Student Research

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The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement invites proposals from Colby students, regardless of major, for funding of original research projects (including collaborative research) on topics related to public affairs or civic engagement. A wide range of student research projects may qualify for funding under this program, however preference will be given to students working on honors projects or independent studies or on extended class-related papers for which no other adequate funding sources are available.

Funding: Grants are available to continuing, full-time Colby students. Grants will range from $1000 - $3000, with maximum funding allocated to those grants that are either collaborative or for those that require international travel. Funds may be allocated to cover any legitimate research expenses including, but not limited to: purchase of research materials, travel, food, and lodging expenses associated with data gathering. Students may not qualify for stipends under this program, except for unusual circumstances, which should be specifically documented at the time of the application. The Center hopes to fund two or three projects from this round of applications.

Proposals: When you submit your proposal remember that your audience (the Center’s Steering Committee) is unlikely to be made up of specialists in your field; aim for clarity. The proposal should include the following information:

● your name, status and contact information

● a brief abstract (150 words or less) describing the project

● the nature of the specific project

● the topic’s connection to the mission of the Goldfarb Center

● a detailed research design to include:

○ the specific research questions to be examined
○ a brief literature review (consult with your faculty sponsor for examples relevant to your field) that indicates the significance of your research questions
○ description of methodology, including a clear indication of how data will be gathered and how variables will be defined
○ evidence that you have the skills necessary to gather the information in this way - usually indicated by significant coursework. Please cite relevant classes.
○ if the project involves research in a foreign country indicate and identify local contacts with whom you will work and locations of source material
○ a proposed timeline for data-gathering and writing

● a proposed budget with itemization of projected expenses and rationale

● the intended product

● a letter of endorsement from the faculty member who will be sponsoring your research, indicating that he or she has read your proposal and feels that you have the ability to carry it through to completion. Make sure that she/he has had time to comment/suggest changes to your proposal; doing so increases the probability of success

● an unofficial transcript of your Colby courses

If the project involves human subjects, the proposal should be submitted to Colby’s Institutional Review Board simultaneously with submission to the Goldfarb Center. Your project must be approved before we will disburse funds.

Check well in advance of the deadline to insure that all materials are in place (including the faculty sponsor letter of support). It is normal practice for letters to be submitted by recommenders directly. No application will be reviewed unless all of the items listed above are included and no deadline extensions will be granted.

Product: The proposal should specify the intended end product for the project and at least preliminary thoughts on means of dissemination. It is expected that grantees will submit the product to the Colby Digital Commons (note: this can be done so as not to prejudice publication rights). Students receiving funding under this program will be expected to make presentations as part of the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium. NOTE: Included in the end product of the research, recipients are required to submit to Amanda Kitchen, the Goldfarb Center Assistant Director, a detailed report of all expenses paid for by the grant money (including copies of receipts organized by date). Failure to do so will preclude future grants. Reports are due September 3, 2014.

Sandy Maisel Student Fellows: Thanks to a generous gift of a group of alumni seeking to honor Professor Maisel, students receiving research grants will be named as Sandy Maisel Student Fellows for the academic year in which their work is completed and should include that designation on all work that results from this grant. Sandy Maisel Student Fellows are expected to attend Goldfarb Center events throughout the year on a regular basis.

Expenses/Reimbursement: You must keep all receipts and submit the originals in a timely fashion to Assistant Director Amanda Kitchen. The receipts need to show both what was purchased and for how much (this is to keep both the accountants and IRS happy). You do not need to wait until the project is finished to submit your receipts (in fact it is best to submit within 30 days of the expenditure). You should keep a log of all of your expenses (an Excel spreadsheet is a good idea). It is a good habit to get into but more importantly insures accurate accounting for yourself and the Center.

Deadline: Applications for the next round of funding are due by April 2, 2014 by 5PM. Please submit all materials electronically to goldfarb-grants@colby.edu. Proposals will be evaluated by the Center's Grants Review Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Goldfarb Center Director.

Further information: Contact Goldfarb Center Associate Director, John Turner, john.turner@colby.edu. Questions regarding the proposed budget should be directed to the Assistant Director, ext. 5319.