Soc 320 Research Opportunity, Spring 2023: Navigating Careers in Public Policy

Term: Spring 2023
Status: Open
Working With: Wendy Li, 
Topic: Navigating Careers in Public Policy
Who are the people who write our laws and policies in Washington, D.C.? Beyond the elected and appointed officials we might recognize in the news, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who work to support and influence our government. These professionals include government employees, but also lobbyists, attorneys, consultants, public relations specialists, researchers, and other individuals. This project investigates how people begin and navigate careers in public policy. In particular, it seeks to understand how people who arrive in Washington, D.C., often intending to make a positive impact on the world, change their ideas of what is a good and desirable career. What moral, financial, personal, and political factors go into career decision-making?
Through interviews with policy professionals in different organizations and stages of their careers, this project will contribute to our understanding of political elites, the revolving door, and the policymaking process.
Activities: Undergraduate research assistants will undergo IRB training in order to access and work on the interview data. RAs will be trained in qualitative data analysis methods, such as in-depth coding of interview data. RAs will gain a strong sense of different career tracks available in the field of public policy, and how individuals network, get a job, and advance in policy careers. Undergraduate research assistants will need to attend weekly meetings and maintain detailed work logs.
– Good command of spoken and written English
– Understanding and familiarity with U.S. politics and public policy
– Strong communication and organizational skills
To Apply: Please contact Wendy Li at the email address above. Applicants should submit their resume and a one-paragraph statement explaining their interest in this research project. Applications are open until positions are filled. Available for 1-3 credits.