February 6, 2017 CFP

The Center for International Social Science Research (CISSR), a new initiative of the Division of the Social Sciences, invites University of Chicago doctoral students to submit proposals to join its inaugural cohort of Research Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. CISSR seeks to build a dynamic and inclusive community to serve as a destination for social scientists conducting research on global issues that cut across disciplinary, temporal, and geographic borders. We welcome internationally-oriented and empirically rigorous social science research projects from diverse theoretical and methodological approaches.

Applicants are encouraged to learn more about CISSR and the doctoral residential fellows program by visiting the Center’s website (cissr.uchicago.edu) or by contacting Manuel Viedma, CISSR Associate Director, via email at mviedma@uchicago.edu or by phone at (773) 834-3852.

Applications for 2017-18 fellowships are now closed. Application guidelines and a FAQ can be found via the tabs above.

Eligibility

University of Chicago doctoral students who have defended their dissertation proposals may apply, provided their research deals with a topic or question in international social science.

CISSR seeks to support research projects addressing contemporary and historical topics that will increase our knowledge and understanding of the world beyond the United States. Projects should be theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and should stand to benefit from critical dialogue across disciplinary, methodological, and geographic boundaries.

Requirements

Graduate fellows will be expected to participate in the intellectual life of CISSR by attending events, colloquia, and presenting their projects at least once during their fellowship.

Support

CISSR will provide graduate residential fellows with $5,000 along with shared office space in our Pick Hall office.

Applications

Applications must be submitted via fundingopportunities.uchicago.edu no later than 11:59pm CST on March 22, 2017. After logging in with a CNET ID, the application can be found by clicking the “view funding” button and is listed as “CISSR: Doctoral Residential Fellowships, 2017-18.” All applications require:

  1. An application form with a dissertation title and the contact information for a faculty sponsor who is willing to endorse the application and serve as a reference
  2. A 1-page cover letter
  3. A CV
  4. A 2-3-page dissertation precis

View the Application Guidelines for complete details regarding the application process and format for the dissertation precis.

I. CISSR Description

The Center for International Social Science Research (CISSR) is a new initiative of the Division of the Social Sciences, the product of a faculty-led effort to reorganize the Center of International Studies and more effectively support the Division’s continued leadership in international and global affairs research. The Center promotes global inquiry among University of Chicago faculty and students through its Fellows program, book workshops, and other activities. CISSR operations are overseen by the Faculty Director, Dan Slater (Political Science), and an Advisory Board composed of faculty from across the University: Jenny Trinitapoli (Sociology), Emily Lynn Osborn (History), Paul Poast (Political Science), and Luis Martinez (Harris School of Public Policy).

II. Research Fellows Program Description

The CISSR Research Fellows Program is designed to bring social scientists who study different parts of the world using different methods and theoretical approaches together in a common space. Rooted in the belief that the best research is produced through critical and constructive conversations in an inclusive community of global scholars, CISSR activities allow fellows to share their findings, while also exposing them to new perspectives and localities. Through sustained interactions with their peers, and with CISSR financial and administrative support, fellows can mold their research and amplify its impact.

III. Eligibility and Requirements

University of Chicago doctoral students who have defended their dissertation proposals may apply, provided their research deals with a topic or question in international social science.

CISSR defines international social science broadly and inclusively, encompassing research that explores social phenomena outside of the American context. We are looking for projects that address contemporary and historical topics and increase our knowledge of the world. Projects should involve the systematic examination of evidence, and scholars should be willing to entertain alternative arguments and different theoretical perspectives.

Graduate fellows will be expected to participate in sustained dialogue with their CISSR colleagues, participate in CISSR events, and contribute to CISSR’s intellectual life. They are also required to present their projects at least once during their fellowship. All fellows are required to submit a report assessing the project’s success and CISSR’s impact at the end of their fellowship.

IV. CISSR Support

CISSR will provide graduate residential fellows with $5,000, issued as a stipend, along with shared office space in Pick Hall, Room 102. CISSR will also provide administrative support for planning of events related to the project (venues and accommodations) and project publicity (webpages, work papers, and social media).

