Summary of Breakout Groups
PLENARY SESSION (9–10:30) / Summary of Saturday’s Breakout Groups
The group reviewed suggestions from Saturday’s brainstorming session, which fell under three broad areas: people, institutions, and outreach.
None of the suggestions are mutually exclusive; several converged on the idea of using the workshop as a “mechanism” to build collaborative, sustainable networks. Some options allow FPR to exercise some control over the topic; others leave it to an open call for proposals.
The group also identified several key disciplines and research programs that overlap with our mission, using a psychocultural approach to address fundamental problems, such as trauma, or cross-disciplinary research questions. These include Cultural Psychology and Cultural and Transcultural Psychiatry, Neuroanthropology, Psychological Anthropology, Evolutionary Neuroscience, and the research program Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.
- Fund an open call for proposals to organize workshops based on the FPR’s “psychocultural” mission and aimed at young investigators. Example: Gordon conference format. Workshop members would also be encouraged to form a network.[i]
- FPR Scholars Program (see the William T. Grant Foundation scholars program; see also the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation research fellowship program). The program would focus on career development, with each recipient receiving a multi-year award “to expand their expertise and skills.” The program would be open to researchers at the late assistant- early associate-professor level. The scholars would be linked to mentors and become mentors themselves. We could convene the cohort annually. Home institutions could help make the program more feasible/cost effective.
- FPR Network model (based on the McArthur Foundation research networks). We would support the formation of a group of more established scholars. They would propose a study or a set of studies that they would collaborate on, for which money isn’t normally available. FPR could play a role by scaffolding the conversations and making linkages in terms of methods.
- Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship Program: A three-year grant for early and mid-career researchers whose work contributes to the FPR mission or one of its “thematic priorities.”
- Jacobs Foundation Marbach Castle Residence Program. A short-term residence program in an attractive setting offers senior and/or junior (post-doctoral) researchers “conducting uninterrupted, goal-oriented, collaborative work.”
- Russell Sage Foundation model / Residency program: Funds would support sabbaticals/residencies at another institution or center within the FPR network. This would lead to some form of publication.
- The FPR selects a “topic of emerging interest” and identifies a small group of fairly senior scholars. We could provide a 5-year grant for a study.
- Summer School. This could either be a “data boot camp” set up to assist people working on a research project or publication and focusing on research design, or an institute offering exposure to different methods, “styles of reasoning,” and contributions to knowledge. See, e.g., Russell Sage Foundation summer institutes.
- Small Workshop series (one per year): Host at UCLA or other institutions within our network. Bring in a group of opinion leaders and younger people to meet together for a week. Appoint 2–3 workshop leaders. FPR would identify the topics to be discussed at these meetings, and guide the choice of topics/titles of presentations of the participants, who would prepare something beforehand. Each meeting would result in a white paper to be posted on the FPR website and promoted via SM. Alternatively, it could be published as a topic review article.
- (Ethnographic?) Field schools: Link to network, or FPR scholars program, as the engine for bringing people in.
- Envirome/Research Framework: This would entail an NIMH/RDOC-like data-collection process linking various organizations and incorporating multiple levels of analysis (in RDOC; Research Domain Criteria, the research is conceived as a “matrix”). We could propose to support a series of workshops or a working group to address what RDOC leaves out.
- Branding to increase the Foundation’s profile. Secondary branding benefit would be enhancing the prestige of scholars who receive an FPR network-building award and those who participate in such a network. Branding opportunities could include attending annual meetings of the relevant professional societies and, for example, hosting a coffee break that was decorated with a large poster identifying FPR sponsorship of the event and a resource person available to provide information about the foundation.
- Website enrichment: make it a hub for resources in psychocultural studies: research ideas, teaching tools, breaking developments, exciting articles, news of and from conferences.
[i] The FPR would put out a general call for proposals, perhaps simply using the FPR mission statement as the basis of the RFP. The proposal would include a description of the network’s research agenda, the ideal participants and rationale for each (members of any given network would have to represent a range of disciplines); participants could either be all junior or mix of junior and senior but the network facilitator(s) should be early career. Max number participants = around 20.
The proposed workshop could be annual or more often; funding for up to three years, annual renewal based on detailed progress report and specific plans for subsequent year. After three years PI/facilitator could reapply for competitive renewal for another three years.
We thought workshops could be structured such that each member has approximately an hour presents some data, ideas, manuscripts for comments, and feedback from the group.
The workshop facilitator might hold the workshop at their home institution with the department receiving support for making the workshop possible. Ideally the department would see the facilitator(s) network building activities as casting favorable light on the department as well as on the facilitator. Another possibility would be to host network meetings off campus.