The Minority Serving Institution Research Academy (MSIRA) offers opportunities to undergraduate students to get hands-on training in how to do research. College students majoring in Political Science from minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in southern California are eligible to apply to become MSIRA fellows. MSIRA fellows will receive formal training in research methods via a ten-week course and then complete a 10-week research apprenticeship. MSIRA fellows will support a public engagement research study, and selected MSIRA fellows will be matched to a scholar of political science at a southern California MSI who will serve as their mentor. During their apprenticeship, MSIRA fellows will provide research support to their mentors and have opportunities to learn more about applying to graduate school. 

MSIRA is part of a broader project that examines the impact of “publicly engaged political science” and contributes to diversifying the academic community. Through a grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to UC Riverside political scientists Marissa Brookes, Kim Yi Dionne, and Jennifer Merolla, the research project will measure the social and research impact of public engagement, or scholars communicating beyond academic audiences and sharing their expertise with a broader, more general audience. The research project will advance knowledge by contributing rigorous evidence to the small but growing academic literature that shows scholarship that is publicly engaged can have greater academic and societal reach.