V. Pre-Proposal Consultations

Prospective student applicants are encouraged to consult with CISSR staff about the content and format of the proposal. Please contact Associate Director Manuel Viedma at 773-834-3852 or mviedma@uchicago.edu to arrange a consultation.

VI. Application Submission

Applications must be submitted via fundingopportunities.uchicago.edu no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on March 22, 2017. All applications require an application form with the contact information of a faculty sponsor, a 1-page cover letter, a CV, and a 2-3-page dissertation precis.

VII. Cover Letter Guidelines

The cover letter should introduce the dissertation topic and its importance. The applicant should also specify why the project fits the CISSR mission and how participation in the Fellows program will improve the project.

VIII. Dissertation Precis Guidelines

A dissertation precis is comprised of an abstract of the dissertation and a summary of each chapter or paper. The abstract introduces the dissertation topic, outlines the main thesis (or theses), explains the methods used, and highlights the importance and originality of the project within the discipline.

IX. Review and Selection Process

The Faculty Director and Advisory Board of CISSR will evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

  • Whether the dissertation advances international social science by increasing our knowledge of different social systems and by addressing a vital, far-reaching topic;
  • The originality of the dissertation;
  • The quality of the design of the project;
  • Whether CISSR support will make a clear and distinct impact on the project.



In this guide:

  1. CISSR Description
  2. Fellows Program Description
  3. Eligibility and Requirements
  4. CISSR Support
  5. Pre-Proposal Consultations
  6. Application Submission
  7. Cover Letter Guidelines
  8. Dissertation Precis Guidelines
  9. Review and Selection Process

Award Timeline:
Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on March 22, 2017. Applicants will be notified of decisions by mid-April 2017 and funding will become available to fellows beginning in July 2017.

Questions:
Contact Manuel Viedma, CISSR Associate Director, at 773-834-3852 or mviedma@uchicago.edu.


Who is eligible for a CISSR doctoral residential fellowship?

Doctoral students who have defended their dissertation proposals (or the equivalent) from any University unit are eligible for a residential fellowship. Dissertation research must address an international topic and use a social scientific lens.

Who is eligible to apply for a CISSR faculty fellowship?

University of Chicago faculty in any discipline or unit are encouraged to apply, provided they are exploring an international topic through a social science lens. Proposals originating from faculty outside of the Division of the Social Sciences must show evidence that Social Science faculty are currently engaged in the project in some way (i.e. as collaborators, co-investigators, or conversation partners).

What is meant by ‘international social science’?

CISSR defines ‘international social science’ broadly and inclusively, encompassing research that explores social phenomena in places beyond an American-focused context. An international social science project will address an important contemporary or historical topic that affects a range of regions through a systematic examination of evidence.

Are projects required to be interdisciplinary, comparative or collaborative?

Projects are not required to be interdisciplinary, collaborative, comparative, mixed-method, or be based in a certain time period. Projects can be individual or collaborative endeavors that are situated within a single discipline, based in a single locality, and employ a single social science method. But we ask that fellows be open to alternative arguments and perspectives in order to improve research through dialogue across disciplinary, methodological, and geographical boundaries.

How will faculty proposals be evaluated?

The CISSR Faculty Director and Advisory Board will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:
• The originality of the proposed research;
• Whether the project advances international social science by increasing our knowledge and understanding of different social systems on a vital topic of broad impact;
• The quality of the design of project activities, their feasibility, and probability that they will lead to the successful realization of the project’s intellectual goals;
• The reasonableness of the costs;
• Whether CISSR support will make a clear and distinct impact on the project.

How will doctoral proposals be evaluated?

The CISSR Faculty Director and Advisory Board will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:
• The originality of the dissertation project;
• Whether the dissertation advances international social science by increasing our knowledge of different social systems and by addressing a vital topic of broad impact;
• The quality of project’s research design;
• Whether CISSR support will make a clear and distinct impact on the project.

What results does CISSR expect from faculty research projects?

