Graduate Immersion Conference


Graduate Immersion Conference 2020

The logic behind the Graduate Immersion Conference is simple: to make an environment more inclusive, we need more representation. Yet it is often the case that undergraduate women, POC, LGTBQ+, and other under-represented identities in academia are not encouraged to pursue a PhD or presented the option of a career in research when planning for life post-graduation. Women in Political Science (WIPS), with the support of the Department of Political Science, wants to help break this cycle by offering high-performing undergraduates--especially those from underrepresented backgrounds--the rare opportunity to step inside the graduate experience and see what earning a PhD at Ohio State entails. To this end, WIPS established and organized the first Graduate Immersion Conference in 2019 and hopes to continue these efforts on an annual basis. 


The Department of Political Science at the Ohio State University invites undergraduate students to apply to its Second Annual Graduate Immersion Conference from October 26-27, 2020. Attendees will have the opportunity to showcase their original research, receive detailed feedback, and get a better understanding of the graduate student experience. The conference aims to give students belonging to groups historically underrepresented in academia a chance to learn more about graduate school and political science at Ohio State. This year's conference will be held online. The application fee for the PhD program in political science will be waived for those that are accepted and attend the conference.



Applicants must be undergraduate juniors or seniors at the date of the conference. The conference will place special emphasis on research being conducted by students from underrepresented groups in political science and in academia, including applicants who identify as women, LGBTQ+, first generation college students, people of color, etc. 


Application Materials:

The deadline for application materials has been EXTENDED to October 9, 2020 and must include:

  • Title & Abstract of an independent research project
  • A resumé (or CV)
  • College transcript
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation from faculty 
  • Completed Application Form


Application Details: 

If you or someone you know seems like a good fit for this conference, please encourage them to apply. Applications are due by September 18, 2020. The following materials should be submitted on the application form:

College Transcript: An unofficial transcript is acceptable, but make sure it is up to date and reflects grades from your last completed semester. This means you do not need to report grades from courses you are currently taking. 

A resumé/CV: A resume or CV detailing academic and work experiences, awards, scholarships, etc.  

Title and abstract of an original research project:  We welcome research from all approaches. By original research, we expect that the work is an independent project that you are writing on your own, or with the supervision of an academic advisor. For the application, all you need is the title and abstract, but it is expected that you will be able to circulate a completed paper or research design at the conference. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and include the following:

  • Introduction/Background
  • Method
  • Results or expected results

If you are submitting a research design, the paper should include the following sections: Research Question, Argument, Literature Review, Method, and Expected Outcomes. The research question should be one or two sentences asking a question about political phenomenon or behavior. The argument should be your answer to the research question you posed. The literature review gives a brief summary of existing research on this topic, including why this research question is important (especially if it is currently understudied) and what other scholars have argued on this topic (what do they miss? How does your argument differ?). The method section outlines how you plan to support your argument. Will you use case studies? Interviews? Statistics? Why is that method a good fit for your research question? Finally, the expected outcomes section briefly outlines what you expect your evidence to show. A research design is a proposal of future research, not a completed project. The design should be between 5-10 pages in length, double-spaced in standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, etc.).

If you are submitting a research paper, the paper should have a clear research question, make a novel argument, and support this claim with evidence. The paper should thus go beyond reviewing or summarizing existing literature or presenting an opinion on an issue. The paper should be between 15-25 pages double spaced in a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, etc.).

For those accepted to present at the conference, research papers or research design memos will be due October 16, 2020.

You will also need a Letter of Recommendation from a faculty member who can provide information about your academic performance and potential for success in graduate education or beyond. Letters should not be longer than one page. 

The recommendation letter portal can be found here. The link should be sent directly to your letter writer. Letters are due on September 18, 2020.  

Before beginning your application, we advise that you organize all of the above documents as there is no way to save your work on the application. 

If you are ready to apply, click here!

For any questions about the application process or the conference, please email

The Ohio State University is committed to equal opportunity and eliminating discrimination. This commitment is both a moral imperative consistent with an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences and diversity, as well as a matter of law. Ohio State does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment and admission.

Graduate Immersion Conference 2019

The 2019 Graduate Immersion Conference, held on September 27-28, received undergraduate students from all over the country with the opportunity to showcase their original research, receive detailed feedback, and interact with graduate students and faculty members to get a better understanding of the PhD experience and our program. We were more than happy to receive attendees from different backgrounds and with different interests, as well as to learn from their working papers and experiences. 

List of past participants:

The Effect of Gender Specific Aid Provisions on Civil Conflict Recurrence

  Presenter: Sally Hammer

  Discussant: Dr. Alex Thompson

Indicators of Increased Iranian Media Censorship

 Presenter: Heather Rodenberg

 Discussant: Dr. Sarah Brooks

Impact of Perceived Government Legitimacy on the Use of Taliban Court Systems

 Presenter: Jacoy Willis 

 Discussant: Dr. Amanda Robinson

Disabled and Deported: The Double-Edged Legal Classification of HIV/AIDS

 Presenter: Sam Haung

 Discussant: Dr. Ben McKean

Homeschooling Human Capital: Educating the Emotionally Priceless (But Economically Useless) Child

 Presenter: Devin Kalal

 Discussant: Dr. Vlad Kogan

Voter fraud allegations and their impact on the electoral bureaucracy in Knox Count

 Presenter: Delaney Barker

 Discussant: Dr. Jan Pierskalla

Understanding State Identity Formation Through Contradictions in U.S. International Identity and Asylum Policy

 Presenter: Jacqueline Figueroa

 Discussant: Dr. Jennifer Mitzen

Working Better Together: How Material and Symbolic Transitional Justice Impact Post-Civil War Peace

 Presenter: Ra’phael Davis

 Discussant: Dr. Bear Braumoeller

Gender Personality as a Determinant of Support for New Progressive Policies

 Presenter: Ciera Hammond

 Discussant: Dr. Tom Nelson