From grant assistance to data collection, the Iowa Social Science Research Center can help your research succeed

Kristi Fitzpatrick
Kristi Fitzpatrick

This month, we are featuring another one of our key partners, the Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC). The ISRC, housed in the Public Policy Center and supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and CLAS, is a critical resource that supports interdisciplinary social science research across campus. The unit offers grant development support, data collection and management services, transcription services, as well as consulting and workshops on survey development and social science research methods.

Fred Boehmke, Professor of Political Science, directs the center and brings expertise in social science research methodology and political polling. He conducts research on the diffusion of public policies across American states and on the consequences of direct democracy on state politics. He recently received a National Science Foundation RAPID grant to study the diffusion of state policy responses to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The CLAS Grant Support Office works closely with the grant team at the Iowa Social Science Research Center: Kris Ackerson, Grant Development Manager, and Kate Gloer, Research Program Manager.

Under their leadership, ISRC supported a record number of grant applications in AY 20—81 proposals for a total of $19 million—and supported 93 researchers from 18 units across campus, including the social science departments in CLAS.

The $6.7 million awarded for those ISRC-supported efforts is more than the four previous years combined, in part due to their efforts to promote funding opportunities and offering activities aimed at supporting grant-seeking. These activities include the creation of a new grant writing group that brought faculty from different departments together to dedicate time to grant writing.

In addition to grant support, the ISRC offers a variety of data collection and transcription services, including a wide variety of survey data collection modes (e.g., phone, mail, web, in person), focus group facilitation, consultation on survey project design and instruments, and data entry and transcription.

The ISRC employs a talented staff who collectively have decades of experience in managing survey and transcription projects. In addition, they offer a robust training program for their student employees who gain specialized knowledge and real-world research experience. In the past year, the ISRC completed 10,000 interviews for UI researchers and supported 11,000 hours of student employment.

The ISRC also offers a variety of workshops on statistical software programs and other resources that support social science research. The workshops are offered free of charge, and more than 800 registrants participated in the past year. Staff also provide free one-hour consultations on a wide variety of data collection, data analysis, and software questions.

Please visit the ISRC website to learn more about how they can support your research efforts.

Kristi Fitzpatrick
Director, Grant Support Office