About the Program

Since its inception, the Consortium has offered the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research as a complement to its data services. The Summer Program provides a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social science methodology. Its instructional environment stresses integration of methods of quantitative analysis within a broader context of substantive social research. Instruction is grounded in interactive, participatory data-analysis utilizing high-end, networked microcomputers. Because of the range of methodological instruction, the opportunity for intensive study, and the quality of instruction and supporting facilities, the Summer Program has become internationally recognized as a preeminent forum for basic and advanced training in the methodologies and technologies of social science research and instruction.

The Summer Training Program schedule is partitioned into two four-week sessions, with instruction organized in lecture, seminar, and workshop formats. In addition, the curriculum includes special workshops that provide participants with opportunities to examine the impact of various methodologies on specific substantive issues. Research scholars who have made important contributions to the development of social methodology present informal lectures focusing on their most recent research interests. Finally, workshops that address the practical objectives of providing technical support for computing specialists and data librarians are also offered.

Participants in each year's Summer Program generally represent about 25 different departments and disciplines from over 200 colleges, universities, and organizations around the world. While sociology, psychology, and political science continue to be represented by the largest number of participants, the increasing number of individuals from across the social and behavioral sciences illustrates the breadth of interest in and impact of the Program.

The Mission of the Summer Program

  • To offer instruction for the primary development and "upgrading" of quantitative skills by college and university faculty and by nonacademic research scholars

  • To extend the scope and depth of analytic skills for graduate participants, college and university faculty, and research scientists from the public sector

  • To furnish training for those individuals who expect to become practicing social methodologists

  • To provide opportunities for social scientists to study those methodologies that have special bearing on specific substantive issues

  • To create an environment that facilitates an exchange of ideas related to the development of methodologies on the frontier of social research

Summer Program Staff

  • Saundra Schneider, Director
  • Dieter Burrell, Assistant Director for Academic Support Services
  • Edward Czilli, Assistant Director for Computing
  • Henry Heitowit, Director Emeritus (1981-2007)
  • Gwen Tessier, Coordinator
  • Ashok Bhargav, Software Programmer
  • Fillippo Stargell, Financial Specialist
  • Nadine Dufrane, Team Leader, Instructional Support Services
  • Stephanie Carpenter, Administrative Assistant

Summer Program Advisory Committee

  • Kenneth A. Bollen, Sociology, Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ann O'M. Bowman, Political Science, Texas A&M University
  • Harold D. Clarke, Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Michelle L. Dion, Political Science, McMaster University
  • Peter Granda, ICPSR Associate Director and General Archive Director
  • William G. Jacoby, Political Science, Michigan State University
  • J. Scott Long, Sociology, Indiana University
  • Costas Panagopoulos, Political Science, Fordham University
  • Mark Pickup, Political Science, Simon Fraser University and the University of Oxford
  • Aline G. Sayer, Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Marianne Stewart, Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas


The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a unit of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. ICPSR was established in 1962 to serve social scientists around the world by providing a central repository and dissemination service for computer-readable social science data, training facilities in basic and advanced techniques of quantitative social analysis, and resources that facilitate the use of advanced computer technology by social scientists. ICPSR headquarters and central staff are located in the Perry Building, two blocks from the Institute for Social Research, where ICPSR maintains the world's largest archive of computer-based research and instructional data for the social sciences.

Founded originally as a partnership between the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and 21 universities in the United States, the Consortium now includes among its members over 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Scholars are able to share common data resources, to interact and study together in the ICPSR training programs, and to utilize a common set of technical aids.

ICPSR member institutions pay annual dues that entitle faculty, staff, and participants to the full range of services provided by ICPSR. A Council, composed of leading scholars, researchers, and data professionals from many areas of social inquiry, is elected by the membership to oversee the administration and organizational policies of ICPSR. Through this unique structure of institutional affiliation governed and guided by the scholars themselves, ICPSR stands as a proven example of the benefits derived from scientific cooperation and partnership.

The Mission of ICPSR

ICPSR is an organization of member institutions working together to acquire and preserve social science data, to provide open and equitable access to these data, and to promote effective data use. ICPSR promotes and facilitates research and instruction in the social sciences and related areas by acquiring, developing, archiving, and disseminating data and documentation for instruction and research and by conducting related instructional programs.

  • Archiving Social Science Data. A strategic undertaking of ICPSR is the acquisition and long-term preservation of social science data, recognizing and taking into consideration increases in the volume of data and changes in technology for archiving, processing, documenting, and distributing data.

  • Open and Equitable Access. By working with its member institutions, producers of data, funding agencies, and the social science research community, ICPSR seeks to provide access to the data it archives that is as open as possible. ICPSR supports the goal of equitable access to data for research and teaching activities.

  • Promoting the Effective Use of Data. ICPSR is committed to supporting the effective use of data resources through acquiring, maintaining, and developing comprehensive documentation, and by providing consultation and training on the nature of data collections, as well as on analytic techniques and methodologies.

Related Educational Activities

ICPSR is a unit with the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. There are educational programs offered during the summer by other units at ISR including the Survey Research Center Summer Institute. Since 1948, the Summer Institute has provided rigorous and high quality graduate training in all phases of survey research. The S.I. teaches state-of-the-art practice and theory in the design, implementation, and analysis of surveys. The Summer Institute uses the sample survey as the basic instrument for the scientific measurement of human activity. It presents sample survey methods in courses designed to meet the educational needs of those specializing in social and behavioral research such as professionals in business, public health, natural resources, law, medicine, nursing, social work, and many other domains of study.

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