“The scientific study of politics requires empirical evaluation of theoretical models, but theories too often proliferate without adequate testing, and empirical work too frequently applies sketchy and oversimplified theory. In EITM, researchers use recent advances in game theory and mathematical modeling to develop theoretical models of politics. These models are then subjected to rigorous tests that meet the highest standards of empirical research, including statistical analysis, experiments, and case studies. In some instances, researchers create new estimators designed to closely test the assumptions and predictions of the theoretical models. By integrating models and data, EITM is creating a new standard for theoretically grounded empirical research that yields cumulative advances to our understanding of politics.
Recognizing that gaps between theory and empirical method seriously impair scientific progress, the Political Science Program of the National Science Foundation supports annual four-week summer institutes on Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM). Previous summer institutes have taken place at Harvard (2002), Michigan (2003 and 2006), Duke (2004), UC-Berkeley (2005) and UCLA (2006).
Funding to defray participants’ costs of travel, accommodation, and subsistence is available. EITM institutes are selective, with admission based significantly on the quality and potential of research presented. Institute training includes teaching and research components, providing students a highly individualized interaction with a far wider and deeper array of mentors than is available at any individual institution. Female and minority applications are strongly encouraged.”