jordan Gans-Morse | Reimagining the Relationships Between Area Studies and Comparative Politics

Project: The study of Comparative Politics unites scholars with a focus on disparate world regions who conduct research using a wide range of methodological approaches. In the 1990s, as some scholars increasingly began to integrate tools such as game theory and regression analyses into the study of Comparative Politics, a rift emerged between advocates of more "technical" methodological tools and defenders of in-depth, regionally specific knowledge often referred to as "Area Studies expertise."

More recently, however, the methodological frontier of Political Science has shifted away from formal methods and macro-level statistical analysis and toward more micro-level, often experimental approaches that require extensive local knowledge. As a consequence, there arguably now are significant opportunities for reimagining the relationships between Comparative Politics and Area Studies. This project examines such issues via a survey of Political Science faculty members and content analysis of articles published in top Political Science journals.

Seeking: Two Fellows for the academic year (October 2021 – June 2022). Position can be held in conjunction with other work study positions, internships, or research assistantships.

Research training & outcomes:

The Fellows will:

  • Conduct content analysis of articles from political science and comparative politics journals. We will be creating a dataset for the years 1977-2017 based on eight journals,
  • Code articles by their geographic and thematic focus, and work with the research team to check the results for intercoder reliability.
  • Contribute to a dataset about the geographic expertise of political scientists at universities throughout the United States by analyzing data from scholars' websites and, potentially, conducting a survey of political science PhD candidates.
  • Assist with basic analyses using descriptive statistics to help create tables for a conference paper that may eventually be a journal article.

This project provides an opportunity to learn first-hand how political science research is conducted. Fellows will gain:

  • First-hand experience in the development of a research project from the stages of data collection, through the process of data analysis, and up through the later stages of drafting a conference paper
  • Skills and experience in coding qualitative data to build a dataset
  • Deeper knowledge of the fields of comparative politics and area studies

Preferred skills and experience:

  • Ideally, applicants will have taken Introduction to Comparative Politics (Poli Sci 250) or a course that covers similar material.
  • Political Science students who are also majoring or minoring in Computer Science with data scraping or machine learning skills should especially consider applying.
  • The ideal candidate will have a strong attention to detail and be capable of reading and analyzing large amounts of material.

Learn more about Professor Jordan Gans-Morse Apply Here

Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya | Indigenous Politics in the Anthropocene

Project: Global environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, deforestation, and multiple forms of pollution, require unprecedented cooperation, innovation, and creativity to address. Moreover, because the drivers, impacts, and capabilities related to global environmental change are unequally distributed, discussions on social justice and human rights have become essential for developing effective responses to environmental challenges. Although scholars, practitioners, policy-makers, and communities across diverse fields, sectors, and geographies have created knowledge and experimented with solutions to address these challenges, these global problems remain entrenched. Solving them, thus not only requires cooperation and creativity, but innovating new forms of knowledge exchange and sharing. Today, these global environmental challenges demand transdisciplinary research.

In this project, we seek to identify and understand the opportunities for developing transdisciplinary research approaches for addressing global environmental challenges. Drawing out synergies between two fields—Indigenous politics and global environmental politics—we will first survey the landscape of existing research in order to synthesize and develop insights to inform new methodological approaches for understanding politics in the Anthropocene.

Seeking: One Fellow for the academic year (October 2021 – June 2022). Position can be held in conjunction with other work study positions, internships, or research assistantships.

Research training and outcomes 

The Fellow will participate in the following research activities:

  • Design and conduct a systematic literature review
  • Draft annotated bibliographies and thematic review summaries
  • Assist with data organization and file management
  • Update project website and library

The Fellow will join a team of researchers and will have the opportunity to work with scholars and students from a variety of disciplines including political science, anthropology, political ecology, and ecological sciences, among others. This will help enhance the student’s interdisciplinary literacy and expose her/him to alternative ways of understanding and examining questions in political science. Additionally, the Fellow will gain:

  • Experience in collaborative approaches to research and how team-based research unfolds across different stages of research.
  • Substantive knowledge around Indigenous politics, environmental politics, and transdisciplinary methodologies while also gaining
  • Transferrable research skills, such as surveying, organizing, and synthesizing research to answer empirical research questions.
  • Training in qualitative data analysis techniques and programs, data management and archival curation, professional web-based communication skills, and research ethics.

Preferred Experience: 

  • The ideal candidate will demonstrate excellent attention to detail, experience with web-based communication, and skills with Excel, NVivo, and EndNote (or be willing to learn).
  • Must be comfortable and capable of dealing with and organizing large amounts of diverse types of data
  • Self-driven and able to work independently
  • Spanish or French language ability is a plus, but not required.

Learn more about Professor Kimberly Marion Suiseeya  |  Apply Here

Professor Shmuel Nili | Law's empire? Liberal ideals, international realities, and the use of force

Project: This is a book project which explores multiple normative questions at the intersection of domestic and global politics, with a focus on apparent contradictions between liberal democracies' professed commitments and their global conduct. One key aim of the book is to combine normative and empirical scholarship; for example, by bringing a normative perspective to bear on long-standing empirical debates regarding democratic peace theory. Another key aim is to understand how the crisis of democracy in its (supposed) traditional strongholds affects the normative standing of "established democracies" to make morally-laden demands of foreign non-democratic regimes.

Seeking: One Fellow for the academic year (October 2021 – June 2022). Position can be held in conjunction with other work study positions, internships, or research assistantships.

Research training and outcomes 

The Fellow will:

  • Search both academic and non-academic sources to identify useful case studies and empirical background for relevant normative arguments
  • Engage in sustained conversation about the substantive arguments of each chapter, offering feedback on the emerging drafts.
  • Assist with the scholarly apparatus, such as inserting, editing and completing references

The Fellow will gain:

  • First-hand experience participating in the scholarly revision and publication process
  • Experience reflecting and responding to peer review
  • Knowledge of relevant scholarly debates in both empirical political science and normative democratic theory

Preferred skills and experience: 

  • Interest and coursework in analytical political theory or analytical moral philosophy is preferred

Learn more about Professor Shmuel Nili  |  Apply Here

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