Supporting scholarship and field research
for doctoral students
Lauren Balasco conducted research at
library in Bogotá,
Ten doctoral students, working on a wide range of dissertation
topics and in a variety of departments in the University of
Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences, were selected for the
college's inaugural Dean's Doctoral Student Summer Scholars
program in 2012.
Offered with support from UD's Office of Graduate and
Professional Education, the competitive program provided
recipients with a 10-week, $4,500 summer dissertation research
and writing grant with the goal of enabling their scholarship and
field-based study, supporting data collection and analysis and
allowing them to focus on dissertation writing.
Lauren Balasco, a doctoral candidate in political science and
international relations who is studying issues in transitional
justice, used her grant to conduct field research. "Writing a
dissertation is a huge hurdle, especially in the social sciences
where external funding for one's research is limited. In my case,
the program allowed me to spend my summer in Colombia and
Peru, conducting interviews, doing library research, and interacting
with local scholars, activities which will enrich my dissertation."
An outreach component of the grant program requires
recipients to share their dissertation research with public
audiences. Balasco added, "The public engagement requirement
has made me aware of the importance of being able to
communicate my research to an audience beyond specialists.
The emphasis that the program places on public engagement is
a reminder that scholars have an obligation to society."