Description: The University of California Humanities Research Institute invites individual applications from faculty, recently graduated PhDs, Doctoral students across the UC system, and non-UC faculty, across the disciplines interested in contributing to the Spring 2018 Residential Research Group on “The Limits of the Numerical: Metrics and the Humanities in Higher Education”. Please see the residence research group abstract included below for more information.
Residential research groups (RRGs) are in essence teams of researchers, often unknown to each other before residency, and assembled to work on a commonly-defined research agenda. They are composed of a range of UC faculty, visiting scholars (including UC postdoctoral scholars), UC doctoral students, and non-UC faculty as resources allow. The organizing premise of the residential research program is that when the challenges of communicating across disciplines are surmounted, breakthroughs in knowledge are possible.
Who Can Apply: UC Faculty, recently graduated UC PhDs, UC doctoral students (must be ABD), and non-UC faculty.
Award: UCHRI provides on-site offices, meeting rooms, multi-media room, reference library, furnished apartments for the residency quarter on as-needed basis, resources permitting, and travel cost to the Institute for resident fellows. UCHRI provides replacement costs to the faculty division. Faculty are typically required to contribute sabbatical credits. Recently graduated UC postdocs receive salary, and PhD candidates receive stipends.
Application Opens: March 22, 2017 (online via FastApps)
Application Deadline: May 19, 2017 (11:59 pm PST)
Awards Announced: Late June 2017 (expected)
Residency Quarter: Spring 2018
Funding Source: UCHRI
Final awards are contingent upon available funding. Funding must be spent in accordance with all applicable UC rules and regulations.
Convened by Professor Chris Newfield, UC Santa Barbara, this residential research group seeks to develop a historical and cultural theory of metrics in higher education that can account for universities’ and colleges’ adoption of quantitative measures and offer humanistic methods for evaluating their educational impacts. Many analysts claim that contemporary American colleges and universities have been commercialized in ways that disadvantage those fields that have fewer direct economic impacts. The humanities disciplines are prominent in the group of majors that seem to many observers to be too far from the marketplace to support remunerative careers.
Scholarship and public writing about the value of a college education covers many topics, including the overwhelming importance of STEM research, “limited learning” among undergraduates, and the need to find a “major that pays.” Yet we largely overlook the quantitative metrics, measurements, and indicators that facilitate these changing views about research, teaching, and value. Where research does exist, as in sociological analysis of quantification or the anthropology of audit culture, historical and cultural perspectives are mostly absent. The current debate and their underlying metrics distort the humanities disciplines and their public impacts.
We are particularly concerned with their impact on humanities disciplines and with the ability of humanities disciplines to develop responses that grow out of our own methodologies. We will examine the origins and current operation of three areas of measurement discourse—research bibliometrics, learning outcomes assessment, and the value of college education—and investigate alternative models for improving research productivity and learning quality. The research group will decide which arena(s) of quantification is most in need of humanities’ intervention and, in addition to individual research projects, will produce papers for an edited collection on the topic.
The RRG is open to scholars across the UC system interested in participating in the research agenda. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their respective campus representative on the UCHRI Advisory Committee well in advance of the application deadline for guidance in the application process.
Applicants must apply online via UCHRI’s FastApps system. Required documents include:
- Short Biography (200 words max)
- Project Title and Abstract (200 words max)
- Project Description (2,000 words max. Please explain your personal research aims for the residence and explain how they relate to the collective research agenda)
- Curriculum Vitae (2 pages max)
Individual applicants are selected based on their ability to contribute to the research agenda of the group.
For program related questions, please contact Suedine Nakano, Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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