Collaborations of mutual scholarly interest.

The Polson Institute Research Working Groups (RWGs) are a vehicle for sustained and cooperative research activity among faculty, senior associates, graduate students, and others in substantive and methodological research areas. RWG funding underwrites the costs for regular scholarly interaction.

Research Working Groups must be organized by at least one faculty member or senior associate in the Department of Global Development.

Funding for the first year will normally range from $1,000 to $3,000 and total funding (both years) for a Research Working Group will not exceed $7,500. Across categories, within the first year of the research working group, budgets should not exceed $1,000 for books and should not exceed $1,000 for refreshments.

The application should be submitted by  March 5, 2021, and the awards will be announced by March 31, 2021

In the first year, RWGs typically meet to discuss books and other readings and possibly to develop a common project around a research theme. In cases when RWGs extend into a second year, possible activities include:

  • Holding an international conference focused on a particular area of development scholarship and/or policy
  • Preparing a proposal for obtaining funding for a cooperative research project
  • Preparing curricular or other pedagogical materials to enhance teaching in a particular area of global development 
  • Publishing a co-authored or co-edited book
  • Preparing outreach-oriented or policy-related materials that build bridges between academic scholarship on development and public policy or program administration

Note that funds cannot be used for salary replacement, summer salary, graduate student assistantships, off-campus conference participation, on-going program-related expenses, equipment, and/or dissertation research.

Groups are initially supported for one year. Groups may apply for a one year extension by providing a summary of work completed in the first year of the RWG and a  proposed plan for the second year as well as a  timeline for completion of the remaining activities. Acceptance of this extension is contingent on the accomplishments and availability of funds. 

Proposals for Research Working Groups should be submitted electronically to polsoninstitute [at]