Information for Students


  Requesting a Recommendation Letter

I write a fair number of recommendation letters for both graduate and undergraduate students and so efficiency is important for me. In general, a recommendation letter should be written by someone who knows you and your work well. Make sure that I am the right person as your letter writer. If you decide to request a letter from me, send me the following materials at least two weeks before the deadline: the most updated curriculum vitae, all the application materials you are submitting, a brief description of a fellowship or a job you are applying for, and a brief memo describing your accomplishments or whatever else I should be aware of when writing the letter. Finally, send me a reminder one week before the deadline.

  Graduate Students

I advise a number of students across subfields and disciplines. Only a handful of these students are methodologists and in most cases they focus on substantive research areas. See here for a list of current and former students. If you are interested in having me on your dissertation committee, come talk to me ideally before you start your dissertation research. The earlier, the better. If both of us agree that it is a good idea to have me on the committee, then you will be asked to regularly participate in my weekly research group meetings where I advise students' dissertation research. Finally, I only write academic job market letters for students whom I officially advise as a dissertation committee member.

I also work with graduate students on collaborative projects. See here for a list of publications, many of which are written with my current and former students. If you are interested in working with me, come talk to me rather than wait until I reach out to you. You should have a good training of statistics (e.g., our quantitative methods sequence) and computational skills (e.g., our workshops on scraping and research computing). Research collaboration also requires you to think independently and take initiatives rather than just doing what I tell you to do.

  Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Fellows

I regularly take postdoctoral fellows who have completed (or are at the final stage of completing) a Ph.D. in social science, statistics, and other relevant fields at their home institution. Postdoctoral fellows work with me on collaborative projects and typically spend two years at Princeton. They also participate in my weekly research group meetings, the political methodology seminar series, the Q-APS consulting services, and various other activities at Princeton.

Occasionally, I also supervise students who have not finished their Ph.D. but wish to work with me through Princeton's visiting student research collaborator system. Predoctoral fellows must have their own funding though I will cover the cost necessary for their access to Princeton's library, gym, and other resources.

  Undergraduate Students

If you are interested in quantitative social science (using data to answer fascinating social science questions), take statistics courses in the politics department (POL 245, POL 345, and POL 346), which will give you necessary skills for conducting interesting junior and senior independent research. If these courses are too easy for you or you want to learn more about statistics and social science, come talk to me. In the past, a number of undergraduate students have taken graduate-level statistics courses and they have gone onto the top Ph.D. programs in the country.

I also direct the undergraduate certificate program in statistics and machine learning. If you have questions about the certificate, please have a careful look at this website before contacting me. Any administrative questions should be directed to the program manager, Tara Zigler at

© Kosuke Imai
 Last modified: Sat May 3 14:45:08 EDT 2014