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Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

Interested students should begin by visiting the LAPOP website in learn about the project, survey data, and the AmericasBarometer Insights series.

Fellows select a topic of study related to public opinion in Latin America in consultation with Professor Zechmeister, and undertake research on that topic during the course of the semester. The research may be conducted independently or in collaboration with a graduate student, depending on the interest and skill set of the Fellow. In addition, Fellows are invited to be active participants in LAPOP meetings. A limited amount of funds may be available for research materials. Final research projects will be published on LAPOP’s website and, when applicable, students will be encouraged to submit their research to calls for proposals from academic conferences.


  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Completion of at least one year at Vanderbilt before applying
  • Strong interest in research, as evidenced by a desire to pursue an advanced degree or seek work as a policy analyst, consultant, or researcher
  • Substantive interests in public opinion and/or in the Americas, as evidenced through coursework, study abroad, and/or volunteer or work experience


  • Letter of interest indicating the reasons you are interested in becoming a LAPOP Undergraduate Research Fellow as well as what skills and prior research experience you may have acquired that reflect on your ability to serve in this position. The letter should be no longer than 4 pages in length.

  • Name of a Vanderbilt faculty member who can serve as a reference

  • Vanderbilt transcript.
  • Submit application by email to Dr. Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, liz.zechmeister@vanderbilt.edu.

Applications for the Fall semester: Due by August 1

Applications for the Spring semester: Due by December 1.

Early applications are encouraged and applications may be accepted after these deadlines if a slot remains available.

Selected applicants will establish a plan of research for the semester with Professor Zechmeister; the extent of that plan will govern the number of hours to be credited to the Directed Study.


Contact Professor Zechmeister by email or phone (322-5016).
Office is located in the Department of Political Science, 344 Commons


Vanderbilt University


Social Sciences


Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors with a strong interest in research and public opinion and/or the Americas 

Time Frame:

Academic Year




For Credit

Application Deadline:

August 1, December 1


Dr. Elizabeth Zechmeister


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