A Cotlow Award… - GWU Anthropology

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A Cotlow Award…
What is it?
How do I get one?
Cotlow awards are grants to
support student research
• On anthropological topics in any of the
four fields
• Awarded on a competitive basis each year
• Usually done during the summer
It’s about anthropology
• The project you are proposing must make
sense in terms of anthropology
• You should have had some coursework in
anthropology so you can bring an
anthropological perspective to the project
• Take an anthropology research methods
course to help you strengthen your
proposal
Who is eligible to apply?
You must be a GW
student:
BA
MA
PhD
What is anthropology?
• Archaeology
• Biological anthropology
• Cultural anthropology
• Linguistic anthropology
Four-field “Gateway” Faculty
These are experienced faculty advisors, but you are may confer with any
member of the faculty
•
•
•
Attiya Ahmad (sociocultural anthropology)
2112 G St. NW, room 102; 202-994-4251
[email protected]
•
•
•
Alison S. Brooks (archaeology, biological anthropology)
2112 G St. NW, room 204; 202-994-4251
[email protected]
•
•
•
Alexander Dent (linguistic and sociocultural anthropology)
2110 G St. NW (HAH), room 302; 202-994-5084
[email protected]
•
•
•
Shannon McFarlin (biological anthropology)
Science & Engineering Hall, room 6810; 202-994-4245
[email protected]
How to find a topic
• Inspiration (hard to explain!)
• Something from your background—been there, seen
something
• Something you heard about in a class
• An issue that is in the news
• A place you want to go
• Scan past Cotlow proposals (dept. website)
• Scan programs of professional anthropology
meetings, such as the American Anthropological
Association, etc.
• Talk with anthropology professors or teaching
assistants
Tips for success in topic
selection
• Work with your strengths: if you know
Spanish, don’t propose to do a project in
Russia
• Use your past experience and contacts to
increase the feasibility of the project
• Follow your heart
Is it “anthropological”?
• Talk to some professors to see how you
can shape it
• Read “the literature” (in anthropology)
• Think about methods—how would you
study it?
Seek faculty mentoring
• One benefit of the Cotlow process is that
students and faculty get to know each other
• So, if you are thinking of a project in South
America or about fossil hominins or about
rap music, talk to a professor who knows
that area/topic
• To match faculty with their specialties, go to
https://anthropology.columbian.gwu.edu/fac
ulty and type key words in the Search by Tag
box
Relevance to Anthropology
• Do preliminary library research on the
topic (start with Gelman electronic
databases such as “AnthroSource” and
“Anthropology Plus”)
• Find out about anthropologists who
have done related work and learn how
they did it (methods)
• Use the Gelman tool “Refworks” to keep
track of your sources
The Cotlow Proposal Form
• Available on the Anthropology
Department website:
https://anthropology.columbian.gwu.ed
u/lewis-n-cotlow-fund
• Submit by e-mail
Faculty Advisor(s)
• Faculty advisor: name one or two
– At least one should be a full-time member
of the Anthropology Department faculty
– You may have anthropologists outside the
University or non-anthropologists as
advisors, but get approval from a full-time
Anthropology Department member
– Undergraduates must have their advisor
nominate their proposal to the faculty by
signing the first page
Project Title and Abstract
• Title: think of something informative
and not too long
• Abstract: a short (80 words) description of
your project’s goals, context, methods,
and importance. It pulls key elements from
all the major sections of the proposal.
– THEREFORE: BEST TO WRITE IT LAST; or,
write it early on, and keep revising it, and
review it carefully and revise it before you
submit the proposal
Description of the Project
• This section provides a general description
of your project:
– Overall research objectives
– The location/site/context of the project
• Characteristics of the site
• Why this particular site
Significance of the Topic to
Anthropology
• Review the related “literature” in anthropology
• Discuss what selected anthropologists have written
on/around your topic
• “Bundle” related anth lit into themes; see examples of
successful proposals on the Anthropology Department
website
• Use social science citation style; see style guidelines
on aaanet.org
• References cited/consulted must be listed in the
section called “References Cited” at the end
Research Questions and
Methods of Data Collection
• Objectives: State your overarching research
questions: what, overall, do you want to learn?
