Transdisciplinary Areas of ExcellenceSustainable Communities

Call for Graduate Student Research Grant Proposals

Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence

Application deadline extended to Monday, April 7, 2014

The Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence (SC TAE) is pleased to announce a Graduate Research Grants Program to support eligible Master's and Doctoral students who are working on research or scholarly activities related to the Sustainable Communities mission at Binghamton University. Our goal is to help develop the next generation of scholars in the area of sustainable communities by supporting students in their research and scientific journey, nurturing their ideas and perspectives, and helping them gain valuable skillsets and exposure through conference presentations.

Applications must be submitted by Monday, April 7, 2014 via e-mail to Dr. Pamela Mischen at The applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the SC-TAE and as many as 10 students will be selected, each with a maximum award amount of $1,000.

OVERVIEW: The Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence (SC-TAE) was established in 2013 to advance sustainable communities-related research in areas in which Binghamton University has significant existing strength and can achieve international prominence. The SC TAE activities are guided by the following mission statement: "Communities are complex and dynamic. They are defined at local, national and global levels. Sometimes they are place based, sometimes they are held together by commonalities. They require nurturing to sustain core elements such as environmental quality, safe neighborhoods, good schools, accessible healthcare and engaged citizens. To sustain this balance of economic, ecological, social and political vitality, communities must continuously adapt. Scholars can help, but this often requires crossing disciplinary boundaries. By combining the perspectives and methodologies of several disciplines, we can examine multiple dimensions of sustainability — spatial, temporal and systemic — and devise powerful solutions to complex problems. By developing new paradigms and vital partnerships within the University and with community members and organizations, this area of excellence will help us understand what it takes to model, build and maintain sustainable communities. Collaboration among faculty from many disciplines will enable a deeper understanding of the past, present and future trends. New ideas will emerge and enable us to improve our policies and practices at local, national and global levels".

ELIGIBILITY: Graduate students must be currently enrolled at the University and in good academic standing at the time of proposal submission. Funds can be used toward any of the following:
     • To conduct archival research, fieldwork, community projects and laboratory research
     • To support undergraduate field assistants, temporary research assistants or transcribers
     • To purchase laboratory or field work equipment or specialized software (NOTE: Non-consumable supplies will become the property of the University.)
     • Research-related expenses (such as subject fees, access to specialized data sets, purchase of archival materials or images and consumable laboratory supplies)
     • Research-based travel not associated with a course (such as off-campus data collection, access to libraries, archives or historical sites)
     • Off-campus workshops or study of specialized methodologies or techniques needed for research. (NOTE: An explicit paragraph explaining the relevance of the methodologies and/or techniques to the student's research must be included in the proposal.)
     • Attending a conference to give a presentation of relevance to the SC TAE (registration fees, travel etc.)

Ineligible Requests for Support include:
     • Binghamton University graduate tuition or fees
     • Research unrelated to the SC TAE mission
     • Attending a conference without making a presentation
     • Travel or other research expenses associated with a course or a course-related project
     • Materials to prepare for degree requirement or milestones (such as courses, orals, preliminary examinations, qualifying examinations, comprehensive examinations)
     • Books that are available through the Binghamton University library or inter-library loan
     • Computers, computer equipment, cameras or camera equipment
     • Copying, binding or presentations associated with a thesis or dissertation

PROPOSAL PREPARATION: Each proposal should include the following:

A. Cover Page:
     • Title of Project with the Student's Name, School and Department
     • Academic Standing and G Level
     • Funding Requested

B. Project Narrative (2 pages maximum, single-spaced, one-inch margins, 11-point font)
     • Describe the research project, its significance and its relevance to the study of sustainable communities;
     • Provide rationale for how the project will advance ideas or methods in the study of sustainable communities.  
     • Provide a brief statement of how the project or activity directly relates to and helps achieve your progress toward the degree.
     • Describe your future plans to pursue research/scholarly activities in this area

C. Literature Cited: Provide the relevant literature that will be helpful in understanding how your proposal fits into the scholarly literature.

D. Budget and Budget Justification

E. Biosketch: Maximum 2 pages.

F. Support Letter from one or more of the following: Graduate Advisor, Thesis or Dissertation Committee Chair or any Committee Member

REPORTS: Successful applicants will be expected to provide a written report summarizing the outcomes of the project/scholarly activity and assessment of its success, and a description of how the budget was spent. This will be due at the end of the academic year (June 30, 2014). Unexpended portions of the allocation will not be rolled over to the next academic year.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Specific questions about eligibility or scope of the program should be addressed to Pam Mischen, associate professor, Department of Public Administration, and Team Lead, Sustainable Communities Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence at or 777-7155.


Last Updated: 3/6/14