20 March 2009
In the introduction to a book that’s now standard reading for most ethnographers, Fieldwork, Bruce Jackson wrote, “Only a fool or someone with an endless supply of disposable income would attempt to undertake fieldwork without some concrete plans about what to do in the field.” Lucky for me, my concrete plans have been funded by generous support from the Florida State University Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). As part of a new program, I have enjoyed funding from an International Dissertation Research Fellowship for the 2008-2009 academic year. This is the first internal FSU program to specifically fund international research on this scale. Along with the Global Pathways Initiative, this program shows FSU’s promising commitment to actively developing a global profile as a Carnegie Doctoral Research institution. I am extremely grateful to the Office of Graduate Studies for this support.
I had originally planned to write a post that would both thank OGS and encourage an expansion of this kind of support. FSU has literally hundreds of students whose graduate work depends on overseas research. Predictably, funding is constantly in short supply. Even as I was composing this post, my advisor received a letter from OGS. I did not receive the e-mail copy until a couple of days later, but that letter gave official notification that OGS has agreed to extend my fellowship through the summer term. This willingness to see a project through to its full potential is consistent with FSU’s other fellowship programs, all of which reflect a commitment to high-quality research. In a national financial climate of budget cuts and layoffs, and especially considering the tragic cuts proposed by FSU’s budget crisis committee, I am humbled by this continuing support. I thank the FSU Office of Graduate Studies, and I commend them for the example they are setting for other programs around campus and around the country. With so many students in need of support for overseas research, it is wonderful when a program supports students as well as OGS supports me.
This next term of the fellowship will support follow-up research with many of the contacts and friends I have made over the last few months and years. It will also pay for crucial language assistance for transcription and translation of song texts and interviews. These activities will launch me into the write-up phase with all of the support I need for continuing analysis and a successful wrap-up of the field research. I humbly thank the Office of Grad. Studies for this generous funding. Stay tuned for more updates on my continuing research activities!
Interested in Grad. School? Check out the Florida State University Office of Graduate Studies.
FSU grad. students: need funding for field research? Check out the OGS Fellowship programs. Need funding for other research? Check out the other fine OGS programs and the Office of National Fellowships. That one’s under the Office of Undergraduate Studies, but from there both undergraduate and graduate students can link to a number of other useful sites for information about scholarships, fellowships, and other merit-based funding.