Summer Policy Research Institute

The Public Policy Center's Summer Policy Research Institute (SPRI) is a 6-week program for University of Iowa undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in policy research. The mission of SPRI is to expose students to academic research through a mentored, team-based experience. This program is part of the University’s IowaRISE initiative to provide more students with high-impact, meaningful experiences outside the classroom.

The institute can enhance the research experience for students who are currently working with a faculty member on a research project and/or in a research lab, and supplement their experience through a cohort experience; students not currently working in a research lab, but with an interest in policy-relevant research, are welcome, too!

Participation in the Institute includes:

  • An appointment at the PPC as an Undergraduate or Graduate Research Fellow;
  • A weekly 1-hour seminar on introductory, policy research-related topics, plus discussion of assigned reading. Some possible topics include:
    • Research and the scientific method
    • Quantitative research basics
    • Qualitative research basics
    • Human subject research and protections and research ethics
    • Communicating policy research effectively
    • Data analysis
  • An instructor guided, 1-hour weekly sharing of research activities among student peers to provide feedback and ideas;
  • Opportunities to meet with UI Leadership about their own introduction to and experiences in research;
  • Development of a policy brief that will be published via the PPC’s website and network of collaborators (for those whose research is appropriate for a policy brief)

Students have the option of enrolling with an acknowledgement of their participation on their transcript or with credit hours, depending on the interest of the student.

The Summer Policy Research Institute (SPRI) is supported by the Public Policy Center and by additional funding provided by the University of Iowa. SPRI is part of the development of IowaRISE, a program to engage more students in Research, Internships, Service learning, and civic Engagement, which will benefit our communities and increase student success before and after graduation. If you're interested in participating in SPRI 2022, please let us know!

Methods Courses at Iowa

Developing skill with research methods is a journey. Fortunately, the University of Iowa offers a wide range of courses for you to further your training. A curated list of research methods courses is available here.