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Research Assistantships

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  • Two students smiling

    Bonding over Pub Pol

    Q: How did you get into public policy?

    Daniel: Well initially, when I took Public Policy 155 (Introduction to Public Policy), I was not very sure about my decision ... However now I see that there’s much more to public policy than the core courses. It’s a very interdisciplinary major which features research, business implementation, micro and macroeconomics, and even facets of cultural anthropology. So it’s just a very diverse major.

    Isabelle: I agree. I like having a diverse major because I’m actually a pre-med student but I’m also very interested in other things. So something I like about the public policy major is that you can take a global health ethics but you can also take a journalism class.

    Q: So you bonded over the major?

    Daniel: We knew each other beforehand; we were in the same residence hall in Gilbert-Addoms.

    Isabelle: Well when I walked into microeconomics I was like ‘Heyyy! Daniel!’

    Daniel: Yeah and I was like ‘Isabelle! You do this too!’ Yeah, we bonded after that! I think that’s another facet of public policy – bringing people with different backgrounds and different academic interests together. Isabelle, who is pre-med and still likes policy implementation, and me who is formally interested in West African development.

    -Isabelle Doan & Daniel Ntim (PPS’20)

    Explore more #HumansofDukeSanford stories.

The Eads Family Undergraduate Research Endowment Fund provides funding to encourage undergraduate public policy majors to become involved in faculty research projects.

(Juniors or sophomores might have an opportunity to build on the experience by choosing to write an honors thesis.)

Please apply directly to the person listed in the position description, providing a resume and explanation of your interest in the position.


2018 - 2019 Academic Year Projects


Efficacy of the DCCS Program: ESL and Classroom Teachers Working Together with Students and Families

Reports to: Leslie Babinski

Apply to: lb107@duke.edu

The research assistant will participate on a research team studying the impact of a teacher professional development program on the language and literacy skills of English Learners in elementary schools. The tasks will include designing a website, conducting literature reviews, data collection and entry, researching online course options, managing surveys in Qualtrics, and proof reading and editing proposals and reports. The RA may also assist with data collection in schools. Organized, self-motivated student with web design and excellent writing skills preferred.


Prevention and Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Reports to: Elizabeth Gifford

Apply to: beth.gifford@duke.edu

Our team is working with Durham Department of Social Services and the Duke Health System Child Abuse and Neglect Medical Evaluation Clinic to develop strategies to identify children and youth who are at-risk for experiencing child maltreatment and helping children and families access timely services.


On Guard for Peace and Socialism: The Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

Reports to: Simon Miles

Apply to: simon.miles@duke.edu

I am beginning research on a second book, Debating Deterrence: Defining and Seeking Security within the Warsaw Pact, which will examine the ways in which the members of the Warsaw Pact conceived of and provided for their own security in the nuclear age based on international archival research. RAs will be primarily responsible for research in primary sources (archival documents, memoirs, published document collections) and in secondary sources, both for historiographical as well as empirical ends. RAs with overlapping interests would be welcome to use these materials in their own research. Students with relevant language skills are especially encouraged to apply! I am particularly seeking: Albanian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian.