Research Development Initiative

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With the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Urban and Regional Studies is pleased to announce the creation of the Research Development Initiative, a peer-supported program designed to foster new research projects by its Faculty Fellows and other social science faculty members on campus. This program will involve the selection of a cohort of 4 to 6 researchers who will interact over a six-to-nine-month period for the purpose of developing a set of research proposals for submission to external funders, including NSF, other federal agencies, and national and state foundations. During this program each participant will develop a proposal with support provided through a series of monthly activities including presentations, discussions, peer feedback sessions, and individual consultations with CURS staff. CURS will also provide each participant with up to $500 to support activities directly related to the development of a research proposal, such as paying a student to assist with a literature review, buying a data set or taking a trip to confer with a potential funder.

A committee will review the applications for this program and select a group based on common research interests/backgrounds and diverse skill sets. CURS will facilitate a meeting in early October with the selected participants to identify topics for the program sessions and determine how often and when to meet. Although the program will be tailored to the unique needs of the participants, the workshops and group sessions might involve the following topics and activities:

  • Developing research ideas
    • CURS staff will facilitate and support sessions on the development of research ideas
    • Participants will have an opportunity to present their ideas and receive feedback from the group. Getting feedback from disciplinary colleagues will also be encouraged.
  • Thinking through research design issues, including:
    • Use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
    • Use of longitudinal or cross-sectional research designs;
    • Use of comparison or control groups;
    • Data collection and measurement;
    • Sample selection;
    • Data analysis; and
    • Other topics
  • Identifying funding sources and developing and submitting proposals
    • Identifying potential funding sources
    • Writing an effective proposal
    • Developing a proposal budget
    • Overview of UNC proposal approval/submission process, including IRB requirements and conflict of interest reviews
  • Proposal review
    • Peers and CURS staff will review proposal drafts and provide feedback

Click to apply for the Research Development Initiative. The deadline for application submission is Friday, September 18, 2015.