Global Spotlight

 

Global Spotlight Grants — Students

2014 Global Spotlight Grants for Students

Extended Deadline: February 7, 2014 – due before midnight (11:59 p.m.)

(Due to concerns that the previous deadline did not allow students to finalize summer research plans, the deadline has been extended)

In 2014, the Global Spotlight will offer two grant competitions for students to support international research on a topic or field related one or both of the Global Spotlight themes for 2012-14: the region of South Asia and the issue of Global Food Security.

  • Doctoral Dissertation International Research Grant (oral preliminary examination passed)
    Supports doctoral dissertation research (post-preliminary oral exam) from students in academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system.
  • Master's, Professional, or Doctoral International Research Grant (before oral preliminary exams)
    Supports master's, professional, and doctoral students from academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system.

About the Global Spotlight Grants Program

Global Spotlight is the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance’s biennial focus on a region of the world and a pressing global issue. In 2012-2014, the focus is on the region of South Asia and the issue of Global Food Security.

The initiative comes from taskforce recommendations, as part of the University’s strategic positioning effort. Funding is provided from Central Administration to support international scholarly initiatives at the University.

In 2014, the second year of the biennium, Global Spotlight will offer two grant competitions for students to support international research on a topic or field related one or both of the Global Spotlight themes for 2012-2014: the area of South Asia and the issue of global food security.

South Asia

South Asia is a complex region—politically, geographically, and economically—that serves as home to approximately one-quarter of the world’s population. While definitions of the region vary, countries included for the purposes of this grants program are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The region boasts a rich cultural history and a wide diversity of religious and linguistic practices. The eight countries of South Asia are comprised of more than 2,000 ethnic groups and several hundred languages. The countries in the region are economically diverse with increasing opportunities for growth; however, they also confront substantial challenges in infrastructure development, education, public health, nutrition, and resource challenges such as water supply and access.

Food Security

Global food security—food access and quality, food use, and food availability—remains high on the list of critical global issues. Scholars, practitioners, and policymakers alike grapple with effective approaches for achieving sustainable access to food. Ensuring sustainable food security requires the perspectives of scholars specializing in agriculture; ecological systems; food production and markets; institutions at the local, national and transnational levels; water access and distribution; livelihoods and economic systems; human and animal health and nutrition; education and extension; households and families; and cultural and social life.

New Funding Partnerships

The Global Spotlight scholarly focus on food security is supported by an innovative funding partnership including the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), the broader Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance), the Institute on the Environment, and the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). This collaboration will seek to foster interdisciplinary approaches to global food security in connection with social justice.

Doctoral Dissertation International Research Grant (oral preliminary examination passed)

Eligibility

Supports doctoral dissertation research (post-preliminary examination) from students in academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system.

This grant supports doctoral dissertation research (after the successful completion of the oral preliminary examination) from students in academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system. Students must give evidence of thesis proposal accepted. Students must give evidence of completion of the oral preliminary examination by January 1, 2014 and approval of thesis proposal.

Grant proposals should clearly demonstrate the international nature of the proposed research project. Students must demonstrate collaboration with relevant in-country institutions, scholars, or programs as appropriate for the project (i.e., letters of support or memoranda of agreement).

Applicants should have backgrounds and interests that identify them as outstanding students who are clearly committed to the study global challenges.  Eligible proposals focus on the following:
  • any aspect of South Asia (defined for this competition as including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka);
  • any aspect of global food security (we encourage projects with a focus on global food security and social justice, but all themes are eligible); or
  • aspects of both South Asia and global food security.

Please note that grants cannot be used primarily for the writing of a thesis or graduate paper.

Description of Award

  • Approximately three awards up to $15,000 each
  • Funding to be used during the time period of January 1, 2014-June 30, 2015

Selection Criteria

  • Research is international in scope, and is related to one or both of the Global Spotlight themes (South Asia or global food security)
  • Potential to advance the discipline in the area of study
  • Experience/competency in the area of study (e.g., previous research, publication, presentation, courses, language study, travel)
  • Description of plans to disseminate research in academic and/or public arenas
  • Plan to develop necessary language skills (if applicable)
  • Letters of support from student’s thesis/research faculty adviser and one other University of Minnesota faculty member detailing the significance of the project and the student’s ability to carry it out
  • Quality of research design and methodology

Preferred Criteria

  • Project includes one or more international collaborations
  • Letter of support from international partner(s) describing the partner’s role in the project and how the partner will help contribute to the success of the project.

Master's, Professional, or Doctoral (pre-oral exam) International Research Grant

Eligibility

Master's, Professional, or Doctoral (before oral preliminary exam) International Research Grants
supports master's, professional, and doctoral students (pre-oral preliminary examination status) from academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system. This grant supports master's, professional, and doctoral students (pre-oral preliminary examination status) from academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system.

Grant proposals should clearly demonstrate the international nature of the proposed research project. Students must demonstrate collaboration with relevant in-country institutions, scholars, or programs as appropriate for the project (i.e., letters of support or memoranda of agreement).

Applicants should have backgrounds and interests that identify them as outstanding students who are clearly committed to the study global challenges.  Eligible proposals focus on the following:
  • any aspect of South Asia (defined for this competition as including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka);
  • any aspect of global food security (we encourage projects with a focus on global food security and social justice, but all themes are eligible); or
  • aspects of both South Asia and global food security.

Please note that grants cannot be used primarily for the writing of a thesis or graduate paper.

Description of Award

  • Approximately eight awards up to $5,000 each
  • Funding to be used during the time period of January 1, 2014-June 30, 2015.

