The Program for Advanced Research in the Social Sciences (PARISS) offers Duke graduate students an interdisciplinary context in which to develop and apply their methodological skills.
PARISS is home to a graduate certificate in advanced quantitative methods in the social sciences and supports dissertation-stage graduate students through fellowships and earlier-stage graduate students through assistantships. Fellows and Assistants pursue advanced training and gain mentoring and teaching skills by providing consulting services through SSRI’s Connection Bar.
The PARISS Fellowship and the PARISS Assistantship programs offer Duke graduate students financial support, office space, computing and other research and administrative support in the Social Science Research Institute.
PARISS offers a certificate in advanced quantitative methods in the social sciences, providing interested doctoral students with a coherent and integrated understanding of mathematical methods in the social sciences. While each social science may have unique disciplinary techniques, the social sciences as a whole have much to teach each other in cross-disciplinary development of formal models, data collection, model estimation and hypothesis testing. Additionally, the best testing of hypotheses comes in integration with the theory from which the hypotheses are derived. One of the special emphases of this certificate is deriving testable hypotheses from theory.
Most candidates for the certificate will have constructed a unique combination of courses; that combination needs to achieve the basic skills and methodological training. To ensure that individual curricular programs meet these needs, candidates for the certificate must submit a detailed course plan to the PARISS board of advisors for approval. Any changes to that plan need advance approval of the board. The board will confirm achievement of the certificate only if it is satisfied that the criteria fulfilling the core requirements have been met.
Ph.D. students in participating social science departments will normally apply to the certificate program in the spring of their first or early in their second year. All applications will be carefully scrutinized in consultation with the home department to ensure feasibility of achieving both the certificate and the Ph.D. in a timely fashion.