(try sticking to two or three)
• Discuss the data collection methods you will
use to provide information to help answer those
questions
• As appropriate, you may wish to mention data
analysis methods used during or after the
funding period
Ethics: Anthropology Guidelines
• Learn about anthropology ethics from your
mentor(s)
• Refer to the AAA website for ethics guidelines in
all four fields: aanet.org
• More detailed guidelines exist on other sites for
archaeology and biological anthropology
• Be specific in describing how you will follow
ethical practices in your research
Ethics: GW Research Rules
• Regarding “research” involving “human subjects”
• Consult the GW website for the Institutional Review
Board: http://humanresearch.gwu.edu/
– Research includes activities that seek to provide
“generalizable knowledge”
– A human subject is just a person; it is a person involved in
particular kinds of research
• Most, but not all, student projects involving living
humans fit under the category of “excluded”
research and so you do not need to fill out IRB forms
• Projects that are related to health issues, or involve
children and pregnant women, for example, fit into
“risk” categories of IRB concern
• Consult with your mentor(s)!
Research Product
• How will you present and otherwise
make use of your findings?
• Examples:
– For your academic goals (thesis, etc.)
– To the “scholarly community” (conference
paper, website, etc.)
– To the host community/country (copy of
your thesis or other written work for a
library, website, shared skills with local
people, etc.)
One Required “Product”
• If you receive a Cotlow award, you are
required to present your findings in a brief
oral presentation – at a separate Cotlow
Conference, if one is held, at another
research event sponsored by the
department, or at a venue approved by
your mentor.
Timeframe
• Lay out your goals week by week, or in
whatever way is appropriate and
sufficiently detailed
• Imagine your way through the project—
this stage may prompt you to rethink your
research objectives!
• Look at examples of successful Cotlow
proposals posted on the Anthropology
Department website
Budget
• Cotlow awards range from $200 to $1800
• Consider your potential expenses carefully and
try to find the lowest rates for travel, housing,
etc.
• In your budget, list all major expenditures,
estimated as best as you can
Details in the Budget
• You may want to add a line for “local travel,”
rough amount $200 (just an example)
• Or, gifts to project participants, $200
• Or, translation assistance, $500
• Faculty mentor(s) can advise you about the
budget
Budget cont’d:
What You Cannot Ask For
• Equipment such as cameras
• Tuition and fees
Budget cont’d:
Staff
• Most Cotlow projects do not involve staff
but some do, perhaps for translation
assistance
• If your project requires an assistant,
explain the reasons why somewhere in the
body of the proposal
• In the budget, provide a line item and
explain qualifications of person(s) to be
hired
Budget continued:
Outside Financial or Other Support
• Some Cotlow recipients co-finance the
project themselves or receive financial help
from other grants, family, etc. Other receive
“in-kind” support such as free housing or
food from relatives or friends during the
research.
• If so, please mention this support on the
Budget page, making it clear that it is not
being requested from the Cotlow award.
References Cited/Select
Bibliography
• Provide references for all sources cited in your
proposal; you may also include sources that you have
noted cited but that were important in your
development of the proposal
• We are looking for solid anthropological references,
although you may include some non-anthropological
sources
• Follow an approved professional style, such as that of
the American Psychological Association. (See
owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01).
• PhD proposals should generally have more
references
Permits
• Particular research sites may require
formal permission from the country,
locality, or institution for your project
• In your application, please provide copies
of such permission or mention that you are
in the process of securing such
permissions
Transcript
• Include an unofficial copy of your GW
transcript for your current degree program
(or from a previous school if you are
transfer BA student)
• Failure to include your transcript will mean
that your proposal is incomplete and will
not be reviewed
Legal Conditions of the Award
• A brief expenditure report must be
submitted to the Anthropology Department
within three months of the end of research
• Presentation of findings at an approved
public venue
• Compliance with all relevant ethical
guidelines
• Compliance with GW safety guidelines
when outside the US
Personal Safety during the
Research Period
• Choose a research site that will be safe for you
• In case of potential problems, keep track of U.S.
government advisories about the country
• For international research, keep GW apprised of your
location and follow GW safety rules and insurance
regulations
• Have a back-up site in mind in case you need to
change your research site at the last minute due to
safety concerns
Final Tip for Success:
(proposal drafts and revisions take time and are
essential for a successful proposal)
• Allow a lot of time to write and revise the
proposal:
– Ask faculty mentor(s) to review drafts and
allow for time for them to do so (turnaround
time)
– Revise (this takes time)
– Have your mentor look at it again; revise
again
– Submit a complete proposal on time! (don’t
forget your transcript)
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