Farrell Fellowship FAQs
See the frequently asked questions below to learn more about the Farrell Fellowship program. If you have any questions that aren't addressed below, please reach out the Political Science Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Libby Wait.
Applications for the 2022-2023 Farrell Fellowship are now closed. Applications for the 2023-2024 Fellowship will open in April 2023.
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Who is eligible to participate in the Farrell Fellowship?
The only requirements to participate in the Farrell Fellowship program is that you are a Political Science major and are continuing your studies at Northwestern the following year. Each position will provide additional information on skills or experience that might be helpful for that specific position.
Is the Farrell Fellowship connected to the Federal Work-Study program?
No, the Fellowship is not connected to the Federal Work-Study program. You do not need to be part of the Work-Study program to participate in the Fellowship.
Is previous research experience required to participate in the Farrell Fellowship?
No, previous research experience is not required to participate in the program. All Political Science students, whether they have no prior research experience or have worked as a research assistant before, are welcome to apply. Previous research experience can be helpful for building a strong application. We recommend taking a political science methods class (POLI_SCI 210, 211, 310, 311, 312) or taking classes in the topics you are most interested in so that you will have background knowledge in those fields. We also recommend students look at resources offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research for tips on getting started in research and working with faculty.
What kinds of research projects are involved in the Farrell Fellowship?
The Fellowship projects are the current research projects of Political Science professors and cover the broad range of topics that political scientists engage with. Projects connect to the different subfields of political science – American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory – but are often interdisciplinary and involve other areas of study as well. Projects will utilize different research methods, from compiling quantitative economic data, to analyzing interviews, to researching historical texts.
When do applications open for the Fellowship?
The Farrell Fellowship application cycle takes place in the spring quarter. Faculty projects are announced and students are invited to apply for the summer and following academic year.
How does the application process work?
Applicants select up to two faculty projects they are most interested in. Faculty mentors then review the applications that were submitted for their projects and conduct interviews. Hiring decisions are made in late May through early June.
What application materials are required?
You will be required to provide your resume and unofficial transcript. The application also asks you to provide a brief bio and respond to short answer questions about your interest in the project(s) you are applying to and how your skills and experience might apply to the project(s).
How long do Farrell Fellowship positions last?
The length of each position varies based on the project. Some positions are for the summer, others last from the summer through the academic year, and others start at the beginning of the academic year. The duration of each project will be included in each project description. Faculty mentors are sometimes able to provide flexibility for longer projects.
What is the weekly time commitment?
The time commitment varies by project. On average, Fellows work 15-20 hours/week during the summer and 5-10 hours/week during the academic year. The maximum hours allowed are 40 hours/week during the summer and 15 hours/week during the academic year. Faculty mentors are often able to provide flexibility to coordinate weekly hours based on students’ schedules.
I won't be available to work during the summer / part of the academic year / all of the academic year. Can I still apply for the Farrell Fellowship?
Since the duration of each position varies by project, you are still welcome to apply to positions that fit your availability. For example, if you will be unavailable over the summer but available during the academic year, you can apply for a position that continues during the academic year. The application has questions about any time constraints you might have so you can provide more information on when you will be available to work.