FSI SOC Course Fellow

Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI)

Visualizing Data (POL/SOC 245)

Course Fellow Job Description
Summer 2023


Freshman Scholars Institute: Program Overview

FSI is a seven-week summer program that allows a cohort of entering students the chance to experience the intellectual, co-curricular, and social life at Princeton prior to the beginning of the fall semester. During the program, Freshman Scholars immerse themselves in the intellectually vibrant culture at Princeton through seminar-style courses and laboratory experiences. They engage with fellow scholars in a variety of co-curricular, community-building activities, and work closely with faculty members from a range of academic disciplines and fields. By experiencing early the many resources that Princeton has to offer, Freshman Scholars have the chance to prepare themselves to be future campus leaders and peer mentors. In the summer of 2023, which we anticipate teaching in-person, FSI will begin on June 28th (Monday) and conclude on August 18th (Friday). 


POL/SOC 245 Course Overview Description

Visualizing Data is a precept-based course in which students work together to consider ways to illustrate compelling stories hidden in a blizzard of data. Equal parts art, programming, and statistical reasoning, data visualization is a critical tool for anyone doing analysis. This course introduces students to the powerful R programming language and the basics of creating data-analytic graphics in R. Students use real datasets to explore topics ranging from network data (like social interactions on Facebook or trade between countries) to geographical data (like county-level election returns in the US or the spatial distribution of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan).


POL/SOC Course Fellow Position Description

POL Course Fellows are experienced peer learners who work with students enrolled in POL 245.  Fellows facilitate group study in QuantLab in order to help introduce students to the foundational programming, quantitative, statistical, and analytic skills they will encounter in POL 245 and throughout their career at Princeton. Fellows will also help students gain strategies for successfully approaching complex problem sets and long-term assignments and will assist students while they work through these tasks. In addition, Course Fellows will meet with members of the POL 245 teaching team to discuss course progress (approximately 2 hours per week of the program), lead workshops as needed, and contribute overall to a welcoming and inclusive academic community during FSI. Fellows will receive training from the Freshman Scholars Institute, with ongoing guidance and support from instructors over the summer.


Note: Because of the time commitment involved in the position, Course Fellows may not also take part in a full-time summer research opportunity, including but not restricted to ReMatch and OURSIP.



POL/SOC Course Fellows will gain:

  • Room and 3 meals/day beginning June 27 and ending August 18
  • An additional $17/hr for 20-25 hrs/week during the 8-wk FSI term 
  • Mentorship from FSI staff and instructors
  • Teaching experience with a diverse undergraduate population



Total Commitment: ~25 hours/week


Pre-FSI commitment

FSI Course Fellows should expend to spend approximately 10 total hours prepping for FSI prior to June 28 on the following activities:

  • Attending professional development trainings and staff meetings 
  • Communicating with and disseminating information to accepted Freshman Scholars


Program Commitment

Course Fellows should plan to be in residence and remain on campus from June 27 to August 18. They should plan to spend approximately 25 hours per week on the following responsibilities: 

  • Attend and participate in a 3-day training on June 28-29
  • Attend and help facilitate FSI Orientation on July 2-3
  • Attend and help to facilitate FSI Reorientation on August 17-18
  • Facilitating discussions during QuantLab to support students’ understanding of course concepts and skills
  • Assisting students while they study, read, and work on problem sets in QuantLab
  • Leading supplemental weekly study group as determined by the instructor
  • Providing mentorship, curricular and co-curricular support to Freshman Scholars both in- and outside of class



  • Mature undergraduate students possessing advanced critical reading and writing skills, along with a passion for teaching and mentoring.
  • Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have previously enrolled in and completed POL 245 and/or POL 345 
  • Candidates should have strong R, statistical, and quantitative analytic skills


Deadline to Apply: Monday, March 20, 2023 12:00 PM (noon) EDT



Do you have questions about the position or about FSI in general? Try these options: 

  • You can find more information about the Freshman Scholars Institute on the program website.  
  • For questions about POL/SOC 245, please contact Prof. Brandon Stewart ([email protected]). For questions about FSI in general, feel free to contact Dr. Andy Hakim at [email protected].


Apply Here