The goal of the Emerging Scholars in Political Science program is to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs in political science.  The ESPS program provides students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to explore their research interests and prepare for graduate school through intensive research, coursework, and mentoring.

ESPS program participants are hired as research specialists for a period of 6 to 24 months to conduct research under the direction of a faculty mentor at an annual salary of $32,560.  The nature of research conducted will vary according to the research interests of the participant.  It may involve quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.  Typical job duties will likely include data collection, data analysis, and reporting.  The research specialist position is part-time to allow time for participants to also enroll in 1 to 2 courses per semester in order to enhance their knowledge and skills in certain areas.

Tuition for these courses is paid by the ESPS program, and program participants are eligible for all benefits associated with their status as regular University staff.  The ESPS program also provides participants with a research allowance of $1,500 per year to be spent on research-related expenses, such as books and periodicals, software, and travel to scholarly conferences.

The ESPS program strongly encourages applicants from historically underrepresented groups, including but not limited to:

  • Black/African American
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

For more information please contact Prof. Kris Ramsay, ESPS director, or Amanda Kastern, manager of finance and administration.

Current Participants

Jeffery Bush, Jr. joined the ESPS program in August 2018 and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Fall 2019 with the hope of starting his Ph.D. in Fall 2020. Jeffrey has served in the military (U.S. Naval Reserves) and came to ESPS with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. Jeffery’s research interests are in international relations and security studies and he conducts research under Prof. Jacob Shapiro.

Camille DeJarnett joined the ESPS program in November 2017 and is applying for Ph.D. programs in Fall 2018 with the hope of starting her Ph.D. in Fall 2019. Camille came to ESPS with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from MIT.  Her research interests are in quantitative methods and she conducts research under Prof. Marc Ratkovic.

Kiara Hernandez joined the ESPS program in August 2018 and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Fall 2019 with the hope of starting her Ph.D. in Fall 2020. Kiara came to ESPS with a bachelor’s degree in German and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests are in American political behavior and she conducts research under Prof. Ali Valenzuela.

Paige Hill joined the ESPS program in August 2018 and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Fall 2019 with the hope of starting her Ph.D. in Fall 2020. Paige came to ESPS with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Temple University.  Her research interests are in international relations and she is conducting research under Prof. Helen Milner.

Talia Sharpp joined the ESPS program in August 2018 and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Fall 2019 with the hope of starting her Ph.D. in Fall 2020. Talia came to ESPS with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hampton University.  Her research interests are in political theory and she is conducting research under Prof. Melissa Lane.

Past Participants

Earvin Chavez (2017-2018). Earvin's research interests are in political philosophy and he conducted research under the mentorship of Prof. Stephen Macedo. In Fall 2018 he began his doctoral studies as a Ph.D. student in the philosophy department at Stanford University.

Brandon Johnson (2016-2017). Brandon's research interests are in American politics and he conducted research under the mentorship of Prof. Nolan McCarty. In Fall 2017 he began his doctoral studies as a Ph.D. student in the political science department at UCLA.

Nnaemeka Ofodire (2016-2018). Nnaemeka's research interests are in comparative politics and he conducted research under the mentorship of Prof. Amaney Jamal. After completing the ESPS program he found employment in the private sector.

Maria Pachon (2016-2018). Maria's research interests are in international relations and she conducted research under the mentorship of Prof. Helen Milner. In Fall 2019 she will begin her doctoral studies as a Ph.D. student at Georgetown university. 

Zara Riaz (2016-2018). Zara's research interests are in comparative politics and political economy and she conducted research under the mentorship of Profs. Leonard Wantchekon and Jacob Shapiro. In Fall 2018 she began her doctoral studies as a Ph.D. student in the political science department at Columbia University.