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Graduate Spotlight: Jeremy Siow

Get to know Dr. Jeremy Siow, one of our newest PhD graduates who is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Quantitative Political Science at the University of Oxford.

Where did you grow up?


Where did you complete your undergrad?

National University of Singapore

What made you choose WashU?

The Political Science department at WashU was (and still is) renowned for their quantitative training and use of cutting-edge methods to answer substantive questions in the field. I was keen to learn from and work with the best. Finally, the department boasts a strong placement record, with graduate students securing tenure-track and postdoctoral positions at prestigious universities worldwide. As such, I was confident that my graduate training at WashU would position me well in the job market.

What is your area of concentration (IR, Comparative, Methods, American, etc.)?

Comparative politics and methods.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on improving my job market paper that investigates the effects of bilingual education and bilingualism on intergroup relations. I’m currently conducting a survey experiment in Malaysia to test whether code switching – defined as the process in which an individual shifts from using one language to another – generates greater perspective-taking and less prejudice towards ethnic outgroups and immigrants in an experimental setting.

What is one piece of advice you would give a prospective PhD student?

Grades are not the be-all and end-all of graduate school – unless you’re failing. Embrace courses that are beyond your comfort zone during your first two years. For instance, if you specialize in comparative politics, consider taking courses in American politics or IR. Adopting a broad study approach during the initial years can help you draw inspiration from other subfields when generating research ideas and questions. It can also help in the process of exploration and (hopefully) guide you to a topic that will excite you and sustain your passion for the next 5-7 years.

What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

I worked as a bartender for a year in South Korea.

What was the last book you read for pleasure?

The Boys from Biloxi, by John Grisham

Favorite pastime or hobby?

I love to build personal computers (PCs); but it is too expensive to maintain this hobby consistently.


Follow Dr. Siow's work here