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Policy and Practice Research Labs

The Kellogg Institute's Policy and Practice Research Labs support high-impact, high-yield research intended to have a tangible influence on policies and practices affecting democracy and human development. The labs intentionally bridge the worlds of research and policy while maintaining a focus on rigorous scholarly inquiry. 

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Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab

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The Policy and Practice Research Labs bridge the worlds of research and practice by responding to concrete global issues and generating policy impact. Through an innovative use of social science research methods, the labs aim to shape their respective fields of research and  address questions related to the Kellogg Institute’s core thematic areas of democracy and human development.

Each lab addresses a common problem or set of interrelated questions through individual and collective research. Led by Institute faculty fellows, the labs engage the broader Kellogg scholarly community of faculty fellows, current and former visiting fellows, doctoral student affiliates, and distinguished research affiliates. The labs also operate in partnership with NGOs, public and private institutions, and practitioners.

The labs are intended to serve as incubators for larger, longer-term collaborations that can attract external funding and generate significant research and policy outputs. 

The Policy and Practice Research Labs also:

  • Cross disciplinary, sub-disciplinary, and/or methodological boundaries and lead to cross-fertilization across regions and themes;
  • Link important normative and theoretical work, high-level empirical research, applied research, and policy-relevant research;
  • Create synergy across disciplines, methods, and approaches of research and practice to address complex problems and important challenges facing humankind;
  • Integrate and explore the intersection of the core themes of democracy and human development;
  • Contribute to relevant contemporary debates on public policy;
  • Partner with international institutions and practitioners to improve practice.

Kellogg Policy and Practice Research Labs are funded through an annual call for proposals. For details, see the other tabs.

Eligibility

A Policy and Practice Research Lab must have at least one principal investigator who is a Kellogg faculty fellow. Proposals must identify a minimum of two on-campus researchers working on a common theme, including Notre Dame faculty, visiting fellows, and doctoral students whose dissertation topic is directly related to the theme of the Policy and Practice Research Lab. 

The Institute strongly encourages lab proposals that make connections across the Kellogg community — including faculty fellows, current and former visiting fellows, current doctoral student affiliates and PhD alumni, and distinguished research affiliates — as well as those that involve collaboration across disciplines, departments, colleges/schools, and with other institutions, external partners, and practitioners.

Members of a Policy and Practice Research Lab may be individual scholars pursuing related but independent projects or a team of scholars pursuing collaborative research.  The lab must develop a platform of research in the area of the lab that can be expected to yield a sufficient number of research and policy-relevant outputs within a specified time frame and that has the potential to be competitive for external funding.  Collaborative initiatives might include the expansion of faculty members’ current projects or the instigation of new collaborative ventures. 

Funded Policy and Practice Research Labs may include elements of but will transcend projects eligible for Kellogg funding in the categories of faculty research, working group, or conference grants.  Research Policy and Practice Research Lab grants are not intended to provide seed funding for singular research projects. The labs are expected to go beyond basic research by disseminating knowledge to end users outside of the academic arena and partnering with international actors to improve practices. 

Among other things, the Kellogg Institute especially seeks to support Policy and Practice Research Labs that:

  • Cross disciplinary, sub-disciplinary, and/or methodological boundaries and lead to cross-fertilization across regions and themes;
  • Link important normative and theoretical work, high-level empirical research, applied research, and policy-relevant research questions;
  • Create synergy across disciplines, methods, and approaches of research and practice to address complex problems and important challenges facing humankind;
  • Integrate and explore the intersection of the core themes of democracy and human development;
  • Contribute to relevant contemporary debates on public policy;
  • Partner with international institutions and practitioners to improve practice.

 

Submission Dates for 2020-21:

Stage I - Monday, April 6, 2020
Stage II - Monday, August 17, 2020

Awards

Policy and Practice Research Lab grants typically award up to $75,000 over three years.  Disbursement of the total award amount may be divided unequally across years (e.g., a larger amount may be required in earlier years for start-up expenses).

These grants are intended as seed money to foster the formation of cohesive, ongoing Research Labs organized around a specific theme, issue, or set of closely interrelated questions or problems.

