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National Science Foundation Summer Institute for Research Design in Cultural Anthropology (SIRD)

Supported by the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation Summer Institute for Research Design in Cultural Anthropology, SIRD, brings together area experts and Ph.D. students for three weeks of intensive study on issues in research design. The goal of the Institute is to provide students with a meaningful experience that will advance science in cultural anthropology. The primary objectives of the Institute are:

To provide Ph.D. students in cultural anthropology with a basic understanding of the link between theory and scientific methodology in cultural anthropology.

To improve each student's ability to develop and write a scientifically well conceived research proposal.

To provide students with basic scientific research knowledge and skills for solving a variety of research design problems.

Course Content

Course content covers a broad spectrum of research design issues, but with a heavy emphasis on the link between theory and method. Topics covered include:

  1. the link between theory and the development of research objectives, concepts, definitions, variables, measures, and hypotheses
  2. research design and threats to validity
  3. the relationship between quantitative and qualitative approaches within the ethnographic context
  4. systematic data collection procedures
  5. probability and non-probability sampling
  6. statistical distributions and elementary data analysis with an emphasis on concepts (e.g., sampling distribution theory)
  7. introduction to data structures and management in both a qualitative and quantitative context
  8. text and narrative data collection and analysis
  9. hypothesis testing using both qualitative and quantitative data
  10. developing research proposals

Time and Place

Now in its 15th year, the Institute is co-directed by Jeffrey C. Johnson (East Carolina University), Susan Weller (U. of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston), and H. Russell Bernard (U. of Florida). The SIRD runs for three weeks each summer and is held on the campus of the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina. The Lab is located on Pivers Island with a stunning view of the Beaufort waterfront and Bogue Sound.

In 2010, the Summer Institute will run from July 19 - August 6.

Application Information

Who should apply - All Ph.D. students in cultural/social anthropology programs are eligible. Students who are in the process of developing dissertation projects or preparing dissertation proposals are particularly encouraged to apply.

Costs - The program covers students’ room, board, and tuition. In addition, students receive free copies of all software used for instruction. Students are responsible for costs associated with travel to and from the Institute and required textbooks.

Deadline - March 1, 2010

To Apply - Applications for this year's SIRD are complete. Applications for the 2011 SCRM will open Sept. 1, 2010.

If you have questions, call Jeffrey C. Johnson at (252) 328-1753 or by e-mail at JOHNSONJE@ECU.EDU


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