Here are the notes and links to the recordings of an informal workshop on doing the initial writing for the SSHRC or OGS programs of study. It is specific to the Canadian context but may have something useful for folks elsewhere. Other caveat: This recording was made from Zoom for the participants beaming in remotely, so it’s a weird camera angle etc.
Credit to Karen Kelsky, whose “Foolproof Grant Template” has been very useful to my thinking. I diverge from her in recommending that people do not think about things in terms of “a gap in the literature,” instead framing their work in terms of what we lose if this research is not done, what we gain if it can be accomplished. As I mention in the workshop, I had a dreadful experience working with Dr. Kelsky on one of my grant applications and thus never recommend her one-on-one, but heartily recommend her writing in many areas.
The anatomy of a SSHRC or OGS Program of Study
Context, Objectives, and Research Question:
- Statement that positions the reader with you, perceiving the widest possible relevance of the issue/problem you’re attending to.
- At least two and no more than three academic spaces in which this topic has been addressed.
- However, there has not been sufficient attention to/no one has yet examined/studied/etc … [what happens when we bring these together, attend to a specific area of the big context, etc]
- Why does is matter that this has not been addressed, or addressed in the way that you will do it? What bad thing happens? What good thing happens when we do address it? “Without x, we are left with inadequate Y to make important policy decisions…”
- I am applying for this grant to address this problem/contribute to the conversation in this way.
- “In my graduate work, I will examine X in order to …” “My dissertation asks, …”
- Specifics: more about what you will do, ask, investigate
- Disciplinary context – what is the conversation you’re participating in?
- “In order to investigate [the question] I will…”; what do you need to do an how do you need to do it to answer your questions?
- Data analysis and processing
- How is this an excellent approach for your research?
- How is it reasonable and possible?
- How you’ll address any ethical concerns
(your) Academic Background and present context: (How awesome are you! why is Carleton such a great place for you to do this work?)