Academic Opportunities

Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs)

Specifics of a MAP in Sociology

  • As MAP topics are driven by faculty research, they are decided by faculty and announced with directions for how to apply in February. 
  • In the Social Studies Division, MAPs are competitive and hence require considerable preparation.

When is the right time to do a MAP?

  • These mentoring opportunities are intended to be advanced, the culmination of a plan of study, and a demonstration of strong student initiative. 
  • The time that is usually best to do a MAP is just before or your during your senior year.

What is the MAP application process like? How should you approach a professor about a MAP opportunity?

  • Summer MAP opportunities will usually be announced around February, with instructions on how to apply
  • Start thinking about a MAP as early as you can by building up to a project and by becoming familiar with faculty research in which you might participate. Don’t shop around for MAP directors at the last minute!
  • Professors are under no obligation to supervise MAPs so find out about their preferences for academic or summer MAPs, and what qualities and skills they require from a prospective MAP student. Plan accordingly.
  • When approaching a faculty member about a MAP, do it with a clearly written proposal of your project or of how you could develop a project within the faculty member’s research. Allow time for the faculty member to give you feedback. 

How can you prepare to apply for a MAP?

  • Understand the meaning of a MAP: Typically, MAPs can take two forms depending on whether they take place during the academic year or summer. Each requires different preparation, has different resources attached, and varies in the degree to which the student is required to devise a program of research.
  • Inquire about upcoming MAPs from professors
  • Take multiple courses with professors who offer MAPs
  • Take SOC 285 (Contemporary Social Theory) and SOC 291 (Methods of Empirical Analysis) prior to the summer following your third year
  • Build research and other skills/competencies that might be required for your MAP. Take courses in research methods, languages, and data analysis/visualization (e.g. GIS).
  • Demonstrate in class writing and research projects that you are building necessary skills and competencies. It may be helpful to keep a writing portfolio to share with potential MAP supervisors. 

Other Tips

  • Know the deadlines for MAP applications and read the informational materials carefully.
  • Talk to your adviser and think about how a MAP fits into your 4 year plan
  • Be ready to provide references for faculty members who can attest to your abilities, dependability, and work habits.

*This list is a compilation of advice from David Cook-Martin and Karla Erickson.*


External Research and Fellowships

Internship Resources

Internship Search Engines

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Joseph F. Wall '41 Scholarship

The Joseph F. Wall '41 Scholarship was established in 1983 by the Class of 1958 in honor of Joseph F. Wall '41, a graduate of Grinnell, Professor Emeritus of History, Dean of the College, and the first director of the college's Rosenfield Public Affairs program. The scholarship is restricted to second-semester third-year students who have established outstanding academic records and made a significant contribution to the college community. The amount of the award is dependent on the individual student's financial need. In a typical year, around five students are selected for this honor, with scholarship amounts ranging from $500 to several thousand dollars. In 2013-14, the committee will allocate approximately $17,400 to Wall Scholarship recipients.

For more information, please visit the Office of Social Commitment or contact Doug Cutchins, Director of Social Commitment.


Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program offers scholarships for minority students who wish to pursue a Ph.D.

For more information, please visit their website.


The Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship Program offers substantial assistance for highly motivated undergraduate juniors to support graduate school expenses.

For more information, please visit their website.


American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship Program

The APSA Minority Fellowship Program offers scholarships for students in underrepresented groups applying for doctoral programs in Political Science and an interest in teaching.

For more information, please visit their website.


Davis Projects for Peace

The Davis Projects For Peace Program offers summer stipends for student-designed grassroots projects to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace.

For more information, please visit the Office of Social Commitment.


Judith Louise McKim Sociology Scholarship

The Judith Louise McKim Sociology Scholarship is awarded yearly to a top third-year or senior sociology major by the Grinnell sociology department.


Sociology Book Award

The Sociology Book Award is awarded annually to the sociology third-year student who has the highest GPA by the Grinnell sociology department. 


Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost awards for full-time graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

More information:



Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

More information:



Mitchell Scholarship

The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

More information:|%20US-Ireland%20Alliance.html



Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international educational fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.

More information:


Activities and Organizations

Student Employment

The Sociology Department hires several students each semester to assist professors with their work. Students should contact professors they would like to work for specifically, or contact the Department Chair, Karla Erickson, for more information.


Some popular service opportunities that Grinnellians, and sociology majors in particular, avail of include the following: