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New Perspectives in American Governance

Scholarship regarding U.S. governing institutions (Congress, the Presidency, and the federal bureaucracy) suffers from a notoriously restricted range of theoretical, methodological, and demographic perspectives—limiting political scientists’ collective understanding of those institutions as they evolve with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, capacity, and culture. American University’s New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance program (NP), in partnership with Purdue University, seeks to address this weakness. The NP incentivizes emerging scholars to broaden the range of perspectives and experiences upon which they draw when pursuing insight into American governance at the federal level.  

Request for Proposals

Small Grants: New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance and Representation

As American governing institutions (Congress, the presidency, and the federal bureaucracy) evolve with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, capacity, and culture, so must the range of theoretical, methodological, and demographic perspectives that researchers bring to bear in studying those institutions. American University’s New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance program (NP) incentivizes scholars to consider new research questions, and to broaden the range of perspectives and experiences upon which they draw when pursuing insights into American governance at the federal level.

The New Perspectives Program, a collaboration between American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, its Washington College of Law, and Purdue University’s Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion, will award 5-10 grants (up to $20,000 each) to new projects asking new questions that stand to transform political scientists’ collective understanding of American governance and representation. We favor studies of Congress and/or the federal bureaucracy over those of the presidency.

Analytical rigor is paramount, which is achievable through a variety of methodological approaches (observational-statistical, experimental, qualitative, mixed methods).

We welcome proposals from inter-disciplinary research collaborations, and from “emerging” scholars (including PhD candidates and those without formal academic appointments)—either individually or as part of inter-generational scholarly teams. We strongly encourage proposals from scholars whose backgrounds have been historically underrepresented in political science and the academy more generally.

Proposals must include the following items:

A Title Page that includes author names, affiliations, and contact information

  • Project Abstract of up to 500 words
  • Project Summary of up to 3,000 words, which includes:
    • The research question, emphasizing its novelty and importance
    • Theory—again, with an eye toward novelty[1]
    • Brief review of highly relevant literature (such as it stands)
    • Proposed research design and methodology
    • Anticipated outcomes and impact
  • Bibliography of relevant scholarship (not necessarily referenced in Project Summary)
  • Proposed Budget (Spreadsheet)
  • Budget Justification of up to 800 words
  • Curriculum Vita(e)

Selection

A diverse, five-person selection committee of scholars will evaluate proposals and determine awards.

Evaluation Criteria include:

  • Novelty and importance of the research question
  • Rigor of the proposed research design
  • Clarity of writing
  • Potential impact
  • Project viability

Timeline

  • Deadline to submit proposals                                 February 1, 2022
  • Award notifications        `                                        March 1, 2022
  • Funds awarded                                                           ~May 15, 2022
  • Progress reports due:                                               August 30, 2022
  • Drafts/Invited conference (American Univ.)         April, 2023

Deliverables

  • Brief Progress Report and Interview
  • Conference Paper and Presentation
  • Manuscript Submission to peer-reviewed outlet

Submission

Applicants should submit proposals electronically (via email) to:

Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
American University ccps@american.edu

[1] Projects need not ask a new research question and offer a new theoretical perspective, but they should do one or the other.

New Perspectives and New Questions in Legislative Studies Conference

April 8, 2021 | 8:30am- 5:00pm
Via Zoom

American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies hosted “New Perspectives and New Questions in Legislative Studies,” a virtual conference on April 8, 2021

Co-hosted by Valeria Sinclair-Chapman (Professor of Political Science, Purdue University), David Barker (Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University) and Bettina Poirier (Professor of Law and Director of American University’s Program on Legislative Negotiation), with support from the Hewlett Foundation’s US Democracy Program, this conference aimed to foster innovation and collaboration on new lines of legislative scholarship that reflect the broadening perspectives of American lawmakers (and the constituents they serve).
View Conference Program

Legislative Scholars Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey

Legislative Scholars Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey Slides
VIEW CONFERENCE SLIDES