Opportunities in Political Science

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Majors in political science are eligible to compete for a variety of national awards.  The Grinnell College Center for Careers, Life, and Service provides up-to-date information about the scholarships and fellowships and, in some cases, has a role in administering the application process.  The following opportunities have been especially attractive to political science majors:  Carnegie Junior Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Mitchell Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Harry Truman Scholarship, and  Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

Kathryn Mohrman Fellowship

This fellowship, established through the generosity of Kathryn Jagow Mohrman ’67, supports advanced student research or special projects receiving academic credit within the Departments of History or Political Science. The Fellowship encourages students to examine phenomena that they have not earlier confronted, and it encourages and rewards independent study. Although only applications for research on history or political science topics will be considered, students need not be majors in either of the two fields to apply. When possible, preference will go to research projects that take the student outside the U.S. A student’s financial need may be then taken into account in deciding whom to fund in any given year. Often the Mohrman fellowship has supported a MAP project, but this is not a requirement. Final decision regarding the award will be made by spring break.

Students should apply to one of the two departments by March 1 at 5 p.m. A completed application will include the following elements:

  • a plan of study (three pages) describing the major academic goal and research agenda, the project time frame, the resources to be used in completing the project, along with evidence that the student will have access to these resources;
  • a statement of support and cooperation from a faculty sponsor in the Department of History or the Department of Political Science who will supervise the project; the faculty member should specify his or her interest in the project and speak to the quality and feasibility of the proposal;
  • a budget, including travel and per diem costs
  • the names of at least two other faculty members who can attest to the applicant's seriousness of purpose, ability to complete an independent project, and the extent to which this project will build on the applicant's previous academic work.
  • a transcript

For more information, please contact the political science department chair.

Young W. Kihl ’51 Prize

About the award

The Kihl Prize is an annual, competitive award that honors an outstanding senior political science student. In his gift agreement, Dr. Kihl outlined the criteria the Department of Political Science should consider when awarding the prize. The winning student must have:

  • Achieved academic excellence in political science courses;
  • Demonstrated a commitment to the ideals of a liberal arts education, via both the breadth and the difficulty of courses taken outside the major; and,
  • Contributed to the College and the wider community.

Past winners

2022: Sharene Gould Dulabaum

2021: Sriyash Prajval Kadiyala

2020: Zijun (Sam) Xu

2019: Lily Hamilton

2018: Emma Zimmerman

2017: Philipp Gemmel

2013–16: No award given

2012: Anna Bosak

2011: Philip Sletton

2010: Thomas Davis

2009: David Logan

2008: Max Postman

2007: Sara Brady

2006: Rachel Moskowitz

Activities and Organizations

Department Picnic

Each spring, the student educational policy committee (SEPC) hosts a picnic to allow faculty members and students to socialize outside of the classroom.

Student Employment

Student Research Assistants

Faculty members regularly hire student research assistants. Interested students should contact the political science department chair.

Student Secretary

The department hires a student secretary to assist faculty on teaching-related tasks. Interested students should contact the political science department chair.


The student educational policy committee is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.

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