on the art of writing proposals

Writing cogent research proposals for funding is probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences a faculty member or doctoral student can encounter. But have no fear, two SSRCs are here to help—DePaul’s SSRC and the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn, NY.

We recommend perusing the New York SSRC’s guide to writing proposals. Though the advice is specifically for Social Science Research Council competitions—to which many of you may want to apply—the straight-forward and helpful advice from the authors can be used to craft any research proposal you might submit to a committee for funding. The guide clarifies the difference between great proposals and less attractive ones, strong conceptual research arguments and less convincing ones, and rigorous methodological propositions and less rigorous ones. In short, the aim of proposal writing is to put forward a clear, concise, convincing, rigorous, and refreshing research proposal to obtain that funding you so dearly want—and may just need.

Please click on the link below to access the article. And if this is not enough, contact us here at the SSRC about your project and ideas so that we can give you more specific assistance! Good luck!



Author: Julian Thompson

Julian Thompson is a research assistant at the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University. He is completing his MA in Sociology and is expecting to begin doctoral studies in the fall of 2012. Broadly speaking, his interests revolve around issues of identity, culture, power, legal practices and discourses, and inequality. His specific research domains are prisons, punishment, ex-offender reentry, street life, mental illness, and immigration detention and deportation. However, he is particularly interested in studying the racialized experiences of imprisonment and re-entry and the way these impact the racial understandings that offenders of color inculcate and use when making sense of their lives and criminal engagements.

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