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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Eligibility

Who can apply for the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants?

Eligible candidates must either (i) have received a PhD in any social science discipline or related fields (e.g., law, history, political philosophy, racial and ethnic studies, gender studies, migration studies, public health) within the last five years, or (ii) be a PhD candidate who has achieved “All But Dissertation” status (completed coursework and passed qualifying exams) toward a PhD in the social sciences and related fields and is currently writing the dissertation.

In particular, we encourage the participation of researchers who are part of historically unrepresented or underrepresented groups in research communities.

Am I eligible to apply if I am not a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country in the Americas?

Yes. Applicants do not have to be a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country in the Americas. However, you do need to currently reside in a country in the Americas to be eligible.

Am I eligible to apply if I am a citizen of a country in the Americas but am currently working or studying in a country outside of the region?

No, you are not eligible to apply if you are currently working or studying in a country outside of the Americas, even if you are a citizen of a country in that region.

Am I eligible to apply if I am a citizen of a country in the Americas but am currently working or studying in another country in the region?

Yes, you are eligible to apply if you are currently working or studying in a country in the Americas, even if you are a citizen of another country in that region.

Is there an age limit?

No.

Does the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants have any regional or topical restrictions?

Yes, the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants have both regional and topical restrictions. Proposals must focus in one or more countries in the Americas and address one of the following two key themes: (i) political representation, participation, and inequalities; and (ii) judicial politicization and the judicialization of politics. For either of the two themes, which are described in the Request for Proposals, research projects that can make comparisons across the contexts of multiple countries in the region are particularly welcome.

How will I know if my topic is within the scope of the two key themes?

While there are many important issues to be explored about the efficacy of democratic institutions in the face of rising inequality, the spread of populism, and the spread of disinformation, political polarization, and distrust, this grant seeks to mobilize new knowledge on two key themes that offer the basis for particularly fruitful regional comparisons and dialogue. The themes are broad enough to allow for a number of possible topics to be explored, and a more detailed discussion of each key theme can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Will the SSRC fund applications that propose research outside of the Americas?

Yes, but only if in comparison to a country in the Americas. Please note that the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants may only fund the portion of the research project that focus on one or more countries in the Americas. Proposals solely focusing on countries outside of the Americas are not eligible.

I am already conducting research on one of the eligible topics. Can I use this funding to extend my research and/or for write-up?

Yes. Applicants who are already conducting research on a topic that falls under the two key themes should discuss the progress already made and how a Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grant would allow further progress.

What is the minimum length of research?

The grant supports a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months for research to be conducted between July and December 2021, including writing a first draft of the essay to be submitted to Items: Insights from the Social Sciences. No grant will be awarded to projects with less than three months of research and writing.

Can I take time off during the grant period to take classes, teach or generally work?

Research funded by the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants must be completed within a continuous period between July and December 2021. Although applicants do not need to dedicate themselves exclusively to the research project, projects that propose a schedule that is not compatible with this timeline will not be accepted.

May I do the writing portion of my grant in a different country than the one where I conducted my research?

Yes, but you need to clearly explain and justify why this would be necessary. In any scenario, research and data collection must be executed in the Americas.

Can I apply to the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants if I have applied before to another SSRC competition but was unsuccessful?

Yes.

Can I apply to the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants if I was awarded a fellowship or grant by an SSRC program in a previous year, including the Anxieties of Democracy (AOD) and Drugs, Security and Democracy (DSD) programs?

Yes.

Are team projects eligible for this research award?

Yes, this competition allows both individual and team projects. In the case of team projects, the team should elect a PI to submit the application, which must include information about all team members. Please note that if you are the PI or has been indicated as a member in a team project you cannot also apply individually or as part of another team project.

Application Process

When is the deadline for the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants?

Applications must be complete and submitted online before 11:59 p.m. (US EST) on May 9, 2021.

How do I apply for the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants?

No paper applications are used in this application process. The application must be filled out and all information and documents must be submitted online through the apply.ssrc.org website by the deadline (11:59 pm on May 9, 2021, US EST).

Do I have to submit my application in English?

No. You may submit your application and all supporting documents in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

May I submit my application by fax or e-mail?

No. Applications sent by fax or e-mail will not be accepted. Applicants must supply the necessary information by using the online application portal at apply.ssrc.org.

Do I need to complete the application all at once?

No. You may return to the application as many times as necessary until the application deadline. Be sure to save your work after you finish each section of the application. Once the application has been submitted, you will no longer be able to alter the information.

Do you have examples of proposals that have been awarded a grant by the SSRC?

No. The SSRC does not provide examples of successful proposals. For suggestions on proposal writing, we encourage you to consult The Art of Writing Proposals.

Application Components

What documents must be submitted in the research proposal?

All applications must include the following documents (in PDF), as indicated below:

  • Updated C.V. (up to two pages, including any publications relevant to the proposed research);
  • Research proposal (no more than five pages, not including the bibliography) clearly describing (i) the main theoretical and/or empirical contribution of your research, (ii) the methodologies that will be used, and (iii) indication of the initial bibliography;
  • Statement of motivation (up to 350 words) explaining you interest in participating in this competition and how the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants can contribute to your research agenda;
  • Detailed budget for the research plan up to the maximum amount of US$ 10,000.00 (ten thousand United States dollars); and
  • Research schedule (between three and six months).
  • Note: If the research project involves the participation of human beings as study subjects, please indicate if the project has already obtained approval from an institutional ethics committee (IRB) and provide a copy of the approval. If it has not yet been approved, please indicate when approval is expected and clearly indicate why you believe the research schedule is feasible within the time limits established for this grant. Please note that, if selected, the award cannot be paid until confirmation of IRB approval.

