Newswise — A new NSF Build and Broaden 2.0 grant given to the California State University and University of California will expand external funding opportunities in social sciences across the state, with a focus on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Totaling $796,858 in funding for the CSU and UC, with $260,740 going directly to the CSU, the program will create the California Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Social Science Advancement (CAHSSA). The group will provide professional development opportunities for hundreds of social sciences faculty across the CSU and UC to help strengthen proposals for external research funding. The NSF award will also support research and analysis into how HSIs may face bias and other barriers when seeking external funding for social science research.

“This grant and the creation of CAHSSA is important because it shines a spotlight on the social sciences that are sometimes overshadowed by STEM research funding activity," says Leslie Ponciano, Ph.D., director of research opportunities at the CSU Chancellor's Office and co-principal investigator on the grant.

“This NSF grant provides a critical opportunity to identify and mitigate some of the barriers to faculty in the CSU working to secure external funding for research in the social sciences," says Billy Wagner, MPH, Ph.D., health sciences and sociology professor at CSU Channel Islands and executive director of the CSU's Social Science Research and Instructional Center (SSRIC) multi-campus affinity group. Dr. Wagner is also a principal investigator on the NSF award.

“We are excited to be a resource for CSU researchers to collaborate with each other across the CSU system and with the UCs," Dr. Ponciano says.

A series of funded grant activities will take place over a three-year period, including professional development in the form of webcasts, grant writing groups and leadership seminars. Social sciences faculty and leadership from all CSU campuses will be invited to participate.

“The overarching goal is to improve the quality and quantity of funded research in the social sciences across California," says Ponciano. With 21 of its 23 campuses designated as HSIs, the CSU's dedicated faculty will have a powerful impact in diversifying the social sciences and creating innovative research projects and proposals.

Funding for the work begins in October 2021 and runs through August 2024.


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