The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) invites letters of interest from research teams for a yearlong partnership to develop a public-facing platform centered on a particular research question, topic, or theme using the SSRC’s Research Area Mapping Platform (Research AMP). This opportunity is made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information about the features a Research AMP offers, please see this overview.
Furthering its mission to mobilize necessary knowledge for the public good, generate new research across disciplines, and link researchers with policymakers and citizens, the SSRC partnered with the Corporation for Digital Scholarship (CDS) to develop Research AMP, a platform that facilitates the curation and discovery of scholarship on topics of public concern. Research AMP is a plug-and-publish toolset, interlinking Zotero, PressForward, and WordPress to facilitate interdisciplinary communication, research mapping, and dialogue among publics, policymakers, and researchers.
Crises like the novel coronavirus outbreak and its accompanying “infodemic” have demonstrated the need to put credible, accessible, and comprehensive humanities and social sciences scholarship in the hands of both expert and lay audiences, and bring essential historical context and expert curation to contemporary issues of public concern. The SSRC’s MediaWell platform, launched in 2019 with a focus on the effects of mis- and disinformation on democracies, is the first example of Research AMP in action. A second SSRC Research AMP site, Just Tech, launched in February.
The SSRC now seeks to offer the Research AMP platform to the broader research community by launching a grant competition to identify and support researchers who are focusing on questions, topics, or themes for which Research AMP can be a useful tool. This opportunity is intended to foster research agendas based in emerging communities of scholarly practice. Partnering with the SSRC, and the CDS, up to four researchers or research teams will develop content and infrastructure for Research AMP partner sites, public-facing platforms that will curate and translate scholarship for a broader public audience.
TERMS OF THE PARTNERSHIP
With the support of the Mellon Foundation, the SSRC will grant four awards of US$30,000 each to develop a platform for fostering innovative, interdisciplinary public scholarship. The partnership period is 12 months as of June 2022. Successful applicants will be given early access to the Research AMP suite prior to its free public release, and the SSRC will support the research groups’ development of their platforms. Project funds are intended to support thematic content development (research reviews, pedagogical tools, historical contextual essays, and so forth), as well as the technical implementation of the new Research AMP partner site. The SSRC will also help teams publicize the findings, policy briefs, historical reviews, and key interventions stemming from their projects.
Potential topic areas for Research AMP Partner Sites include:
- Inequality and social justice in the twenty-first century
- Childcare and domestic labor in the post-pandemic era
- Race, ethnicity, political participation, and inclusion
- Reimagining criminal justice systems and their alternatives
- Social mobility, geographic mobility, and migration
- The human and social dimensions of climate change
- Gun violence
- Mortality, ritual, and remembrance during Covid-19
- Labor movements and the gig economy
- Political polarization and reconciliation
- Supply chains
These topic areas are purely illustrative and applicants are welcome to propose their own. Projects illuminating the experiences of historically marginalized people are especially encouraged, as are those that can constructively inform policy responses across communities and institutions.
Research AMP partner sites may address any area in the social sciences and humanities of contemporary public concern from an interdisciplinary perspective. Early-career researchers and international applicants are encouraged to apply, but principal investigators must have a PhD or equivalent terminal degree in a relevant discipline and have a US-based institutional home to help support and sustain the Research AMP partner site beyond the initial partnership period. Priority will be given to public scholarship projects that have not attracted significant sources of funding to date.
The US$30,000 awards are directed to projects that are grounded in principles of collaboration and equity, and composed of partners who might not otherwise work together. In this regard, strong applications will not simply be interdisciplinary, but also multi-method or cross-sector, joining, for example:
- Humanists, social scientists, and information or library scientists
- Humanities scholars with social and natural scientists
- Qualitative and quantitative researchers
- Academic researchers, activists, policymakers, and practitioners
- Researchers from different parts of the world
The partnership competition is divided in two phases: potential candidates should first submit a letter of interest following the steps indicated below. Those selected will then be invited to submit a full application.
Initial applications must be submitted through the SSRC online portal and should include:
- Online application form covering, in general terms, why you are interested in creating a Research AMP partner site, what is the overall theme or subject of your site, what experience you and your team bring to the project, and what would be your intended audience(s).
- A current CV summary of the principal investigator (two pages) and short (200 words) biographies of all research team members. CV summaries should include the following details: education and employment history, relevant research experience, honors and awards, professional affiliations, language skills, and a list of no more than five relevant publications.
Letters will be reviewed by SSRC staff and invited submissions will be reviewed by an independent selection panel. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal (further details to be provided upon selection). Letters of interest will be evaluated based on applicants’ general fit for the partnership with the SSRC, while full proposals will be selected based on the best uses for a Research AMP partner site.
The deadline for letters of interest is March 31, 2022.
For details about application requirements and other useful information contact program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.