Professor Receives NSF Grant to Analyze Online Congressional Campaigns
HIGH POINT, N.C., June 12, 2012 - Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science and director of the Survey Research Center at High Point University, has received a grant for more than $17,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further his work on a collaborative political science project that analyzes the use of the internet in congressional campaigns.

The project, titled "Collaborative Research: Using Web Data to Study U.S. Congressional Campaigns and Representation," was created by Kifer and two colleagues - James N. Druckman from Northwestern University and Michael Parkin from Oberlin College.

"Congressional campaigns use websites as crucial parts of their overall communication strategies," says Kifer. "Our work analyzes ways they use the Internet to get their positive messages out, organize their followers, raise money and attack their opponents."

The NSF awarded $17,579 to Kifer, and the other partners will receive grants as well. The award will help Kifer and his colleagues expand a unique data set they created from more than 1,500 different websites between 2002 and 2010. High Point University students will serve as research assistants on the project, helping to analyze the websites and collect other data from the campaigns.

The team is analyzing data taken from the official websites that incumbent members of Congress post online and updating work on an experimental study about how people process information they encounter on campaign websites. The project will continue throughout the fall 2012 congressional campaigns.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of "Colleges of Distinction," as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.

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