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Trends in Funding for Dissertation Field Research: Why Do Political Science and Sociology Students Win So Few Awards?

  • Rina Agarwala (a1) and Emmanuel Teitelbaum (a2)
Abstract

Despite the size and growth of political science and sociology relative to other disciplines, political science and sociology graduate students have received a declining share of funding for dissertation field research in recent years. Specifically, political science and sociology students are losing out to competitive applicants from humanities-oriented fields that provide strong training in area studies and language. These trends are explained by multiple factors. On the funding demand side, changes in graduate training within political science and sociology are undermining students' ability to conduct contextual work, thus leading to lower quality applications. On the funding supply side, the structure of selection committees may be privileging certain disciplines and approaches. We offer suggestions on how to begin reversing these worrisome trends in dissertation funding. Doing so is crucial to ensuring the continued participation of political scientists and sociologists in international comparative research.

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Copyright
References
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National Science Foundation. 2008. “Award Search: Program Information.” http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/tab.do?dispatch=2 (accessed March 4, 2010).
National Science Foundation. 2009. “National Science Foundation (NSF) Data Sources” [database]. http://webcaspar.nsf.gov/ (accessed March 4, 2010).
Social Science Research Council. 2008. “International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF).” http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/idrf-fellowship/ (accessed August 2008).
U.S. Department of Education. 2009. “Fulbright-Hays—Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad: Grantees and Award Information.” http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/awards.html (accessed March 4, 2010).
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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