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Social Sciences Annual Institute

An Initiative to Promote Innovation in the Social Sciences 

Purpose:
The Social Sciences Annual Institute (SSAI), sponsored by the University of Michigan Office of Research and the Rackham Graduate School, supports innovative new directions in the social sciences that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. To this end, SSAI will support a small team of scholars to organize activities, seed-grant proposals, and presentations around a significant emerging theme within the social sciences, or one that crosses disciplinary lines with a substantial inclusion of social sciences. It is anticipated that the program will be conceived to have a bigger potential impact than might normally be expected of usual projects. In addition to creating opportunities across campus to focus on the proposed theme, each team will be expected to produce something with lasting effect, such as major proposals for funding, publications, or significant events that inform the broader scholarly community.

Resources:

Proposals may include requests for seed funds to support new scholarly activities, to bring visitors to campus, to commission papers, to organize symposia, or to secure assistance in developing a major proposal. Up to two projects will be funded at as much $50,000 each within the September 2016-April 2017 time frame. Rackham Graduate School will provide support for one .50 FTE GSRA appointment for fall and winter semesters for a Ph.D. candidate per project.  Graduate student funding is in addition to the $50,000 and does not need to be included in your proposal budget.

Faculty selected to be on the team(s) leading the year’s activities may wish to seek a “service holiday” from their departments, schools and colleges. We will do our best to help negotiate this.

Process and Approaches:

Full proposals are due by 5 p.m. on November 30, 2015. Complete application instructions can be found on the application form.

Faculty that wish to submit a pre-proposal must do so by 5:00 p.m. November 9, 2015. The Associate VP for Research will vet pre-proposals for program relevance and send invitations to submit full proposals by November 20, 2015. Pre-proposal narratives should include a description of the theme, proposed activities, and expected outcomes for the Social Sciences Annual Institute, and not exceed two pages in length. Pre-proposals are not required.

All proposals should be submitted electronically in a single PDF file to socsci-institute@umich.edu.

Evaluation: The selection committee will be composed of the Associate VP for Research, Social Science, and three senior faculty chosen by the Vice President for Research. The faculty members involved may be asked to meet with the selection committee. A decision will be announced in late December 2015. An independent team will evaluate the outcome of the 2016 activities and the impact of those activities on the U-M and the social sciences. We also recognize that it may take several years to fully understand the impact of a set of activities.

Space Needs:

If additional/designated space is required for the selected initiative, UMOR will work with appropriate schools/colleges to address space concerns.

Cost-sharing:

Unit participation is expected for this initiative and will be negotiated in the final selection process to ensure that cost-sharing is provided by the unit that will ultimately receive funding.

Questions can be addressed to Toni Antonucci at socsci-institute@umich.edu.