Three-year National Science Foundation Grant to Support the RBSI Program Awarded to Dr. Paula D. McClain

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dr. Paula D. McClain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Duke University has been awarded a $327,465 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) for 2016-2019. This is the seventh NSF grant that Dr. McClain has received to support the RBSI program. The program is also supported by Duke University's Office of the Provost, the political science department and the American Political Science Association (APSA). 

The RBSI program, celebrating its 30th year, is a 5 week intensive educational and research methodology summer program held at Duke University with the goal of increasing diversity within the political science professoriate. Attendees, rising college seniors, take two graduate level courses, research methodology, and racial and ethnic politics. To date, the RBSI program has taught and trained over 500 undergraduates and has resulted in nearly 70 PhDs in political science, as well as numerous master's degrees, PhDs in related fields and countless professional degrees.

Background of the RBSI Program
Named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former APSA President, and the first African American to receive a PhD in political science, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, the RBSI encourages students to pursue academic careers in political science by enhancing writing, research, and analytical skills to increase competitiveness in the application and financial aid process for graduate school; developing statistical skills for data analysis used in political science; exposing participants to the significant questions in the discipline and profession of political science; introducing participants to leading political scientists; and educating participants about political science career opportunities and encouraging their application to doctoral programs in political science.

The APSA Ralph Bunche Fund
In 2016, the APSA launched a major new $2.5 million campaign to support the long term future of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute. With $1.25 million designated by the APSA Council towards this effort, the goal is to raise an additional $1.25 million from individual, corporate, and organizational gifts by 2019. To learn more about the Bunche Fund and campaign, please contact Betsy Super at or 202-483-2512.

Visit Duke's RBSI Website