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Opportunities and Funding

As a political science major, you have the opportunity to engage in research through internships, study abroad and away programs, or through our Honors Program, including independent work under the direction of a faculty member.

Below, learn more about research and funding opportunities and our student award winners’ projects.

Honors Program

Political science majors with outstanding academic records may apply to the departmental honors program in spring of their junior year. Students who join the honors program work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of their choice and participate in the honors colloquium by presenting a chapter of their thesis and commenting on other students’ thesis chapters.

Download Honors Program Guidelines

  • Aaron Dorshow: “Law and Power: The Future of Personal Data Protection in China” (2021)
  • Mahi Taban: “From Kabul to Peshawar: The Politicized Lives and Lyrics of Pashtun Women” (2021)
  • Curan VanDerWielen: “Identifying Challenges to Effective Global Climate Governance” (2021)
  • Andrew Vontzalides: “Local Demographic Change and Anti-Migrant Political Party Support in France, the UK, and Sweden” (2021)
  • José Castillo: “The Political Determinants for Effective Regional Economic Integration” (2019)
  • Padmini Dey: “The Securitization of Undocumented Immigration: An Exploration of Discourse and Technology in the Trump Era” (2019)
  • Juliet Michaelsen: “Absolutely MAD or Just Plain NUTS? How Adversarial Relationships and Conventional Capabilities Affect Nuclear Strategic Doctrine” (2019)
  • Brandon Mooney: “What Makes a Man? A Content Analysis of Chinese Politics’ Effect Upon Perceptions of Masculinity” (2019)
  • Maia Nikoladze: “Energy Dependence and Foreign Policy: Analyzing Small States of the Former Soviet Union” (2019)
  • Salma Muna-Faysal Shawa: “International Human Rights Norms: Universal Rights or Hegemonic Righteousness?” (2019)
  • Jessica Macey: “Dynamic Disputes: Causes of Change in Press-government Conflicts” (2018)
  • Katherine Alexander: “From Trials and Truth to Amnesty and Amnesia: Transitional Justice in Argentina and Spain” (2017)
  • Sam Biasi: “Holiday in Syria: Hizbullah’s Rise to Proto-statehood” (2017)
  • Yukio: “The Blind Man of Eurasia: Russia’s Strategic Mishandling of the Ukraine Crisis and Its Negative Repercussions on Russia Foreign Policy” (2017)
  • Garrett Lynch: “The Blind Man of Eurasia: Russia’s Strategic Mishandling of the Ukraine Crisis and Its Negative Repercussions on Russian Foreign Policy” (2016)
  • Kallie McLoughlin: “Is Everybody Doing It? Sex Education in the United States: A Comparison of Five States” (2016)
  • Katherine Bogen: “Reproductive Rights in Latin America: Authoritarianism, Identity Framing, Religious ‘Morality,’ and Sexual Health in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile since 1970” (2015)
  • Patrick Burchat: “Anti-American Propaganda in Cuba: Stability through Fear” (2015)
  • Kimi Ko: “Theravada Buddhism’s Political Significance under the Military Junta (1992–2011) and President Thein Sein’s Democratizing Government (2011– ) in Mayanmar” (2015)
  • Chelsea Salmonsen: “The Inside Account: The Future of the Massachusetts Republican Politics According to Massachusetts Republican State Legislators” (2013)

Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship

The Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship funds students’ summer research on politics and public policy. Several awards of up to $2,500 are open to political science majors and minors with a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA.

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  • Morufat Ayoola Bellos ’20: Summer Non-Profit Internship Fellow through Laney Makin, associate director at Forest Foundation, Boxford, Mass.
  • Zoe Brammer ’21: Research assistant in in Washington, D.C., with Jake Sullivan, a Senior Fellow in the Geo-economics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Valerie Chavez ’21: Internship involving idesign and execution of digital campaigns at the Peruvian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
  • Yasmeen El-Gerbi ’20: Internship in Jim McGovern’s Office, Washington, D.C.
  • Mariela Alicia Esteva ’21: Internship as special adviser at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations in New York
  • Priyanka K. Naithani ’21: Internship as a market research, primary care research, and social media correspondent with the Harvard Medical School, Center for Primary Care through the Forest Foundation, Boston
  • Julie Reed ’21: Research project on the effect of terror attacks on campaign rhetoric regarding immigration and immigration rights, with research conducted during her study abroad in Paris
  • Miranda Hotham ’19: Internship at the Worcester Division of Public Health
  • David Sullivan ’20: Internship in the office of Massachusetts State Representative James Kelcourse
  • Sara Conroy ’20: Internship at the U.S. House of Representatives with Congressman Paul Tonko
  • Tanzeem Lodi ’19: Internship at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh, United Nations
  • Jose Castillo  Montenegro ’19: Internship at the Permanent Mission of Chile, United Nations
  • Maia Nikoladze ’19: Internship at the Permanent Mission of Georgia, United Nations
  • Maha Akbar ’20: Internship at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan, United Nations

Jeremy R. Hastings ’01 Award in Political Science

The Jeremy R. Hastings ’01 Award in Political Science provides funding to support students carrying out an independent research project or doing an unpaid internship.  The internship or research project could take place over the course of one semester or over the summer.  Awards range from $500 to $5000.

The application can be found here.

Applications for Awards to support Summer or Fall Semester internships or projects are due by noon on April 15.

Applications should be submitted to the Political Science Department Managerial Secretary, Judith Barton at and to your faculty sponsor at their Clark email address.

You may also email the Political Science Department Chair if you have any questions.

Zenovia Sochor Memorial Award

The Zenovia Sochor Memorial Award is presented each fall to political science majors or minors studying abroad in spring, preferably in an Eastern European country.

Alumni, friends, and colleagues created the award in memory of Professor Zenovia Sochor, who taught comparative politics courses at Clark for almost two decades before her untimely death in 1998. She was known by students and colleagues as a gifted scholar, a valued friend, and a caring mentor. The $500 Sochor award is given to a student each year.

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  • Ana Margarita “Geri” De Ramos
  • Priyanka Naithani
  • Alexander Azar
  • Alexis Marston

June Patron ’65 Endowed Internship Award

This $500 award is given annually by the Political Science Department to a student who has secured an unpaid summer internship in Washington, D.C., or with an organization that interacts with the U.S. government, such as a lobbying group or think tank.

Learn More

  • 2019: Benjamin Gessel and Jamie Smith
  • 2018: Joshua Merchat

Fall Fest and Academic Spree Day

Once you’ve conducted your research, practice how to present it to others. Held annually, Clark’s Fall Fest in October and Academic Spree Day in April celebrate undergraduate research. Many political science majors participate in these events and present their research.

Fall Fest 2019

  • Experiences in a Massachusetts Representative’s Office. Deanna D’Innocenzo ’21. (Sponsor: Robin Huntley)
  • Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship: International Institute of New England Internship. Morufat Bello ’20. (Sponsor: Professor Robert Boatright)
  • Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship: An Internship with the Peruvian Embassy’s Press Department. Valeria Chavez ’21. (Sponsor: Professor Robert Boatright)
  • Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship: A summer internship with Congressman Jim McGovern in Washington, D.C. Yasmeen El-Gerbi ’20. (Sponsor: Professor Mark Miller)
  • Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship: Summer Internship at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations. Mariela Esteva ’21. (Sponsor: Professor Robert Boatright)
  • Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship: The Politics of Human Rights. Julie Reed ’20. (Sponsor: Professor Michael Butler)
Contact Information

Department of Political Science

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    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

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