Selection Criteria

  • Research is international in scope, and is related to one or both of the Global Spotlight themes (South Asia or global food security)
  • Potential to advance the discipline in the area of study
  • Experience/competency in the area of study (e.g., previous research, publication, presentation, courses, language study, travel)
  • Description of plans to disseminate research in academic and/or public arenas
  • Plan to develop necessary language skills (if applicable)
  • Letters of support from student’s thesis/research faculty adviser and one other University of Minnesota faculty member detailing the significance of the project and the student’s ability to carry it out
  • Quality of research design and methodology

Preferred Criteria

  • Project includes one or more international collaborations
  • Letter of support from international partner(s) describing the partner’s role in the project and how the partner will help contribute to the success of the project.

Application Materials

The following application process and materials should be used for both the Doctoral Dissertation and the Master's, Professional, and Doctoral International Research Grants.

Deadline

Application: December 4, 2013 – due before midnight (11:59 p.m.)

Grants will be announced in January 2014.

Application Materials

Please follow the format below (applications that do not follow this format will be returned for correction).  Completed grant proposals must include the following components:

    1. Cover Sheet
    2. Project Description
    3. Budget and Justification
    4. Timeline
    5. Academic transcript
    6. Letters of Recommendation
    7. Letter(s) of support from international partners (preferred)
    8. Approval and clearances
    9. Curriculum vitae (C.V.)

Apply Now

Please follow the specifications below. (applicants that do not follow the specifications will be asked to make corrections.)

COVER SHEET

  • Complete as part of the online application

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

  • 10 pages maximum, double-spaced (not including references and appendices, Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1-1.5" margins)
  • Upload via online application system

In the sections below, address the selection criteria and show how the research is related to the one or both of the Global Spotlight themes.

a.  Background

Provide overview of the intellectual merit of the project as it relates one or both of the Global Spotlight themes.

  • Identify the needs or problems that exist and how your proposal will address them.
  • Significance:  state how your project will advance your discipline or field of study, and if relevant, how it will improve policy or practice.
  • Research capacity:  indicate prior research or travel experience in the area or country of study; detail language skills or other competencies needed to undertake the proposed research.
  • Provide evidence of prior communication with relevant in-country institutions, scholars, or programs. Submit letter(s) of support from international partners (preferred criteria – see appendices)

b.  Objectives:
State the project's objectives and the activities to fulfill them

c.  Research design and methodology

d.  Dissemination of research:
State how you plan to disseminate research in an academic and/or public arena.

BUDGET AND JUSTIFICATION

  • Complete the budget form, then upload through the online application system
  • Provide justification to describe your itemized budget
  • Please include the full budget for your project, even if it exceeds the maximum amount of funds that can be awarded
  • Funds can be used for dissertation/thesis credits, but not for other tuition or fees (Doctoral Dissertation applicants only—not applicable to MA, Professional, or Doctoral applicants).

Note: Please download "Developing a Grants Budget" for helpful information.

TIMELINE

  • Timeline of activities; please identify those that will take place outside of the United States and where they will take place.

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT

  • Academic transcript of graduate study at the University of Minnesota (an unofficial transcript is acceptable).

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Doctoral Dissertation Applicants:You must submit TWO letters of recommendation:

  • One from your academic adviser detailing the significance of the project and your ability to carry it out
  • One from another University of Minnesota faculty member who is knowledgeable about your project and your ability to carry it out

MA, Professional, or Doctoral Applicants: You must submit ONE letter of recommendation from your academic adviser detailing the significance of the project and your ability to carry it out.

LETTERS OF SUPPORT FROM INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS (preferred)

  • Letter(s) should indicate partner support for and interest in the project.

APPROVALS AND CLEARANCES

  • Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval for proposed activities, if required; students must show documentation of having IRB approval or waiver before funds are released.
  • Description and status of necessary research clearnces or permissions required by the foreign governments(s).

CURRICULUM VITAE (C.V.)

  • Maximum 2 pages
  • Upload via online application system

Frequently Asked Questions and Contact Information

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the definition of the “Global Food Security?” and why was it chosen by Global Spotlight?
    Please read "Global Food Security?"
  2. Why was the region of South Asia chosen by Global Spotlight?
    Please read "South Asia?"
  3. What countries are included in South Asia?
    We follow the categorization from the United Nations. We acknowledge that the geographical categories are up for debate. For questions, email GlobalS@umn.edu.  
  4. Does my topic of research fall under the Global Spotlight themes?
    Your grant must fall under one of the following Global Spotlight themes:
    -  Scholarly research in South Asia
    -  Scholarly research on Global Food Security outside the U.S.
  5. Does the grant require research abroad?
    Yes, this grant requires and supports on-the-ground research outside the U.S.
  6. Will extensions of the research timeline be allowed?
    Requests for extension beyond the stated grants timeline will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Email GlobalS@umn.edu with a detailed justification request.
  7. How will the grants funds be transferred to me?
    Funds will be transferred to your student account. An existing debt on the account will result in a hold of the transfer until the debt is alleviated.
  8. When will I receive the grants funds?
    Funds will be transferred on the basis of the student’s research timeline and the timeliness of documents submitted.
  9. Do I need an Institutional Review Board approval?
    The IRB committee decides whether your research must be reviewed by the IRB. Documentation of an IRB exemption or IRB consent is required to be submitted before the transfer of funds. For more information, visit the Institutional Review Board website.

Contact Information

  • For questions related to the grants program, contact Rachel Peterson at GlobalS@umn.edu.