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 participant's 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 Welcome Kit for a brief description of the structure and purpose of the UH EITM program.


Application for the 2015 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.

To apply, please send the following three documents directly to Dr. Granato at by 5:00 pm Central Standard Time on Friday, February 6, 2015:

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 (an element of) 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 (elements) 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).

     • Here 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 March.

• 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 transcripts cannot be sent to Dr. Granato over email, please use the following mailing address: University of Houston, Hobby Center for Public Policy, 306 McElhinney Hall, Houston TX 77204-5021).

Selection results will be announced by the second week of March 2015.



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 Center for Public Policy.



If you would like more information or have questions, contact us at or at 713-743-3970.



The Hobby Center for Public Policy thanks Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) and the National Science Foundation (SES-1324203) for their support of the EITM Summer Institute. 

Learn more about BB&T at


Learn more about NSF at



EITM: An Assessment with an Application to Economic Voting

Forthcoming in Electoral Studies. Read...



Meet the 2014 EITM Participants

Twenty seven graduate students from across the nation participated in HCPP's 2014 EITM Summer Institute. Check out who attended.



Meet the 2013 EITM Participants

Twenty nine graduate students from across the nation participated in HCPP's 2013 EITM Summer Institute. Check out who attended.



Meet the 2012 EITM Participants

Twenty one graduate students from across the nation participated in HCPP's 2012 EITM Summer Institute. Check out who attended.