“Contributing to solutions for marginalized communities in the Arab region: A Two-Year Program of Research and Training” January 2019 – September 2020
The University of Michigan and Princeton University are pleased to announce a Call for Applications for early-career Ph.D.s (advanced graduate students will also be considered) for a two-year program consisting of four workshops focused on developing or enhancing skills in quantitative research design and methodology, as well as qualitative approaches. This four-part workshop program will bring together colleagues from across the MENA region to develop research projects focused on marginalized communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on research concerned with the status and circumstances of women. Additionally, a key focus of the training and workshops will be the collection and analysis of public opinion data, with data from Arab Barometer surveys made available and used for instructional purposes.
The first one-week workshop will be hosted by Kuwait University on January 26-29, 2019. Three follow-up workshops, each to be held in a different Arab country, will take place in summer 2019, winter 2020 and summer 2020. A final dissemination event will allow participants to share their research in a formal academic setting.
The 2019 workshops will be led by Amaney Jamal (Princeton University), Mark Tessler (University of Michigan), and other scholars affiliated with the Arab Barometer. Sessions will be conducted in Arabic and English. Professional fluency in both languages is required.
These workshops primarily target early-career academics and other scholars with a Ph.D., although advanced graduate students will be considered as well. Participants must be based at a university or other institution in MENA and preference will be given to applicants who also have received their Ph.D. from an institution in the region. The organizers, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will cover all the costs of participation (including travel, lodging, meals, and materials) for up to 12 qualified applicants. The program is open to scholars in political science and other social science disciplines who are undertaking research related to the workshop’s theme of marginalized communities in MENA.
Applicants should provide a curriculum vita (C.V.); a short statement describing their research experience, including their familiarity and experience with quantitative social science research; and a description of a current or planned research project that could benefit from the application of quantitative research methods. Participants will share descriptions of their projects, including methodology, at the first workshop and will report on the evolution and advancement of their projects at each subsequent workshop. Participants will describe the nature and significance of their research and its findings at the final dissemination conference. Soon after, incorporating revisions in response to comments and suggestions received at the conference, they will be expected to submit the work to a peer-reviewed social science journal.
Widespread discontent with the political, social, and economic situation of ordinary citizens led to massive protests in many countries across the Arab world in late 2010 and early 2011. Following these openings, marginalized communities expected to realize important gains from the reforms that would be enacted in a number of countries. Seven years after these events, however, in most cases, meaningful improvements have not been realized.
The development of solutions to these problems, including but not limited to gender inequality, will benefit greatly from research conducted by local scholars. These researchers are knowledgeable about the different problems and circumstances affecting the MENA region and its marginalized groups. Increasing the experience and skill sets of young Arab social scientists will enhance the ability of these scholars to conduct research with the potential both to advance knowledge and understanding and to improve policy outcomes.
The workshops will to bring together up to 12 junior scholars from the MENA region with the goal of helping them develop and carry out research projects that investigate the concerns and needs of marginalized communities in the Arab world. Workshop sessions will include readings, exercises, and trainings designed to deepen understanding of the research process, beginning with problem selection, engagement with theory, and hypothesis formation and then proceeding through research design, data collection, data analysis, and reporting on the nature and significance of key findings. Additionally, the workshops will give attention to publication strategies, including in academic journals, policy forums, and to the media more broadly.
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