Zurich Summer School for Women in
Political Methodology

The Zurich Summer School for Women in Political Methodology is an 8-day workshop, to take place in Zürich, Switzerland on 2 – 9 August, 2017.


The summer school is designed for current and future PhD students, as well as post- docs and early-career researchers who identify as women1, and who work in the field of Political Science or related disciplines. Participation in the summer school requires some prior statistical knowledge, as well as a basic R skills. If you are not familiar with R yet, we have put together a list of (free) courses that will help you get up to speed (see below).

Who is the summer school for?

The Summer School aims to train women scholars in advanced social science methodology. This is the first step of a larger long-term initiative to increase women participation in this research field where women are typically underrepresented. Following the Visions in Methodology example, we plan to establish a network of women methodologist working in Europe, specifically targeted at providing training, mentorship, and network opportunities as a means of strengthening their career prospects in academia and beyond.

Where to apply?

You can apply for the summer school here. Places in the summer school are limited, so this application is intended to determine if the course will be a good fit for you.

What does it cost?

The summer school is free. Participation includes instruction, lunch and three dinners. There are 21 funded places available, of which 7-10 places are intended for external participants, and approximately 11 for participants from Zurich-based universities.

In addition, accommodation will be arranged privately, meaning that external students have the option to be hosted by participants from the University of Zürich or ETH Zürich. Flights/transportation to/from Zürich will have to be arranged and covered by participants themselves. If you are applying from a Zurich-based university, please note that you might be requested to host an external participant during the summer school. This is part of our effort to promote collaboration between participants and build a network of likeminded scholars.

Application deadline?

The deadline for applications is 9 June at midnight (CEST). Apply here.

Programme Highlights

Featured talks (confirmed):

Topics covered:

  • Natural Language Processing (Dr. Antske Fokkens, VU Amsterdam)
  • Text Analysis (Dr. Nicole Baerg, University of Essex)
  • Functions in R (Prof. Dr. Anita Gohdes, University of Zurich)
  • Scraping Websites (Mariken Van Der Velden, University of Zurich)
  • Simulations in R (Dr. Lukas Stoetzer, University of Zurich)
  • Advanced Graphics in R (Dr. Denise Traber, University of Zurich)

Workshop Day:

Over one and a half days, participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm, develop, and be mentored on a project of their choice. This might include a data visualisation project, simulations, writing piece of code, analysing (new) data, or building a professional website.

Social activities

In an effort to promote collaboration and networking among participants, the summer school will host a number of social activities, including two informal dinners, one formal dinner, joint lunches, and an excursion exploring lake Zurich and surroundings.

Summer School Organizers:

  • Dr. Malu Gatto (gatto@ipz.uzh.ch)
  • Prof. Dr. Anita Gohdes (gohdes@ipz.uzh.ch)
  • Dr. Denise Traber (traber@ipz.uzh.ch)
  • Mariken van der Velden (vandervelden@ipz.uzh.ch)

Course Introductions to R

If you would like to get up to speed on using R, or need a refresher before the summer school, here are three (free) course you can take a look at. Feel free to look for other courses online, if you are looking for a specific application.

  1. The Coursera Course: R Programming
  2. Learning R with R using Swirl (navigate to the R Programming course in the course library.)
  3. The Coursera Course: “Introduction to Probability and Data” using R

1. The summer school is open to all individuals who identify as women and non-binary applicants.