Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods 2019

Date 06/09/19 to 06/16/19
Location Millennium Science Complex, University Park campus, State College, PA
Contact Jennifer Van Hook
Contact Email

Photo of several refugees crossing train tracks on their way to the borderPenn State will host the second Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods from June 9-16 2019 at the Millennium Science Complex on the University Park campus. The institute trains early career researchers in best practices and methodologies particularly relevant to the study of immigration and migrant populations. Penn State, in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, was awarded a Russell Sage Foundation and Carnegie Corporation training grant to host the institute. The co-organizers and principal faculty are Dr. Irene Bloemraad (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr. Jennifer Van Hook (Penn State).

Each day of the institute includes a mixture of instructional lectures and hands-on practical instruction or discussion, including conversations about professionalization and time for individualized feedback on participants’ work. An interdisciplinary team of guest instructors will join the directors in training participants in (1) ethics and best practices for mixed methods research design; (2) estimating causal relationships in research on immigrants and immigration policy; and (3) the use of administrative and linked longitudinal data sources to study change over time and across generations. The institute’s last day will also include sessions on how to increase the impact of research by translating findings for policy discussions and the public. There are ample opportunities for participants to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, other participants, and visiting speakers.

Congratulations to the 30 participants who have been invited to attend.

Read our press release

Read about the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI)
The logo for the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative


Sunday, June 9: Participants arrive


Monday, June 10

09:00–09:45 Welcome and introductions
10:00–12:00 Ethical Migration Research and Designing Mixed Methods Projects
01:00–02:00 Nuts and Bolts in Mixed Method Migration Research
02:15–03:15 Brainstorming Sessions: Opportunities in Mixed Methods Research
03:30–04:30 Professionalization Panel Discussion: Publication and writing tips


Tuesday, June 11

09:00–10:30 Experimental Approaches
11:00–12:30 Causal Inference in Migration Research
01:30–02:30 Nuts and Bolts: Causal Methods
02:45–03:45 Brainstorming: Opportunities in Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs
04:00–05:00 Professionalization Panel Discussion: The research process


Wednesday, June 12: Substantive and Methodological Challenges in Studying Change Over Time

09:00–10:30 Longitudinal versus cross-sectional approaches
11:00–12:00 The Age-period-cohort conundrum
01:00–02:30 Nuts and Bolts: Synthetic cohort analysis and APC models
02:45–03:45 Nuts and Bolts: Collecting longitudinal data, life history calendars
04:00–05:00 Professionalization Panel Discussion: Securing research funding

Thursday, June 13: Administrative Record Linkages

09:00–10:15 Using administrative record linkages to follow individuals over time
10:30–12:00 Examples using historical census data
01:00–02:00 Nuts and Bolts: Accessing linked data, quality and selectivity of linkages
02:15–03:45 Student Presentations (3 groups of 3)
04:00–05:00 Professionalization Panel Discussion: Work-life balance

Friday, June 14: Administrative Record Linkages

09:00–10:30 European administrative record systems
11:00–12:30 Examples using European registration system data
01:30–03:00 Using administrative record linkages to examine change across generations
03:15–04:30 Student Presentations (3 groups of 3)
04:30–05:30 Professionalization Panel Discussion: Building and maintaining professional networks


Saturday, June 15

10:00–12:00 Immigration and Immigrant Integration Policy Landscape
01:00–02:00 Professionalization Panel Discussion: Increasing the Impact of Research
02:30–04:00 Student Presentations (3 groups of 4 or 5)
07:00–09:30 Farewell dinner and wrap-up

Sunday, June 16: departures

Tentative list of Instructors

Jennifer Van Hook, Penn State
Irene Bloemraad, UC-Berkeley
Helen Marrow, Tufts University
Michael Jones-Correa, University of Pennsylvania
Chad Sparber, Colgate University
Jens Hainmeuller, Stanford University
Filiz Garip, Cornell University
Liying Luo, Penn State
Peter Catron, University of Washington
Maarten Vink, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Katie Genadek, U.S. Census Bureau
Michelle Mittelstadt, Migration Policy Institute
Aixa Cintron-Velez, Russell Sage Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) How long should the motivation letter be?
A) We don't have a page limit, but you should aim for 2-3 single-spaced pages.

Q) How long should the research abstract be?
A) About 150-250 words.

Q) Are non-U.S. scholars eligible to apply?
A) Yes, we welcome non-U.S. scholars.

Q) I am a PhD student but my institution does not issue grades and I cannot submit a transcript. What should I do?
A) You may either submit a transcript from your master’s degree program or submit a letter of recommendation from one of your mentors.

Q) How much is the tuition?
A) There is no tuition.

Q) Does the Summer Institute cover travel expenses?
A) Yes, the Summer Institute covers travel expenses up to $500 for all accepted participants. Dorm rooms and meals are provided.

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