How to Find Funding and Plan for International Fieldwork April 8, 2005

How to Find Funding and Plan for
International Fieldwork
April 8, 2005
Cynthia Buckley
Center for Innovation, Creativity
and Capital
Dept. of Sociology
Discuss the importance of pre-dissertation
research and training in and out of the field
Highlight funding and application issues
Become familiar with strategic preparation
issues: practical and academic
Unanticipated barriers and opportunities
Setting clear goals and agendas
Be out standing in your field
If we can send one graduate
student away, why can’t we
send them ALL away
Areas of Interest
Preparation for studies
language preparation critical
university programs
in country programs
area background is important
Developing area expertise sends a signal to
funding agencies, enables project
development and makes your time in the
field more efficient
Master your Methods
Methodological training is increasingly
Join in on research programs, gain
knowledge in secondary analysis OR
methodological approaches
Know the methodological similarities and
differences you have with local scholars
Start the Fieldwork Certification Early
Human Subjects Review, Get certified! certification is:
University of Texas IRB forms (see attached) can be found at
An interesting site from a European University on research ethics
can be found at
And an excellent article in the Lanclet on pragmatism in research
ethics can be found at:
Find Pre Dissertation Programs
 American Councils (ACTR/ACCELS), Smith
Richardson, NSEP, NSF, Wenner Gren
Area Associations: AAASS, MESA, LASA
Disciplinary association newsletters, faculty, other
students, office of the Dean of Graduate Studies
Be Strategic in Your Search
Register at the Community of Science
Take a few moments and register yourself on the
Community of Science Web page (note computer
must be linked with UT for you to be able to register).
This search engines checks all grant postings for
selected keywords and provides an email update of
opportunities every two weeks. This is STRONGLY
Pre dissertation projects should not be too narrowed or specific
 Dissertation projects should be extremely specific
 One “basic” model can be modified for many applications
 Have a clear idea of your needs
What will be the “output” from this project?
Establishing Contacts
Identify individuals and institutions in the field
Look at the literature
Use faculty contacts
Spread your net widely
Send them a short project description
Obtain written collaborative agreements
Get feedback on your project
Focus on professional relationships
What is the use of reference letters? See this essay:
“Do We Need Recommendation Letters?”
Choose letter writers carefully- need specifics on your work
Make sure you give all the materials well in advance
Give an indication of the issues each person should cover
Fill out forms, give addressed envelopes, follow-up
Before you hit the road………
Make sure your background reading and research is
Try to make as many appointments as possible in
Write up a short summary of your project in the local
Get local language business cards
Get shots and medication
Get insurance
Summarizing Your Project
General one page (no more) overview should include
General question
Specific importance of the case
Anticipated output
Specific sections for each type of method
What questions are your addressing?
What type of “data” are you looking for?
How do you plan to analyze the data?
Know how you want to pieces to fit together
Practical Advice
Personal security is important
Presentation of self is also important
Make sure you consider how “interviewer
effects” may alter the information you receive
personal appearance
Always Have a Plan B
What will you do if there is no access?
a revolution?
your topic is not relevant or
you missed a key point
Make sure you have some back-up plans
alternative methods
alternative sites
Timing is Everything
You will not have enough time, deal with it
Do not leave things to the last minute
Do plan on time for fun and rest
Everything takes much longer than you think
Try to stay on schedule
Keep a work diary- this is critical
Getting Started
Work out a time line
Let your advisors know your needs
Get started on the back ground work
Plan ahead
Stick to schedule
Work Together
Form fellowship work teams
Read over applications
Keep in email contact
Share insights- both successes and failures
These are not competitive but rather
cumulative processes
Reinforce and deepen the UT reputation