    Do the application documents need to be submitted in English?

    No. All documents sent in support of your application may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

    Are there formatting requirements for the research proposal and bibliography?

    Yes. Your research proposal cannot exceed five pages with 1.5 line spacing. Footnotes and endnotes can be single-spaced, but must be within the five pages. The bibliography must not have more than two pages (not included in the total number of pages of the research proposal), must be in the standard bibliography format, and may be single-spaced. The bibliography should indicate familiarity with the academic production relevant to your topic. The bibliography cannot be replaced by endnotes. The research proposal must be written in Times New Roman, size 11, with one-inch margins.

    Are there formatting requirements for the CV?

    No, but your CV cannot exceed two pages. Your CV must detail your most relevant academic and/or professional experiences, including any publications and/or other projects related to the proposed research.

    Are there formatting requirements for statement of purpose?

    No, there is no format requirement as your statement will be added as an answer in the application portal. Please note that your statement of purpose cannot exceed 350 words, and it must explain your interest in participating in this competition and how the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants can contribute to your research agenda.

    Is there a specific budget template I should use?

    No, there is no specific budget template. However, your budget must detail how you plan to use you award in connection with your research. More information about what is and is not covered by the grant award is discussed below in the “Grant Award” section.

    Can I submit photographs or charts with my application?

    Yes, but any nontextual material must be included within the five-page limit of your research proposal.

    Do I need to submit reference letters, transcripts and/or letters of affiliation with my application?

    No. Do not submit any reference letters, transcripts and/or letters of affiliation with your application.

    Do I need to submit a language evaluation?

    If proficiency in a nonnative language is necessary for the completion of your research project, we ask that you speak to your language proficiency as part of your proposal. No separate language evaluation is required. If more than one foreign language is required to complete your research project, please address your proficiency in each language.

    How will I know that my application is complete?

    After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an automatic confirmation e-mail from the SSRC.

    Grant Awards

    When will award announcements be made?

    All applicants will be contacted about their status via e-mail by mid-June 2021.

    What are the selection procedures?

    Research projects that meet all the eligibility criteria will be reviewed by an independent, multidisciplinary, multilingual, and cross-regional selection committee. Their review process will focus on the relevance to the research topic, quality and intellectual merit, potential for innovation, the fit between their research question and research design, and feasibility under current constraints on research.

    How many awards will be offered?

    The final number of selected proposals will be determined according to the quality of the submissions, but we estimate that around ten projects will be selected.

    What happens if my project is selected for funding?

    You will be contacted by email and will receive instructions and documents for accepting the terms and conditions of your Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grant award.

    When can I begin my research if I am selected for funding?

    Research proposals funded by the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants may begin as early as July 1, 2021.

    What is the award amount?

    Grant awards will range from US$5,000 to US$10,000, with larger amounts directed toward comparative projects, and especially to transregional research partnerships (two or more researchers based at two or more institutions across the Americas). Moreover, grantees will also have access to editing and translation to English for their essay contribution to Items: Insights from the Social Sciences.

    What are eligible costs for a Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grant award?

    A Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grant award will cover recipients’ travel (provided you comply with all applicable Covid-19 travel restrictions), research, and living expenses in a country in the Americas for up to six months of research. Some items that this grant will not cover are tuition costs, seminars, meetings, conference attendance, overhead, and other institutional costs, as well as any costs related to research outside of the Americas. Please note that all applicants must submit a detailed budget with their research proposal.

    I am applying for multiple grants. Should I be awarded SSRC funding, can I also accept funding from other sources?

    Yes, but recipients of the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants cannot accept funding from the SSRC and another organization for the same expenses at the same time.

    Are there any deliverables or reporting requirements for the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Research Grants?

    Yes. Grant recipients are required to contribute an original essay based on their research to SSRC’s digital forum Items: Insights from the Social Sciences. In addition, they are also required to submit a final report on practical issues related to their research experience, including logistics, accessibility, and financial aspects.

    Do awards go directly to the grant recipient or are they channeled through a university or institution?

    All awards are paid directly to the grant recipient.

    Does the SSRC offer support for visas and IRB clearances?

    No. Applicants are responsible for their own travel arrangements (if and when possible in light of the Covid-19 pandemic) and research clearances. We will provide a letter confirming your award for visa applications if requested.

    Technical Support

    Do I need to convert the documents I submit into PDF files myself? I don’t know how to perform the conversion.

    Yes. You must convert all your supporting documents into PDF files. You may do so by using Adobe Acrobat Professional, or an online program such as Adobe Online, CutePDF, or Zoho Writer.

    My research proposal, bibliography, and/or CV document was exactly the correct length in my word processing program, but when I convert it to a PDF file, it exceeds the page limit. Is that ok?

    No. All files submitted must comply with their specific page limits as a PDF file.

    The online system is in English, but I am not fluent in that language. Can I send my documents by email?

    No. Although the page for registering your system access information is in English, the information requested there is quite simple (name, address, e-mail and affiliation). The pages referring to the main application process of the Democratic Anxieties in the Americas Grants are offered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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