Political Science Graduate Student Secures a Summer Research Position at RAND

This summer, political science Ph.D. student Matthew Cain served as a summer research associate for RAND in their Washington, D.C. office. RAND is a federally funded public policy research  organization that has a broad focus on national security. As an adjunct researcher, Cain will work on ongoing projects under the guidance and mentorship of RAND’s Director of the Cyber and Intelligence Policy Center.

During his first year of graduate school, Cain learned of RAND through political science alumnus Pete Schirmer during an alumni board meeting. Cain was drawn to RAND because of his interest in cybersecurity policy. “Most of cybersecurity research is done in the policy world, and not as much is done in the political science field,” explained Cain. “Throughout my academic career, I’ve cited RAND’s work in my own research, and I really wanted to capture this opportunity to be a part of RAND’s research and meet and network with the professionals doing the work.”

In order to secure his summer position at RAN , Cain went through an intense application and interview process. Alumnus Pete Schirmer was able to give him key advice in crafting his application. One critical piece of guidance was to make sure he could relate the research he was doing to the projects currently being conducted at RAND.  After his application was selected, Matthew went through a series of phone interviews that thoroughly examined his research and technical knowledge. Jesse Johnson, associate professor of Political Science at UK, also provided Matthew with some helpful advice before his interviews.

The Political Science Department is extremely proud of Matthew for his hard work and accomplishment. His experience demonstrates the positive impact alumni can have on the professional prospects of current students, and the department is very thankful for their continued support.  

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