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Funding Opportunity–NEA New Arts Research Grant Opportunity

August 2nd, 2012

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Office of Research & Analysis announces that application guidelines are available for funding through Research: ArtWorks. This program supports research that investigates the value of the U.S. arts ecosystem and the impact of the arts on other domains of American life.

The NEA encourages applicants from diverse research fields (e.g., sociology, economics, anthropology) and diverse areas of expertise, including, but not limited to, health, education, and urban and regional planning. Although applicants must be non-profit organizations, they are encouraged to partner with for-profit entities, and/or use commercial and/or administrative datasets.

The NEA anticipates awarding up to 25 grants in the range of $10,000 to $30,000. The deadline for application submission is November 6, 2012 for projects that can begin as early as May 1, 2013.

The NEA will hold an informational webinar for potential applicants on September 12, 2012.  More information is forthcoming.

For grant application information and guidelines, click here

To see the grants awarded in the first year of Research: ArtWorks, click here.  For those interested in the Taking Note: Research series on the ArtWorks blog, please click here

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Funding Opportunity — NSF SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF)

August 2nd, 2012

The National Science Foundation offers postdoctoral research fellowships to provide opportunities for recent doctoral graduates to obtain additional training, to gain research experience under the sponsorship of established scientists, and to broaden their scientific horizons beyond their undergraduate and graduate training. Postdoctoral fellowships are further designed to assist new scientists to direct their research efforts across traditional disciplinary lines and to avail themselves of unique research resources, sites, and facilities, including at foreign locations. NSF seeks to promote the participation of scientists from all segments of the scientific community, including those from under-represented groups, in its research programs and activities; the postdoctoral period is considered to be an important level of professional development in attaining this goal.

The goal of the SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (SPRF) program is to enhance the participation of under-represented groups in science and engineering; promote interdisciplinary research; and encourage doctoral-level scientists (who are not yet in full-time positions) to take advantage of the two-year fellowships to prepare for scientific careers in academia, industry, and government.

More information on this funding opportunity is available here.

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President Obama and Congressional Leaders Agree on 6 Month CR

July 31st, 2012

Some good news:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced on Tuesday an agreement to avoid a government shutdown shortly before the November election.”

There will be a six-month CR, funding the government at current levels through March 2013.  No policy riders are included in the bill.

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ASA Press Release: Study: Conciliatory Tactics More Effective Than Punishment in Reducing Terrorism

July 31st, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC, July 25, 2012 — Policies that reward abstinence from terrorism are more successful in reducing such acts of violence than tactics that aim to punish terrorists, suggests a new study in the August issue of the American Sociological Review.

Titled, “Moving Beyond Deterrence: The Effectiveness of Raising the Expected Utility of Abstaining from Terrorism in Israel,” the study looked specifically at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and found that between 1987 and 2004, Israeli policies and actions that encouraged and rewarded refrain from terrorist acts were more successful in reducing terrorism than policies focused on punishment.

“Our argument begins to challenge the very common view that to combat terrorism, you have to meet violence with violence,” said Erica Chenoweth, study co-author and Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International studies at the University of Denver.

The study is the first to empirically evaluate the potential of conciliatory tactics in reducing terrorism. It relies on data from the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism’s (START) Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and from the Government Actions in a Terrorist Environment-Israel (GATEIsrael) dataset. The GTD records global terrorist attacks, including Palestinian terrorist acts, while the GATE-Israel dataset, which the study authors developed, identifies counterterrorism strategies that Israel used against Palestinian targets and places them on a seven point scale from violent acts resulting in death to conciliatory acts involving peaceful gestures.

Examples of Israel’s conciliatory tactics that rewarded refrain from terrorist acts included: providing social services to potential terrorist constituencies, encouraging peace talks, withdrawing troops, releasing prisoners, and promoting cultural freedoms.

Israel’s repressive and punishment centered attempts to reduce terrorism included: passage of antiterrorism laws, extension of prison sentences, assassination, deportation, and military retaliation.

The study found these repressive and punishment based methods to be less effective in reducing terrorism. Yet, in an average month between 1987 and 2004, Israel took approximately 18 repressive or punishment based actions against Palestinian targets and less than eight conciliatory actions.

Chenoweth and her co-author Laura Dugan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, said they hope their findings encourage policymakers to give more consideration to conciliatory actions.

“The general consensus across the political spectrum is that when there is terrorism you have to fight back,” Dugan said. “This study suggests that there is value in looking at the grievances, the people most affected by these grievances, and the constituencies of these terrorist organizations.”

According to the study’s authors, when policymakers focused on improving the living conditions for Palestinian constituents, those same constituents were encouraged not to participate in terrorist organizations and, consequently, terrorism rates fell.

“If the constituency of a terrorist organization no longer supports that organization, then the organization can’t thrive,” Dugan said.

In addition, Dugan and Chenoweth argue that terrorists do not commit terrorist acts for the same reasons that common criminals commit crimes. Therefore, they believe counterterrorism tactics should not mirror typical crime fighting approaches.

“Strategies that successfully deter common criminals may be ineffective for terrorists,” Chenoweth said. “This is because terrorists are generally less concerned about being punished and more concerned about their role in ensuring the well-being of their movement and its constituency.”

While Dugan and Chenoweth found conciliatory policies to be more successful than repressive and punishment centered actions in reducing incidents of terrorism, the study authors are not completely opposed to the use of repressive and punishment based strategies.

“We do not recommend that governments adopt purely conciliatory policies,” Dugan said. “Our hope is that this research provides alternatives to solely focusing policy efforts on reducing the expected utility of bad behavior by also considering the value of raising the expected utility of good behavior.”

This study is based on research supported by the Science and Technology directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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About the American Sociological Association and the American Sociological Review The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society. The American Sociological Review is the ASA’s flagship journal.

This press release was written by Arielle Baran, ASA Office of Public Affairs and Public Information.

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NIH Releases New Design for Children’s Study

July 23rd, 2012

Information on NIH’s new design for the children’s study can be found here.

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/07/nih-releases-new-design-for-chil.html?ref=hp

 

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