Omnibus Project

About Omnibus

The Omnibus Project coordinates and streamlines the development of a student subject pool for faculty and student research. Project coordinators collect data for a set of common variables, such as demographic information and political covariates, which are provided to all researchers submitting proposals. Individual researchers submit their survey questions and customize their own portion of the survey instrument. The subject pool will be comprised of students enrolled in departmental classes; some instructors will require participation or offer extra credit to students to participate in the study.

By simplifying the administrative hurdles to collecting original data, the project will strengthen the Government Department’s undergraduate research program and will provide opportunities for Government majors to conduct independent research for honors theses, independent studies, and research projects. The Omnibus will also provide faculty with a subject pool for pilot testing survey questions or lab protocols before conducting studies with larger, more representative samples.

In recent years, the Omnibus has been conducted online through a Qualtrics survey.

Projects or Papers that have used Omnibus data include:

Issue Priority and Issue Proximity – Ron Rapoport
Desert and Details: Implications of Different Types of Luck – Maurits van der Veen
Empathy and International Development – Marcus Holmes
Impact of Social Pressure on Political Conformity – Taylor Feenstra
Increasing the Effectiveness of Political Campaign Mail – Meg Schwenzfeier
Political ChameleonsJamie Settle and Taylor Carlson

The Omnibus Project had evolved every year since it first began in 2013. For an overview of the project, read more here. You can find out more about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the project in interviews with the faculty co-director Jaime Settle.

Omnibus Project Overview

Submit a Research Proposal

The William & Mary Omnibus accepts proposals from Government, International Relations, and Public Policy majors and faculty who would like to add a survey module to an omnibus study that will be conducted during a Fall or Spring Semester.

Subjects will be drawn from participating Government classes and all surveys will be completed online.

When preparing your application, you should be able to explain:

  1. A brief rationale of your study, including your research question, hypotheses, and required sample size.
  2. Any input you have on the “common variables” (demographics and political covariates).
  3. The eight or fewer core questions that you need to be included for your project, as well as any additional questions you would like included if there is room in the study. Make sure to include the exact wording of questions and answer options, as well as all necessary information regarding question-ordering, randomization, and branching.

Additionally, we recommend that you pre-register your study. Pre-registration requires you to indicate how you will use your data before you collect it. This step ensures that the results in your final report coincide with your original hypothesis, demonstrating that you did not craft a hypothesis after data collection. The following organizations offer free pre-registration: Center for Open Science and AsPredicted.

Applications will only be processed if they are submitted using the official form.

Proposals are no longer being accepted for the Spring 2024 semester. Previous directions are included in the proposal form below.

Questions? Email


What is the Omnibus Project?
  • We help to facilitate student and faculty research within the realm of political science. Each Fall and Spring, we invite students in various government classes to take part in the project. Instructors require participation or offer extra credit for participation in the project.  The Omnibus Project is a great tool for students interested in collecting data for honors theses, independent studies and research projects. 
What have been past research projects that have used the Omnibus Project?
  • The 2015-2016 Omnibus Project Student Director John Stuart used the Omnibus Project to collect data for his honors thesis. He wrote his honors thesis on Disgust: An Emotional Component of Conservative Attitudes toward Transgender Individuals. 
What does the Omnibus Project Student Director do?
  • The Student Director handles a lot of the behind-the-scenes and logistics of the Project. The director is in charge of programming the questions into qualtrics, hiring proctors, managing participant schedules, corresponding with researchers and faculty, obtaining completion statistics and solving problems that may arise. The student director works directly with Professor Settle and Professor Holmes, as well as student researchers.
How can I get involved in the Omnibus Project?
  • You will receive an email at the beginning of the semester inviting you to participate in the Omnibus Project. 

More questions? Email