UC Santa Cruz receives $191,000 grant to benefit grad students in humanities, arts, social sciences

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UC Santa Cruz is one of five universities nationwide selected by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to be part of its new University Initiative program. 

The goal of the project is to provide resources to develop new interdisciplinary programs that will strengthen the training of humanities, arts, and social science graduate students in preparing effective dissertational research proposals.

UC Santa Cruz has received a $191,000 grant to support a new SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Program, hosted by the Institute for Humanities Research in conjunction with the Division of Graduate Studies.   

The program seeks to bridge a persistent gap between the university’s broad support of interdisciplinary scholarship and the ability of doctoral students to learn how to apply these approaches—particularly in the early stages of their graduate careers.

“UC Santa Cruz's program will provide doctoral students with extra training and support at a critical transition point in their career--as they make the shift from coursework and exploratory research to independent, original research,” noted Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Tyrus Miller, the lead administrator for the new partnership.

“This is often a daunting change, and there are no simple road-maps. Our program will familiarize students with a wide range of approaches, methodologies, professional skills, and scholarly platforms applicable in social science, humanities, and creative research.”

“The fact that UC Santa Cruz was one of only five universities nationwide selected to pilot a new SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development program is a sign of our innovative leadership in interdisciplinary scholarship and graduate research,” added Miller. “UCSC's program will give students across the divisions of social sciences, humanities, and the arts, the opportunity to engage fully with UC Santa Cruz's interdisciplinary environment and do pathbreaking doctoral research themselves.”

In addition to UC Santa Cruz, the University Initiative is also partnering with Cornell University, Northwestern University, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Minnesota. It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The proposed programs put forth by these universities demonstrate uncommonly innovative interdisciplinary approaches to dissertation research proposal development, and graduate education more broadly,” said Ira Katznelson, president of the SSRC.

““We believe these programs, once implemented by the universities, will inspire graduate students to create groundbreaking, compelling proposals that will effectively communicate the potential contributions their research can make within and beyond academe,” he added.