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Research Funding

For students looking for research funding, check out the Kennedy Research Fellows and Canadian Studies Research options.

For faculty looking for research funding, click here.

WomanStats Data Project

The Kennedy Center invites applications for a new BYU faculty grant for research on the status of women worldwide in conjunction with the WomanStats data project. Full-time BYU faculty are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 in 2019 to support research relevant to the WomanStats project. Relevant research may include projects that analyze information (both qualitative and quantitative) already available in the WomanStats database and/or research that aims to create and contribute additional cross-national data on the status of women to the WomanStats database.

The WomanStats data project was founded at BYU in 2001 with the aim of investigating the link between the security and behavior of states and the situation and security of the women within them. Since that time, it has grown to include principal investigators at universities across five countries, representing six fields of study: international relations, geography, psychology, sustainable development, statistics, and sociology. The dataset tracks over 350 variables in 175 countries, including issues such as rape, sex trafficking, maternal and child mortality, family law, women in government and the military, and many others.

For more information about the WomanStats project or to consult the codebook and existing database, please consult the web site ( For additional questions about the project, contact the BYU faculty co-PIs on the project Celeste Beesley (political science; or Chad Emmett (geography;

Grant recipients will be asked to meet with and present their project to the on-campus WomanStats working group. If desired, grant recipients may use some of the funding to access student research assistants with rigorous prior training in WomanStats data collection.

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Global Politics Lab

The Global Politics Lab (GPL) fellowship provides intensive, networked mentoring to students interested in deep engagement in scholarly analysis and writing. Every semester, 10-15 GPL fellows participate in a one-credit mentored research class. Fellows work on academic projects under faculty supervision and make substantial progress on a publishable paper to be presented at academic conferences. For example, students working for Dr. Hawkins recently surveyed 10,000 Latin American bureaucrats and followed up with several in-depth interviews. In addition, many other students work as research assistants for affiliated faculty. The lab provides a physical and intellectual space for students to collaborate and network with other students, faculty, and universities.

GPL provides international experiences through mentored-research abroad (field school) programs. Each year, GPL faculty design a program centered on critical topics that enables rich and rewarding student research experiences. In recent years this has included programs in England to study immigration and refugees and in Thailand to study democratic stability and security. In Thailand, students met with government officials, Buddhist monks, ordinary citizens and others, and then designed a nationwide survey experiment with a few thousand respondents. In 2022, the program will center on development, conflict, and governance in the Mediterranean region. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research in Morocco, Spain, Croatia, and Bosnia. In each of these programs, students design, implement, and write up results from professional-level research.

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Global Families Project

The Global Families project is a first-of-its-kind effort to collect and collate family-related data for every country in the world. To date, while much excellent data have been collected, the problem has been one of accessibility. For instance, if you wanted to know about marriage rates in sub-Saharan Africa, you often have to search for the data in a variety of places, including searching the internet, calling national statistics offices, and sending emails. Even then, it can be difficult to assess the quality of the data and ensure they are comparable to similar data for other countries. This is accomplished through three main focuses:

First, the Global Families Project aims to collate, appraise, and collect all child and family wellbeing data available for every country in the world and make it widely and freely available.

Second, it produces scholarship that overviews the state of families in each country (Country Profiles) and original brief reports (Global Family Profiles) that highlight global family and child wellbeing patterns and trends. These are written for general audiences and intended for broad consumption.

Last, it produces scholarly journal articles and presentations based on these and other data sources. We also seek to build the Global Families Consortium, a global network of family scholars devoted to improving family life and child wellbeing around the globe.

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