APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Application Process

2020 APSA Virtual Bunche Summer Program (Update)

Due to the cancellation of the in-person RBSI program (as a result of COVID-19), APSA is hosting an alternative virtual summer program on June 22, 2020 through July, 17, 2020. The 2020 Virtual Bunche Summer Program will provide student attendees with professional development, faculty-led political science talks, research writing instruction, and GRE prep through Princeton Review. Learn more.

The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (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 underrepresented groups or issues of tribal sovereignty and governance. 

RBSI Program Dates

The 2020 APSA RBSI Program was scheduled to take place from May 31, 2020 to July 2, 2020 at Duke University, however do to COVID-19, the program had to be canceled. The RBSI Recruitment Fair and the Closing Banquet were also canceled.     

Eligibility Criteria
  • Applicants must be a member of one of the following underrepresented racial or ethnic minority groups: African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos/as, American Indians or Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, or an individual who is interested in broadening participation in political science by students from underrepresented minority populations and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting underrepresented groups or issues of tribal sovereignty and governance. 
  • Applicants must be college/university juniors. 
  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in teaching and potential for research in political science. 
  • Applicants must be a US citizen, US national, US permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card), or an individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) at time of application.  

Transcripts should be mailed to:

APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute
c/o Dr. Kimberly Mealy
American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206

Questions? Contact Kimberly Mealy, PhD, APSA Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at [email protected].

The 2020 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program application cycle is now closed. To be notified when the 2021 application cycle opens, please email  [email protected]. 


RBSI Applicant Checklist

 APSA RBSI Program Application (online by applicant): Includes fields for personal statement, resume, and list of recommenders.

Official Transcripts (upload to application or mail directly to APSA by university/college): Provide an official transcript from each undergraduate institution attended. Institutions may send transcripts directly to APSA.

  Three letters of recommendation: One from the department chair, and two more from other people who are familiar with the applicant's academic qualifications.