h o m e i d e a s p h. d   t r a i n i n g p e o p l e s e m i n a r s u m m e r e u r o p e a n  n e t w o r k  o n  i n e q u a l i t y n e w s
  H o m e



Professor John van Reenen (London School of Economics) and Matissa Hollister (Sociology & Social Policy)



Program components

I. Proseminar sequence|research

The Proseminar in Inequality & Social Policy, a three-term course sequence, serves as the central vehicle for bringing students from different disciplines together in an intensive and sustained multidisciplinary learning experience. Doctoral Fellows enroll in the proseminar upon their selection to the program and move through the sequence as a cohort.

The first two terms of the Proseminar survey central debates in the program’s eight substantive research areas (see research domains for full descriptions). Explicitly multidisciplinary in approach, the course is typically taught by a team of three faculty members, one from each disciplinary field. This group in recent years has included economists Amitabh Chandra, Richard Freeman, Jeffrey Liebman, and Richard Murnane; political scientists Jennifer Hochschild, Torben Iversen, and Theda Skocpol; and sociologists Kathryn Edin, Christopher Jencks, Bruce Western, and William Julius Wilson. In 2014-2015, the course is expected to be led by Devah Pager, Theda Skocpol, Amitabh Chandra, and Jennifer Hochschild. The class will meet Wednesdays, 2-4 pm, in both the fall and spring terms.

A major focus in the first year of the Proseminar is the development of a major piece of publishable research. Students receive extensive advising over the course of the year from one or more faculty advisers in the program. The Proseminar thus offers participants a uniquely structured setting in which to undertake a significant research project of their own.

The third-term Proseminar, taken in the fall of the succeeding year, is dedicated to the presentation and advancement to publication of this research paper. Organized as a research workshop and currently led by Professor William Julius Wilson, it pairs each Professor Christopher Winship (Sociology)student with an invited academic speaker from the Malcolm Wiener Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series. The invited scholar attends the student presentation with the class and serves as principal discussant for the student paper. The participation of these faculty visitors, selected for their expertise in the student’s research area, affords a rare opportunity for doctoral participants to engage in an extended discussion of their own research with leading experts from other institutions.

Faculty research apprenticeship. Doctoral Fellows are encouraged, although not required, to gain further training in social policy research through a paid research assistantship with a program faculty member. Students who are interested in broadening their experiences Jasmin Sethi (Economics) and Leah Platt Boustan (Economics)may find the Multidisciplinary Program's rich network of faculty particularly helpful in this regard. Funding for RA-ships will normally come from the faculty member's own sponsored research grants.



II. Malcolm Wiener Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series

Doctoral Fellows will also attend the Malcolm Wiener Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series, a public research forum for leading scholars in their fields to share research with the Harvard and greater-Boston area Inequality & Social Policy community. Meeting weekly on Mondays from 12:00-1:45 p.m. over lunch, the seminar ensures exposure to a diverse set of research topics and methods. As with the proseminar, the series is explicitly cross-disciplinary in character, drawing liberally from economics, political science, and sociology to illuminate productive areas for cross-fertilization.

The seminar calendar highlights the range of substantive interests and modes of inquiry represented in the seminar.

III. Special events and conferences

Doctoral Fellows will also participate in the program's conferences and special events, typically held a few times a year.

Doctoral participants gain many opportunities, both through special events and in the course of the academic year, to meet and interact with the program’s invited national speakers and affiliates throughout the Harvard community.


Key program requirements summarized

Participants in the Inequality & Social Policy program are expected, under the terms of the fellowships, to:

• Enroll in three-term Proseminar course sequence

• Attend weekly Malcolm Wiener Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series

• Participate in special events and conferences organized by the Inequality program

:: Continue on to Research Domains »





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