The MIT Election Data and Science Lab established the New Initiatives in Election Science Grants in 2017 to encourage new approaches to the scientific study of elections and election reform. Each year, these grants fund systematic research on the conduct of elections in the United States by scholars around the country.
Applications for New Initiatives Grants are currently open. The application deadline is March 3, 2019.
You can download a PDF of the grant announcement here. The Lab has allocated up to $130,000 in 2019 for grants, with individual grants capped at $20,000.
MEDSL hosts the Boston/Cambridge Election Science Working Group at MIT, a monthly gathering of faculty, graduate students, and other researchers who are interested in the scientific study of elections. All meetings are on the MIT campus in Room E53-482.
Our lab also sponsors conferences and workshops at MIT and elsewhere throughout the year. Click on an event below for details on date, time and location.
–2019 Election Sciences, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) Conference
The 2019 Election Sciences, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) conference conference will take place at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA on July 11–12, 2019. We are proud to sponsor this event (the third annual ESRA conference), which aims to provide a forum for scholars in political science, public administration, and other fields who are working to develop rigorous approaches to the study of how laws and administrative procedures affect the quality of elections in the United States. In addition, it hopes to build scientific capacity by identifying major questions in the field, fostering collaboration, and facilitating a network of senior scholars, junior scholars, and election professionals that can work together to address these questions.
For more information on the conference, or to respond to the call for papers, see the 2019 ESRA website here.
Securing Elections: Foreign Meddling, Fake News, and Political Violence
Elections come under threat from a variety of fronts, be that foreign interference or cyber-attacks, violent conflicts stemming from electoral events, or targeted attacks against politicians in person or online. Examples of these scenarios are widespread, from elections being postponed in Haiti and Nigeria due to violence, to cases of foreign meddling in American elections and Baltic states. Security is a key challenge to electoral integrity and it is of vital interest to academics, policymakers, security forces, and electoral officials alike.
Securing Elections: Foreign Meddling, Fake News, and Political Violence, a 2019 pre-APSA workshop, will consider how elections can be protected from the variety of security threats that emerge during the electoral cycle. For more information on the event and ongoing Call for Papers, see the conference webpage here.
We welcome inquiries about becoming part of MEDSL as an affiliate institution or expert, or simply learning more about what we do. We have career and student research opportunities periodically as well (see below).
Data Analytics User Group and Listserv
As the number of people providing data analysis to election agencies grows, so does the value of creating a professional community of election administration data analysts. We are working to jump-start a user group and related listserv intended for data analysts who work for federal, state, and local election agencies. If you are interested in learning more or joining the group, please get in touch.