How to Use the Research Centers to Your Advantage
Many of the government department’s faculty teach or are affiliated with various SFS research centers. Additionally, numerous faculty members primarily affiliated with the centers are also trained political scientists. These SFS centers focus mainly BA and MA-level courses. Doctoral students, however, often have particular research interests that match these centers’ agendas, either on a regional or thematic basis. There are many ways the Department's students can make use of these centers, but it is up to you to take the initiative!
Go to talks. The easiest way for doctoral students to benefit from the centers is to attend their frequent talks and sponsored events. Since these events are not always cross listed or advertised to the government department, students should contact these centers to get on their email mailing list. Get in the habit of going to these lunch talks—both for the free food and to broaden your theoretical and empirical perspective.
Meet the director of the center. If a student is particularly interested in the offerings of a particular center, they can also contact the head of the center and introduce themselves. Introduce yourself to the director, tell them generally about their interests and ambitions for the coming four to five years. Center directors deal mainly with master’s student who will be gone in 20 months. A student doing more sophisticated work over a longer period of time will often be attractive. The director may even have research money or jobs available.
Apply for funding through the centers. The Arab Studies Center, the Center for Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Studies, and the Latin American Center are all federally-funded Title VI research centers. They administer the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) grants for regional language study, either for a full year or for a summer (note: the Arab Studies center administers grants for all Middle Eastern languages, not just Arabic). While the centers often prefer to earmark this money for their own master’s students, they are required to fund doctoral students as well. Contact each center to discuss the application process.
Take classes through the centers. Most centers offer classes geared to undergraduate and master’s students. Doctoral students who take them may find them theoretically unsophisticated and generally annoying. If, however, a student is particularly interested in taking course on a particular region or with a particular professor, they can try to set it up as a readings course or independent study. The arrangement has to be done on a case by case basis and with the approval of both the director of graduate studies and the instructor but it essentially looks as follows: the student sets up an independent study curriculum that matches all the requirements (including attendance) of the master’s level course. As a supplement, they arrange for some extra readings and for monthly meetings with the instructor to discuss them. It is also possible to have more extensive writing assignments.
Major Research Centers and Their Locations
• Arab Studies, ICC 241
• Latin American Studies, ICC 484
• Central European, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, ICC 111
• BMW German and European Studies, ICC 501
• Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, 3307 M St
• Muslim-Christian Understanding, ICC 241
• Jewish Civilization, Healey Hall
• Peace and Security Studies, 3600 N St, lower level
• Australian and New Zealand Studies, ICC 232
• Mortara Center for International Studies, 3600 N St
• Turkish Studies, ICC 3rd Floor
• Institute for Study of International Migration, 3300 Whitehaven St, 3rd Street
• Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI), 3520 Prospect St. (Car Barn)
- White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director on NSF Funding
- Pulitzer Prize Winner Speaks at Giles Seminar Talk
- Professor King on the Boston Bombings
- There are no upcoming events scheduled at this time.