About EITM

What We Do

The scientific study of politics and other social processes requires extensive contact and interaction between theoretical models and empirical research. In practice, however, many theories are produced without sufficient reference to empirical knowledge to motivate their assumptions or to evaluate their logical implications. Similarly, empirical results are often interpreted as having clear substantive implications despite the absence of well specified theories to ground such interpretative claims. In short, many gaps persist between theory and empirical research in Political Science.

EITM Summer Institutes seek to offer younger scholars an opportunity to obtain such skills by working with senior scholars who are leaders in advancing theoretical and empirical research. The focus is on areas where appreciable research integrating theory and methods already exists, so that the content of Institute activities pertains to the development and expansion of best practices. Institute activities transcend passive receipt of lecture material. A critical part of Institute activities is to advance participants’ research by employing their newly gained knowledge about the integration of theory and method into their own research designs.


Funding for EITM is gratefully received from the National Science Foundation (Grant #SES-073133871).


EITM’s central goal is to improve scholars’ ability to leverage interactions between theoretical models that clarify complex logical relationships and empirical work that delineates important properties of data generating processes. This is accomplished through intensive four-week summer institutes that rotate across universities. To date, over 200 of the best young scholars in the social sciences have been trained to think more effectively about how to increase the social and scientific value of theoretical modeling through more effective communication and more rigorous engagement with empirical analysis and statistical inference.

Current EITM institutes have evolved from an original vision of how to improve research designs and make them more valuable to science and society. Read the National Science Foundation’s original EITM report from 2001

Who We Are

Principal Investigators

  • Scott de Marchi

    Scott de Marchi

    Duke University
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  • Sean Gailmard
    Sean Gailmard

    Sean Gailmard

    University of California, Berkeley
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  • Elizabeth Maggie Penn
    Photo of Maggie Penn

    Elizabeth Maggie Penn

    Emory University
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  • Rocío Titiunik
    Rocío Titiunik

    Rocío Titiunik

    Princeton University
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Project Manager

  • EITM Evaluation
    EITM Evaluation Cover

    EITM Evaluation

    This document offers an evaluation of the EITM Summer Institutes and associated projects from a series of grants to Harvard University, Duke University, and the University of Michigan from 2002 to 2016. This evaluation provides new information and analysis that complements the information provided in yearly reports submitted since 2002.