Junior Fellows FAQs

How is JPSM affiliated with the Federal Statistical Agencies?

  • JPSM is sponsored by the Federal Interagency Consortium on Statistical Policy, i.e., the various Federal Statistical Agencies.  Each year JPSM coordinates with the Consortium to identify talented undergraduates looking for a fellowship in survey methodology.  JPSM reviews applications, accepts Junior Fellows, and places them in opportunities around the Federal Statistical System.

 

Who is eligible?

  • Applicants must be US citizens, currently enrolled in a undergraduate program, have at least a 3.5/4.0 GPA, and be a junior or senior in the 2018-2019 academic year. No exceptions will be made.

 

The application asks me to rank my preference for job type. What's the differnce between all of the options?

  • Survey methodologists work in all aspects of developing, fielding, and analyzing surveys.  Some work is statistical and quantitative such as imputation and weighting while other work is survey and qualitative such as conducting cognitive interviews or behavior coding.  Most Junior Fellows will receive experience on both sides of the field, but you should select the area that you would most like to focus on.
     
    Unless you have an exceptionally strong background in applied statistics, we recommend you select the survey track. This will not preclude you from receiving some stats experience as part of the fellowship.

 

The application asks me to specify whether I'm interested in a statistics fellowship or a survey fellowship. What's the difference?

  • The life of a survey can generally be divided into 3 categories: pre-production, production, and post-production.
    Pre-production includes tasks such as building a sample frame, drawing the sample, writing the questionnaire, conducting focus groups and cognitive testing, and building and testing the survey IT
    systems.
    Production includes tasks such as interviewer validity checks, training interviewers, monitoring survey metrics, trouble-shooting system or human errors, and conducting preliminary analyses.
    Post-production includes tasks such as developing and implementing cleaning rules, merging datasets from multiple sources/modes, weighting, imputation, writing a methodology report, responding to data user questions, and data analysis to access data quality. Your rankings will be used to help determine your placement, but we cannot guarantee your first choice.

 

When can I apply?

  • JPSM will begin accepting applications on November 10, 2017 for the 2018 JPSM Junior Fellows program.   Applications will only be accepted online.  All applications must be complete (including letters of recommendation and transcripts) no later than January 7, 2018 at 11:59pm ET.  Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered. Click here to be taken to the application.

 

I want to work for a specific agency, but there's nowhere in the application to choose an agency. What do I do?

  • We have found that matching Junior Fellows to a job based on the job description results in a more rewarding experience than matching by agency.  The JPSM Junior Fellows program is focused on providing experience on the creation of surveys, data collection, and dissemination of results.  The experience you will receive at a given agency should easily transfer across topic areas and still be useful to you in your future endeavors.

 

How do you decide who gets accepted?

  • A team of survey methodology experts affiliated with JPSM review each complete application based on your letter of recommendation, overall GPA, job/research/internship experience, grades in classes related to survey methodology (e.g., math, statistics, psychology, sociology, economics, and business), and personal statement.   We are looking for applicants that demonstrate a strong interest in collecting high quality survey data for the public good.

 

When will I know if I got accepted?

  • Acceptance emails will go out late January or beginning of February.  Individuals who are waitlisted will be notified of their final status by mid February.

 

When will I know what agency I'm placed at?

  • You will receive an email from JPSM regarding your agency placement mid March.

 

What agencies participate in the program? / Where will I be placed?

  • Which agencies participate varies each year.  In 2016, we placed Junior Fellows at Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Census Bureau, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
     
    The following agencies are asked each year if they have availability for one or more Junior Fellows:
    Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Census Bureau, Economic Research Service, Energy Information Administration (EIA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and National Science Foundation (NSF).
     This year along with federal agencies, we will have asked several organizations if they have availbility to accept interns: 
     Pew Research Center, National Opinion Research Center (NORC).
 

How can I better prepare myself before I start my fellowship?