While CISSR does not expect a particular set of results from a faculty research project, preference will be given to those projects that are likely to produce deliverables in the form of new data sets, publications, working papers, etc.

What results does CISSR expect from doctoral research projects?

CISSR does not expect results from doctoral research projects, but we do expect doctoral students to make a contribution to the Center’s intellectual life.

What is expected from CISSR faculty fellows during their fellowships?

Faculty fellows are expected to engage with their colleagues in sustained intellectual conversations and participate in colloquia and other Center events throughout two of the Autumn, Winter, and Spring academic quarters. They are also expected to present their research in the colloquia at least once during their fellowship. All fellows are required to submit a report assessing the project’s success and CISSR’s impact at the end of their fellowship.

What is expected from CISSR doctoral fellows during their fellowships?

Doctoral fellows are expected to contribute to intellectual life of the Center by participating in CISSR colloquia and events. They are also expected to work in the office the entire year of their fellowship and carry out fieldwork during breaks in the academic calendar. All fellows are required to submit a report assessing the project’s success and CISSR’s impact at the end of their fellowship.

How many CISSR fellowships are available for faculty and doctoral students?

The number of fellowships available depends on the yearly CISSR budget. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, CISSR has estimated it has enough funds for up to five faculty fellows, depending on the size of applicant budgets submitted and approved, and enough funds for up to five doctoral fellows.

Can CISSR projects receive funding elsewhere?

CISSR supports projects with financial support from other sources. In such cases, CISSR continues to expect that its support will have a clear and distinct impact on the project and that fellows will participate in the CISSR community.

How are CISSR research fellowships connected to CISSR book workshops?

Faculty fellows are eligible and encouraged to apply for book workshop funding as part of their research projects. CISSR has a separate book workshop program for university and non-university faculty who are not fellows.

Are project activities that occur off-campus eligible for support?

The CISSR research fellowship is meant to support University scholars in their research, including fieldwork. However, faculty fellows are required to be on campus for two of the Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Public programming activities such as lectures and conferences related to the project that will occur off campus or abroad are encouraged to find support for those activities elsewhere and from other entities like the centers in Beijing, Paris, Delhi, etc.

What kinds of scholarly conferences are most likely to receive approval and support?

A faculty fellowship proposal will most likely receive administrative support and funding for a conference when the fellow has a clear plan for a producing a publication out of conference proceedings in the form of a special journal issue or edited volume.

Can a faculty member participate in multiple projects at the same time?

There is no limit to the number of CISSR projects an individual faculty member may participate in at any given time. Collaboration and cross-pollination are encouraged.

What about projects that require IRB approval?

Projects that involve human subjects are not required to have IRB approval at the time of application submission. However, if the project is successful and selected for funding, the fellow(s) is required to submit an IRB approval or determination letter to CISSR prior to the issuance of an award. Please see the Institutional Review Board for further details.

What costs should be included in the project budget?

The budget is an opportunity to present the costs necessary to carry out the described research activities. A budget should include an itemized estimate of costs and all costs should be necessary to the accomplish the project objectives and reasonable in relation to expected outcomes. Justifications for costs and descriptions of how estimates were calculated should also be included.

Can postdoctoral or student researchers be supported with CISSR funds?

Because CISSR’s ability to fully fund researchers is very limited, it is not able to support postdoctoral and professional research assistants, though it may approve the use of student research assistance in some instances. Fellows interested in hiring research assistance are encouraged to explore other potential sources of support to augment their budgets.

How will the CISSR visiting fellows program work?

CISSR is interested in bringing the collaborators of faculty fellows, or a visitor whose residency will advance CISSR’s mission, to campus to join its community of scholars. Faculty fellows who wish to propose a visiting fellow must include a justification in the project narrative and the costs of a visiting fellow’s stay in their budget. The costs for domestic visiting fellows include travel expenses to bring them to campus, housing for the duration of their stay, and any other research-related expenses. Budgets for international visitors may require additional costs related to obtaining a visa and health insurance. CISSR will provide administrative support for visiting fellows by arranging their travel, finding them housing, and processing their academic appointments.