FSI POL Course Fellow

Freshman Scholars Institute (FSI)

Visualizing Data (POL 245)

Course Fellow Job Description
Summer 2020


Apply HERE by Monday, March 16!

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 2020, FSI will begin on June 27th (Saturday) and conclude on August 14th (Friday). 


POL 245: Visualizing Data

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 Course Fellow: Position Overview


POL Course Fellows are experienced peers 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.


Course Fellows will also participate in an inclusive pedagogy symposium which meets once/week. In this seminar, students will learn research-based approaches to inclusive, student-centered teaching in STEM and non-STEM fields, and reflect on and apply their own teaching and learning experiences.

Fellows will also undertake a small research experience project to be designed and designated by POL faculty members.

Total Commitment: ~30 hours/week



POL Course Fellows will receive:

  • Room and board during the FSI term, beginning June 22 and ending August 21. You are responsible for your own housing beginning 5pm on August 21.
  • A small stipend of $350
  • Mentorship from the POL 245 course faculty
  • Intensive training through participation in the Inclusive Pedagogy Symposium
  • Teaching experience with a diverse undergraduate population


Pre-FSI commitment

Course Fellows should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per month preparing for FSI in April and May on the following activities:

  • Attending professional development trainings and staff meetings
  • Attending a pre-course workshop on inclusive pedagogy, including the completion of a set of readings.

Program Commitment

Course Fellows should plan to be in residence and remain on campus from June 22 to August 15. They will spend approximately 30 hours per week on the following responsibilities:

  • Attending and participating in a 2-day training on June 24 and 25
  • Attending and helping to facilitate FSI Orientation on June 28 and 29
  • Completing a pedagogy symposium and all related coursework
  • Attending and participating in ongoing professional development trainings and weekly staff meetings to discuss course progress
  • 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
  • Participate in a SIFP summer mentorship group
  • Attending and helping to facilitate FSI Reorientation on August 13 and 14

Required Dates/Times

POL Course: M, W (1:30-2:30); T, Th (1:30-2:50) F (10:30-11:50)

POL Quant Lab: Su 7-9pm, M 2:30-4:30pm, T/Th 7-8:30pm
Colloquia and Family Dinner – Wednesday evenings
2-day FSI Staff Training – June 25 and 26
FSI Orientation – June 28 and 29
Re-Orientation Workshops: August 13 and 14
All Community Closing BBQ: August 14


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


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