  • We choose candidates because they are already well-prepared to start the fellowship.  However, there are a few things you can do to be even more prepared.  First, read about the surveys that are conducted at your agency.  Most have methodology reports posted on the agency’s website.  Second, be familiar with a statistical software package.  We recommend SAS, Stata, or R.

 

Is this a statistical internship?

  • No.  Survey methodology is multdisplinary utilizing skills from statistics, psychology, sociology, and computer science.  Junior Fellow tasks range from writing interviewer training manuals to conducting cognitive interviews to conducting data analysis to preparing data for public dissemination.  Please see descriptions of previous fellowships here. We attempt to match statistics-focused individuals with statistical fellowships and survey-focused individuals with qualitative fellowships.

 

How do I get paid?

  • Junior Fellows are paid by their agency on a bi-weekly basis.

 

When will I receive my first paycheck?

  • This varies by agency and depends on the University.  However, you will most likely receive your first paycheck at the end of week 3 of your fellowship.

 

How much will I get paid?

  • You will be paid a gross salary of approximately $6,000 for 10 weeks of work. Several agencies participate in the JPSM Junior Fellow program, and their exact rates vary. Regardless of which agency interns work at, all interns are paid a salary approximately equivalent to a Level 3, Step 4 within the Federal pay system's General Schedule.

 

Is my housing included?

  • Yes.  Junior Fellows are housed in apartment-style dorms at George Washington University (GW). Generally, 4 students are placed in each 2-bedroom suite.

 

Do I have to live at GW (housing)?

  • No.  If you have other housing in the area, you are welcome to live there.  However, JPSM will not reimburse you for alternative housing arrangements.  We encourage you to live at GW in order to get to know the other Junior Fellows.

 

When can I move into GW and when do I have to move out?

  • This information will be available in your acceptance packet.

 

What do I do to report a problem with my housing after I've moved in?

  • Problems with housing (e.g., broken refrigerator) should be reported to GW via  https://facilities.gwu.edu/
    Problems regarding roommate assignments should be handled by JPSM.

 

How far is GW (housing) from JPSM/University of Maryland?

  • GW is approximately 1 hour away via public transit.

 

What will my schedule look like while I'm in DC?

  • Junior Fellows are expected to work normal business hours (generally, 9-5, but this may vary slightly by agency).  You are also expected to attend weekly lectures on survey methodology at University of Maryland and attend weekly visits to other Federal Statistical Agencies.  Some fun activities will also be organized outside of business hours that are optional.

 

Is the start date flexible?

  • No. The starting date will be included in the acceptance packet.

 

Can I take time off during my fellowship?

  • We understand that you may have an event planned where you need a day or two off over the course of the fellowship.  Please notify JPSM and your supervisor as soon as possible of these events.  However, long-term absences will not be tolerated; we want to make sure you maximize your experience and time.

 

Can I work/get paid for overtime?

  • No.

 

How many hours am I expected to work per week?

  • We expect Junior Fellows to work 40 hours/week.  This includes the time you spend at your agency in addition to the time spent attending seminars and visiting other agencies.

 

What expenses should I expect to incur over the summer?

  • You are responsible for all food, transportation, and extracurricular activities not organized by JPSM.  The amount that Junior Fellows spend over the summer varies widely.  If you’re looking to stick to a budget, there are many free activities over the summer in DC.

 

Will I be reimbursed for transportation to/from work or JPSM?

  • No.  Most interns either walk or take the Metro.  Metro fares are $2.15-$5.90 each way during peak hours.  Check out www.wmata.com for more information about Metro.

 

Will JPSM cover my airfare to/from DC?

  • No. You are responsible for getting yourself to/from DC.

 

Can I bring my car?

  • We strongly encourage you to leave your car at home.  You will be housed downtown where parking is expensive and difficult to find, and rush hour traffic is terrible.  Public transit is accessible near your housing and will get you to anywhere in the metro area.

 

Who do I contact with additional questions about the program?