Social Sciences Research Pathways (SSRP)

Overview
Social Sciences Research Pathways (SSRP) is a paid research development program that provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work alongside graduate student mentors pursuing masters or doctoral-level research.

Through the program, undergraduate mentees develop fundamental research skills and receive meaningful mentorship from graduate researchers to prepare them for future scholarly pursuits. In turn, graduate student mentors gain experience leading a research team and the conscientious support of undergraduate mentees for their research projects.

For their participation in SSRP, graduate student mentors will receive a $1,000 stipend (two $500 stipends, one per semester), and undergraduate mentees will receive a $2,000 stipend (two $1,000 stipends, one per semester).

The program aims to attract students from all backgrounds, and provide meaningful, hands-on social sciences research experience.

The 2021 SSRP application period is now closed. If you’d like to be in the loop about SSRP or be considered for future opportunities, please send an email to irle@berkeley.edu letting us know!

Questions? Contact program administrator Christina McKay at christina.mckay@berkeley.edu or irle@berkeley.edu.

How It Works

For Graduate Student Mentors:

  • Graduate students interested in mentoring should submit an application describing their research project and research support needs by September 2, 2021. 
  • Selected mentors will be notified by September 10, 2021.
  • SSRP matches mentors and mentees into research teams based on research interest, background, and availability. 
  • Research teams will attend a SSRP program orientation.
  • Mentors are responsible for overseeing their mentees’ work output, but are encouraged to seek out support from the SSRP and IRLE staff, who are available to provide training and orientation as necessary. 
  • As the departmental home for SSRP, the IRLE manages all logistics and administrative aspects of the program. 
  • Groups are welcome to utilize IRLE meeting space. 

For Undergraduate Student Mentees:

  • Interested undergraduate students should submit a mentee application by September 2, 2021.
  • Selected mentees will be notified by September 10, 2021.
  • SSRP matches mentors and mentees into research teams based on research interest, background, and availability. 
  • Research teams will attend a SSRP program orientation.
  • Mentees are expected to dedicate 3-5 hours of research time to the projects they support each week, in coordination with their mentor.

More detailed expectations are outlined below.

Research and Mentorship Expectations

Graduate Student Mentors:

  • Time commitment: 
    • 2-3 hours a week: mentorship, communication, consistent weekly/bi-weekly meetings, regular research training/check-ins
    • 25 weeks (whole academic year)
  • Work commitment: 
    • Provide ongoing research training, including practical methodological training, research process from start to end, and everything in between  
    • Provide academic and professional mentorship 
  • Value commitment:
    • Letters of Recommendation, or reference to faculty members
    • Graduate school applications support 
    • Guidance with independent research and/or senior theses

Undergraduate Student Mentees:

  • Time commitment: 
    • 3-5 hours a week, 4 hours on average each week
    • On average 25 weeks of work throughout the academic year
  • Work commitment: 
    • Tasks for the research team
    • Ongoing research support for their graduate student mentor, through tasks such as data cleaning, processing, collection, literature reviews, research report writing and revision
    • Completion of one mid-year report, and one end-of-year research report

All Program Participants:

  • Research outputs: 
  • Check-ins
    • Teams will also participate in check-ins with SSRP program staff throughout the year to assess progress and identify additional areas of support.
  • Program Evaluation
    • Research teams may be asked to complete a program evaluation survey.