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Research Program

Master's in Public Administration

Research Program

The research program is for students and faculty interested in applying research skills to community problems. The program pairs students with faculty mentors to create a nurturing environment for developing researchers. Consistent with the mission of the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, the research program proposes solutions to real-world problems, disseminates research in usable forms, and engages with government and nonprofit organizations. The program is under the direction of PSM Deputy Director Adriana Espinosa, who is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department.

Student research assistants work for 15 to 20 hours per week under guidance of faculty mentors. Appointments to the program run one academic year, and students receive a $5,000 stipend. The program provides ten workshops in quantitative methods that PSM students may count as one elective course. The PSM Program has sole discretion in assigning students to faculty. Students may indicate on their application a preferred faculty mentor, and the faculty member must apply separately. Limited funding is available to cover small, research-related expenses.

Partner Organizations

The PSM program proudly acknowledges the support of our community research partners:

  • The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
  • Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership in Public Service
  • Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service

Selected Research Projects (see full list)

Mapping the Quality of Summer Internships in Washington, D.C.

The authors, who participated in the PSM Program's collaborative partnership with the Washington Center, ask: What makes a high quality internship? This survey-based study examines internship locations, level of intellectual challenge, opportunities for professional growth, mentorship, and the benefits and drawbacks of intern compensation, among other topics.

How to Apply

Students interested in applying must submit a full application, resume, unofficial transcript and research proposal or statement of research interests to the Deputy Director, Adriana Espinosa, NAC 7/114A, 212-650-7357 ( Applications are accepted in hard copy or via e-mail. If you will submit it by email, please state in the subject heading "Application to Research Program". Applications are due August 1st. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed or considered. Download the student application.

Faculty members seeking a research assistant and willing to commit to the program should follow our instructions for faculty.




Adriana Espinosa, Deputy Director, PSM Program

"The research program provides practical instruction and mentoring to help students apply classroom learning to social problems."

- Adriana Espinosa, PSM Deputy Director and Assistant Professor, Psychology