Monthly Archives: January 2012

Student fellowship for projects on non-violence, inequality reduction, inter-cultural understanding, or environment

For NYU grad and undergrads, this came in via email today:

New York University is one of eight universities to offer the Dalai Lama Fellowship, an international program of the Dalai Lama Center. One fellow will be chosen from each university to receive up to $10,000 toward a year-long project of his of her design in one of four focus areas:

  1. diminishing violence;
  2. mitigating income and wealth inequities;
  3. encouraging cross-cultural and inter-religious communications and understanding;
  4. promoting environmental sustainability.
All full-time students – undergraduate, graduate and professional students – who will be enrolled at NYU in Academic Year 2012 – 2013, are invited to apply. Details here: link.

Application Deadline: February 21, 2012

Please direct any inquiries to or 212 998-2329.


Consultancy opportunity: developing methods to measure governments’ commitment to evaluation

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) is seeking a consultant to research methods for measuring governments’ commitment to evaluation and evidence-based policy. The consultant will review methods for measuring such commitment. The consultant will also study whether and how performance indices of this sort actually have an impact. Sounds like interesting work. Full terms of reference are here: link.


Draft syllabus for NYU graduate course on designing surveys & field experiments

As mentioned in a previous post (link), I will teach a graduate course this Spring at NYU called “Quantitative Field Methods.” The course description is as follows:

POL-GA 3200 Quantitative Field Methods (4 points) Instructor: Cyrus Samii (GSAS/Politics), Spring 2012, Thu 4-6
This is a graduate course on statistical methods for designing quantitative social science field research, including sample surveys, field experiments, and observational (quasi-experimental) studies. The purpose of this course is to train graduate students in the social sciences to design rigorous quantitative micro-level fieldwork for their research. The learning goals are (i) to understand why some sampling, experimental, or measurement techniques are to be preferred over others, (ii) to be able to analyze design alternatives and implement sampling, treatment assignment, and measurement algorithms in the R statistical computing environment, and (iii) to develop an ability to take meaningful social science questions and translate them into hypotheses and research designs that can address the questions in a compelling manner.

A working draft of the syllabus is here: quant field methods 120103. I welcome comments or suggestions.

For NYU students or NYC-area students interested in the course:

  • First, I recently noticed that in the registration system this class had been mislabeled (something about “design of institutions”). As far as I know, this has been corrected. In any case, you can be sure that POL-GA 3200 refers to the class described in this post and not the institutions class.
  • Second, the course is open to PhD students as well as master’s students, subject to availability of slots, from across the social sciences. (See syllabus for details.) However, the prerequisites are at least a year of graduate level social science statistics training (or equivalent, subject to my assessment), as the presentation will be technical and the assignments will involve fairly intensive programming in R. No auditing will be allowed.