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2020 Summer Institute

2020-2021 Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods cohort! Click here to view the 2020-2021 SIMRM participants and here to view the confirmed instructors.

The UC Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative is delighted to host the 3rd annual Summer Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods (SIMRM). The Summer Institute was supposed to be held at the University of California, Berkeley campus, in May 2020, but has been moved to the summer of 2021 due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. The Institute is organized and directed by Irene Bloemraad (UCB) and Jennifer Van Hook (Pennsylvania State University). The costs for participation, airfare, accommodation and meals for the duration of the program will be covered by the Summer Institute, which is made possible thanks to the generous funding from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Russell Sage Foundation.

The 10-day workshop will train up to 28 graduate students, early-career researchers and beginning faculty in best-practices and in methodologies especially relevant to the study of immigration and migrant populations. The 2021 program will focus on: (1) conceptualizing, measuring and imputing legal status in migration studies; (2) studying immigration through social media and computational analysis; and (3) current frontiers in research on migration and health. The institute will also include sessions on research ethics and professionalization. Each day of the institute includes a mixture of instructional lectures and hands-on practical instruction or discussion and it reserves time for feedback on participants’ work.

Confirmed instructors:

Irene Bloemraad (UC Berkeley)
Jenny van Hook (PennState)
James Bachmeier (Temple University)
Joanna Dreby (SUNY, University at Albany)
Brandie Nonnecke (UC Berkeley)

Participation is restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral or early-career researchers, and untenured faculty within 5 years from their Ph.D. who do empirical research on migration. It is open to researchers in the social sciences, professional schools (e.g., Education, Public Policy), or humanities (including digital humanities) who have sufficient training and background to succeed.

The primary recruitment pool is universities, but the Institute welcomes applications from researchers in government or non-profit organizations. There are no restrictions based on citizenship, country of study, or country of employment. Those who might not otherwise be eligible for support under federal funding guidelines will be supported through the generosity of the Russell Sage Foundation.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via the RSF online application portal, Fluxx.

1) Create an account or log in to your existing account. **Allow up to 48 hours for a new account to be approved; please register by February 1, 2020**

2) Start a new "Summer Institute" application and select “Migration Research Methods.”

3) Submit the following documents:

  • a motivation letter explaining your current research, how it relates to the Institute’s 2020 training priorities and how attending the Summer Institute will advance your research;
  • a research abstract (N.B: this is a brief text on the application, not a document upload);
  • a 3-5 page CV;
  • For Ph.D. students only: an (unofficial) grade transcript

Complete applications must be received by February 10, 2020. Organizers will notify applicants solely through e-mail by mid-March and will ask selected applicants to confirm their participation shortly thereafter. 

Inquiries can be sent to the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative at

Technical questions about the application portal (Fluxx) can be sent to

See for more information the full call for applications.


2020 Application FAQ

  • I don't have a grade transcript for my Ph.D. program? Please submit your latest grade transcript. If you have completed a Master's degree, please upload the grade transcript of your Master's degree. Is the highest degree you have completed before your PhD program a Bachelor's degree, please upload the grade transcript of your undergraduate degree.
  • May I submit application materials in another language than English? Please only submit application materials in English. If you have a grade transcript in another language than English, please upload the original non-English transcript with an (unofficial) translation saved as 1 single file.
  • What is the maximum length of the motivation letter/statement of interest? There is no word limit or page requirement for the motivation letter. However, we urge you to be concise and urge you to stay under 1 page in length.
  • What is the maximum length of the research abstract and what should the abstract focus on? Please submit an abstract describing your current/ongoing research. There is no word limit, but usually abstracts are between 100-350 words in length. Again, we appreciate your ability to describe your research in a concise manner.
  • I am not currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program and have not completed a PhD, am I eligible to participate? The program is open to migration researchers who have not completed a PhD program and are not currently enrolled in a PhD program. However, we do require you to have completed a Master's degree, to currently be conducting empirical research on a topic related to the Summer Institute, and to have completed training in quantitative research methods.
  • Do you accept applicants irrespective of nationality or country of residence? There are no citizenship or residency requirements to participate in the Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods. We will accept applicants irrespective of legal status, current country of residence or citizenship. There are a few spots reserved in the program thanks to the generous funding of the Russell Sage Foundation.
  • What are the costs of participation in the Summer Institute? The Summer Institute covers accommodation for the duration of the Summer Institute (single bedroom in student suites), all meals for the duration of the Summer Institue, airfare (economy - on average ~$600 per participant), and tuition fees.

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