Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models - University of Houston
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Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models


About the Program

In July 2001, the Political Science Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) identified a divide between formal and empirical modeling in social sciences and helped fund a number of summer institutes that would work to bridge this divide.  Since 2002, hundreds of students and faculty have completed the summer Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) institutes at various universities.

In summer 2012, the EITM Summer Institute at the University of Houston (UH) was established.  The two-week institute teaches the NSF-inspired three-step EITM framework.  The purpose of this framework is to establish a transparent relation between theory and test and lead to cumulation of knowledge (for more information about the three steps please see Granato, Lo, and Wong 2010).

The UH institute also focuses on the practical implementation of an EITM research design in participants' dissertations and other research projects.  If you have a paper or dissertation that you believe will benefit from the EITM framework, this program may be right for you.  Refer to the About page for a brief description of the structure and purpose of the UH EITM program.

Application for the EITM Summer Institute

Candidates must be currently enrolled in a graduate program in political science, sociology, economics, or public policy, and must have completed at least two years of coursework in their graduate program. Please note that a crucial part of the application is a current project (paper or dissertation) that can benefit from the EITM approach.

Check back later for information about the EITM Summer Institute.

To apply, please send the following three documents by TBD.

  • A motivation letter of 500-1000 words. The letter must describe your current research project that can benefit from the EITM approach.
  • An EITM research project could take the following forms:
    • A project which develops the EITM framework for studying a substantive area.
    • A project which develops a deductive theory using elements of the EITM framework.
    • A project which unifies two or more theories of one set of phenomena.
    • A project which unifies two or more theories of different sets of phenomena.
  • Your project description should include the following three steps  of the EITM framework:
    • Step 1: State what your theoretical concept is and what your statistical concept is.
    • Step 2: State how are you going to express your theoretical and statistical concepts (use analogues, which represent a concept by variable – and measurable quantities).
    • Step 3: Unite your theoretical and statistical analogues (usually one or more equations).
  • The following URL (http://www.uh.edu/hobby/eitm/News/Cheat%20Sheet) is a cheat sheet for the three-step EITM framework. Please refer to Granato, Lo, and Wong 2010 for further details.
  • Please note that familiarizing yourself with the three-step framework will help you develop a stronger presentation of your research project that all participants will be asked to give during the EITM Summer Institute. You will have a total of 90 minutes to present and receive feedback. To make the most of this time, we will send you additional readings with your acceptance letter in April.
  • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member describing your accomplishments and areas in which the EITM framework can help advance your research.
  • An official transcript with courses and grades from your graduate education. If the required documentation cannot be uploaded to the registration please mail it to the attention of Ms. Emily Janowski at the following mailing address: University of Houston, Hobby School of Public Affairs, 306 McElhinney Hall, Houston TX 77204-5021.

Selection results will be announced by TBD.


Participants are expected to cover their transportation costs to and from Houston.  Each participant who is accepted will receive a training stipend of $2,000.  Housing, breakfasts and lunches will be provided by the Hobby School of Public Affairs.


If you would like more information or have questions, contact us at eitm@central.uh.edu or at 713-743-3970.