The International Studies program at UC Irvine and the Interpretive Methods and Methodologies Group of the American Political Science Association present

"Interpretive Methods for Grant Proposal Development" Workshop

Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, 2013
UC Irvine, specific location TBD

This two-day advanced workshop for graduate students and junior faculty will not only act as a collaborative working environment in which participants will obtain the support and feedback to enable them to improve their grant-writing skills and their own research projects, but will also provide a space for interdisciplinary engagement between students and faculty from various universities on issues related to grant-writing and interpretive research projects. We seek applications from graduate students and junior faculty from all academic disciplines whose empirical research projects utilize interpretive methods. Participants will be expected to have knowledge of interpretive methods (ethnography and/or discourse analysis, in particular) prior to attending the workshop.

Graduate students and faculty in the social sciences are increasingly using interpretive methods such as discourse analysis, in-depth interviewing, ethnography, visual methods, semiotics, and others to examine critical questions regarding the temporalities and geographies of power, the use and impact of new technologies on social formations and political economy, and the workings of law, religion, and secularisms on issues such as gender and postcolonial relationships, yet there is little training in how to employ, articulate and convey these methods effectively in grant proposal development.  Students who want to complete their graduate research in a timely and efficient manner, and faculty who are trying to obtain NSF or major foundation funding for their work must learn how to write persuasive proposals that effectively articulate the importance of their research to funding committees that may or may not be familiar with the approaches, techniques, and/or subject matters referenced in the proposal. Consequently, grant writers must learn to speak across methodological and disciplinary divides in order to be successful.

There is a wide array of methods that are housed under the “interpretive” umbrella; however, this workshop will focus on two of the most utilized methods – discourse analysis and ethnography. Both are frequently employed in anthropology and interdisciplinary women’s studies, and interest in them has grown considerably in political science and sociology.  The workshop will focus on how to write proposals for research projects that specifically employ one or both of these approaches. The workshop schedule will include roundtables and presentations (individual and joint) by UCI and visiting faculty and participation in and evaluation of writing exercises to improve participants’ proposals. Students will also be required to present and discuss their own proposals (which they will be asked to provide ahead of time) in several break-out sessions focusing on common problems and the component parts of proposal-writing.

Applications are due March 1, 2013.  Participating faculty will review the applications in March and will notify applicants about final decisions by March 20, 2013 at the latest.

To apply, please send the following to by March 1, 2013:

(1) A copy of your CV
(2) A short (200 word max.) abstract of your current research project, which includes the methods you intend to use
(3) A one-page statement of interest which includes the following information: (a) where in the research process you are, (b) your previous background in interpretive methods and how this workshop would be helpful to the completion of your project, (c) a list of the funding sources you are particularly interested in

The workshop will be free of charge and will include meals for May 30 and 31. This does not, however, include funding for airfare/lodging. If requested, we will book rooms at a nearby hotel, which participants will pay for, that run approximately $100/night and include a full breakfast and free shuttle service to/from the university. The closest airport is John Wayne Airport (SNA), though the Long Beach Airport (LGB), the Los Angeles Airport (LAX), and the San Diego Airport (SAN) are within a 45-90 minute drive. We encourage applicants to actively seek out funds from their home institutions or other sources as soon as possible to cover costs associated with the workshop.

This year’s faculty instructors include:

Cecelia Lynch, Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies, University of California-Irvine; George Marcus, Professor of Anthropology, University of California-Irvine; Bill Maurer, Professor of Anthropology, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, University of California-Irvine; Keith Murphy, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California-Irvine; Timothy Pachirat, Assistant Professor of Politics, The New School for Social Research; Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, Professor of Political Science, University of Utah; Dvora Yanow, Visiting Professor in the Department of Communication, Technology, and Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences, Wageningen University (The Netherlands)

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