The RBSI is an annual, intensive five-week program held at Duke University. It is designed to introduce to the world of doctoral study in political science those undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or those interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting under-represented groups. Participants in the RBSI are drawn from a competitive national applicant pool. The RBSI Selection Committee reviews applications and makes decisions during the month of February. Applicants are informed of their status via email.
Each summer, up to 20 students are admitted to the program, which includes two transferable credit courses — one in quantitative analysis and one in race and American politics – and a comprehensive introduction to the intellectual demands of graduate school and political science research methods. For a final project for both courses, students prepare original, empirical research papers; top students are given the opportunity to present their research at the American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting, all expenses paid.
Classes are held on the Duke University campus, where students have access to a fully equipped computer laboratory, library collections, and other university facilities. Educational activities range from formal classroom settings to informal dinners and lunches with prominent political scientists and Duke University faculty. A strong ethics component is included with readings, cases, debates, and lectures on issues within an academic setting. RBSI Director Dr. Paula D. McClain (Professor of Political Science, Duke University) teaches classes as do several of her colleagues from Duke University. Bunche students have uniformly praised the exceptional mentoring that they receive from Dr. McClain and other Bunche faculty.