Applications are now being accepted for a final -- one year -- 2017-2018 BDSS IGERT Traineeship.  Deadline for the application submission is March 2nd, 2017.

BDSS-IGERT Traineeship Overview

Prospective trainees are encouraged to review the elements of the BDSS-IGERT program as detailed elsewhere on this site. Please note that in anticipation of the NSF-funded IGERT ending in 2018, this is a one-year traineeship, rather than the two-year traineeships that have been offered in the past. In overview, trainees will

  • Be admitted to, and pursue, the dual-title PhD or graduate minor in Social Data Analytics.
  • Conduct a research rotation on campus in an interdisciplinary SoDA-related project, during the 2017-2018 academic year (~10 hours / week).
  • Participate in BDSS-IGERT / SoDA activities, including hackathons, joint projects, workshops, and group events (~10 hours / week). (As a federally funded traineeship, BDSS-IGERT also entails ongoing reporting and evaluation responsibilities.)
  • Conduct an externship -- typically in a nonacademic setting -- during Summer 2017 or 2018.
  • Receive a stipend of $2500/month ($30000 / year) for twelve months, eligibility for conference travel funding and other research support, as well as access to scientific computing and related infrastructure.


  • Trainees must be eligible to pursue the dual-title PhD or graduate minor in Social Data Analytics. The former requires admission to a participating PhD Program (HDFS, Political Science, Sociology, Statistics and - pending - Geography or IST) and the student not yet have passed candidacy. The latter requires admission to any Penn State PhD program and the student not yet have passed comprehensive exams. (In most PhD programs, the most appropriate students would currently be in their first or second PhD year, but exceptions will be considered.)
  • By US law, NSF-funded Trainees must be US citizens or permanent residents. We anticipate appointing four NSF-funded Trainees to the 2017-2018 cohort.
  • Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents, but who are otherwise eligible, are invited to apply for a BDSS Associate Traineeship. These are funded internally and the number and stipend level will depend on available funds. Because of funding uncertainty, we cannot at this time guarantee there will be any Associate Traineeship slots, but our objective is to appoint two international students to Associate Trainee positions.


Students wishing to be considered for a Traineeship or Associate Traineeship in BDSS-IGERT should do the following by March 2, 2017.
  • Email Kristy Boob,, indicating they wish to be considered for a BDSS-IGERT Traineeship or Associate Traineeship.
  • Complete the application to the SoDA graduate program (dual-title PhD or minor). This consists of an email granting permission to review your Penn State application materials and academic records, completion of a form with basic information and questions about SoDA-related background, and a statement of interest. (Students who have already applied or been admitted to the SoDA Graduate Program need not do this step again.)

If you have questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact:

Kristy Boob
Graduate Staff Coordinator, SoDA (


Kitty MacKenzie
BDSS-IGERT Program Coordinator (