Department of Political Science

Funding and Fellowships

The Richard and Nancy Fenno Summer Fellowships

The Richard and Nancy Fenno Summer Fellowships are designed to support and encourage Rochester undergraduates to engage in activities that will stimulate their personal and intellectual growth and which will make them even more valuable members of the university community upon their return to campus. Specifically, a summer stipend of $2,500 will be offered for students engaging in activities broadly related to politics and policy. Such activities could include working in any of the government branches in Washington, D.C., in state or local governments, or, in some cases, in analogous international positions. Applications for Summer are due by March 15. For more information, see here.

The Washington Semester and Undergraduate Political Science Research Fund

The Department has money available to assist undergraduate students with research projects of various sorts. This money could be used for those particularly interested in studying Congress, for students in the honors program, or for students engaged in other research projects. In all cases, the money would go directly to support the research itself; money is not available to provide a stipend to students. The maximum grant is currently $500, though, in exceptional cases, a second application will be considered. Application should be made in a letter to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Undergraduate Awards

The four prestigious undergraduate prizes described below are awarded annually and presented at the spring Political Science and International Relations commencement ceremony. A committee of faculty members in the Department of Political Science, appointed by the department chair, selects the winners.

James D. McGill Memorial Prize

The James D. McGill Memorial Prize was established in 1942 by former students and friends of Professor McGill, who came to the university in 1927 and was the first professor to head our department, a position he took up in 1934. In establishing the prize, Professor McGill's students and friends noted that "he saw his students as future participants in a living and dynamic democracy, and he prepared them for this service." The prize is awarded to the undergraduate student who is deemed to have shown the greatest interest and demonstrated the highest achievement in the field of political science or international relations. The name of the winner is recorded on a plaque displayed in Harkness Hall.

Jay F. Birdsall Memorial Prize

The Jay F. Birdsall Memorial Prize was established in 1967 by friends and relatives to honor the memory of Jay F. Birdsall III, Class of 1967, who graduated with high honors in political science, earning the respect of all for both his academic excellence and the involvement in public service that he showed as an intern in state government in Albany. The prize is awarded to a graduating senior in political science or international relations who has demonstrated an interest in--and a commitment to--practical politics. The name of the winner is recorded on a plaque displayed in Harkness Hall.

Helen S. Jones Award

The Helen S. Jones Award is given annually to a student who demonstrates significant achievement in the areas of sociology, international relations, and/or political science.

Laurin Taylor Frisina '06 Ventura Award

The Laurin Taylor Frisina '06 Ventura Award, established in 2014 in memory of Laurin Taylor Frisina, is given to "the graduating senior who, as a Political Science research assistant or in other research activities, best represents creativity and collaboration in pursuit of knowledge."