Research Lab grants are intended to support aspects of the lab that benefit the group as a whole and may be used for a variety of programmatic elements and project costs, including but not limited to:

  • Travel expenses associated with collaboration with individuals involved in the project from other institutions, including short-term visitors;
  • Graduate or undergraduate research assistants, including those providing logistical and administrative support for the group;
  • Acquisition of research materials, including electronic databases, books, manuscripts, microfilm, etc.;
  • Research computing or computer software (but not hardware) for research purposes;
  • Buy-out(s) of teaching responsibilities; and
  • Support for team-taught seminars or courses by members of the Research Lab.
     

Research Lab proposals may also include a request that the Institute support a visiting fellow or other post-doctoral researcher with funds over and above those in the proposed Research Lab grant budget. 

In addition to the above funding awarded through a Research Lab grant, proposals by designated Research Lab and those of its members that advance the work of the lab are prioritized in other areas of Institute funding, including grants for faculty and graduate student research, course development grants, conference/workshop grants, and funding for speakers in the Kellogg lecture series.  The Institute may also provide Research Labs with logistical assistance, such as office or collaborative work space, support for external grant proposal development and implementation, event coordination, and publicity.

Award Criteria

All Policy and Practice Research Lab proposals must demonstrate intellectual merit, as well as fit with the Kellogg Institute mission and the potential to make a significant research and policy impact in the Institute’s core thematic areas and advance its strategic plan.

In addition, the following criteria are used to evaluate the strength of proposals:

  • Cohesion of research interests of the identified participants;
  • Anticipated outcomes, including potential for future publication and other significant research and policy-relevant outputs;
  • Potential to leverage Kellogg support to garner substantive external funding;
  • Potential for sustained collaboration that catalyzes partnerships across disciplines, departments, and colleges/schools, and with other institutions or external partners that provide long-term strategic value to the Institute as a whole;
  • Potential to build long-term, multidimensional relationships that advance key Kellogg objectives for research excellence, student and educational opportunities, fieldwork, and policy engagement and impact;
  • Potential to involve PhD, Master of Global Affairs, and Kellogg International Scholars Program students in research related to the theme of the Research Lab;
  • Ability of the proposed Research Lab composition to create synergy among various disciplines, methods, and approaches in a way that addresses the research problem better together than separately.
     

Successful Research Lab proposals have an ambitious mix of programmatic elements and significant mechanisms of interactivity and collaboration, with priority given to those that incentivize connections across disciplines and/or regions of study that are otherwise absent.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek, and priority is given to projects with demonstrated potential to secure financial support from other sources, both internal and external to Notre Dame.

Proposal Submission and Review


Policy and Practice Research Lab proposals are considered in a two-stage process. 

Stage I:  Prior to submitting a full proposal, a two-page concept paper must be submitted for review by the Faculty Committee of the Institute.  The concept paper should describe: (1) the research theme to be addressed, its background, significance, and relation to the thematic priorities of the Institute; (2) an explanation of the collaboration to be undertaken and who would be involved, as well as the innovative intellectual and policy-relevant impact of the Research Lab and its relevance to Kellogg strategic priorities; (3) forms of support sought from Kellogg; and (4) how the proposal meets the award criteria described above.

Stage I Submission Deadline: Monday, April 6, 2020. Please submit your proposal electronically to: Beth Simpson Hlabse, Research Project Manager.

Stage II:  We will invite those receiving a favorable review in this initial stage to submit a full proposal, due Monday, August 17, 2020, for review by an appointed committee at the beginning of the fall semester. 

Full proposals should be no more than eight pages (not including budget and CVs) and should include:

  • A brief abstract (150–200 words)
  • A delineation of the specific components or activities for which funding is sought
  • A timeline and outline of the lab’s scope over one to three years
  • A statement of expected accomplishments during the period for which funding is requested
  • A statement regarding the anticipated scholarly products
  • A statement regarding the potential for competing successfully for other funding, including potential funding sources
  • If funding for graduate or undergraduate assistance is requested, a description of how the student(s) will be involved in the research
  • Abbreviated (two-page maximum) CVs that highlight recent publications and other relevant work of the principal investigators and other key project participants
  • A statement regarding previous support received from the Kellogg Institute for related activities by project participants and results achieved
  • An itemized budget and narrative budget justification.
     

Peer reviews will be sought before a final decision is made to award funding.

Info

Prior to submitting a proposal, applicants are encouraged to contact the Institute to discuss the proposed activity. Beth Simpson Hlabse, Research Project Manager (1-0663) serves as the primary contact.

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