Award Description

The Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation and Emulation Experts in Libraries and Archives (FCoP) [IMLS grant RE-95-17-0058-17] project is calling for FCoP Research Travel Award applications from October 24, 2018 – December 5, 2018.

Research undertaken using the FCoP Travel Award will take place at two of the six FCoP project sites: University of Arizona, Guggenheim Museum, University of Virginia, University of Illinois, Living Computers: Museum + Labs, Georgia Tech University. Research outcomes are expected to complement the efforts of the FCoP project, and the Software Preservation Network more broadly, which seeks to bring software preservation into mainstream digital preservation practice (addressing specific legal, metadata and technical preservation and access challenges).

The FCoP Travel Award includes:

   + $5,000 travel award to be used primarily for airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and travel per diem. If, after completing their research site visits, the researcher’s travel costs are below the $5,000 allotted, additional uses including conference registration costs and publication costs may be considered.

   + Direct access to FCoP Cohort members for interviews and observation

   + Access to Software Preservation Network community resources

   + Action research opportunity that has the potential to make a significant impact on cultural stewardship practice

Research Focus

In complement to research-in-practice currently underway by members of the FCoP cohort, the FCoP Research Travel Award will fund an academic researcher (doctoral students, post-docs or junior faculty/pre-tenure faculty) to travel up to four times (two visits each to two different project sites – once earlier in their project timeline and once closer to completion of their projects) in order to observe and document different organizational approaches to software preservation and emulation. The researcher will be expected to submit at least two peer-reviewed open access journal articles before May 2020.

Important practice-based questions driving the creation of the FCoP Research Travel Award include:

+ What types of data are more or less comparable across organizational contexts?

+ How does the available, comparable data limit our understanding of which strategies are most effective for broadening participation in software preservation?

+ How do the outcomes of local problem solving, policy development and changes to practice impact discussions between members of the cohort? How do discussions between cohort member subsequently impact local practice? How do we measure these impacts?

+ Where else can we look to understand the relationship between local and field-level changes to practice?

+ How does the cohort model enable us to identify areas of activity that would benefit the most from collective action?

Given these practice-based questions, we invite scholars from information studies, sociology, law, sociotechnical systems/science and technology studies, communication studies, public policy, economics, organizational studies, and related fields to apply for the award. In particular, the FCoP team is looking for proposed research that advances understanding of practice through the lens of one or more of the following research areas: Standards Development and Sociology of Standards; Information Infrastructure; Capacity Building and Economic Sustainability of Public Institutions;  Cross-institutional and Cross-sector Alignment (Collective Impact); Information and Technology Policy; Legal Advocacy for Cultural Institutions; and Social Impact of Public/Private Partnerships. Any research resulting from the travel award should aim to build stronger theory and empirical evidence in at least one of these areas.

Regardless of the applicant’s scholarly/discursive community, researchers will be asked to explicitly address the ways in which their research methods speak to the goals of “participatory action research” in their application.

How to Apply

Download the FCoP Research Travel Award application

All completed applications were due by or before December 5, 2018

All FCoP Research Travel Award applications were asked to include:

+ CV from the Applicant

+ 2 Letters of Recommendation

+ Research Statement

    – How does the FCoP Research Travel Award fit into your research agenda?

    – How will you bring your research interests and skills to bear on the practical outcomes of the FCoP project?

+ Research Plan

    – Specific research questions that apply to the software preservation community of practice, convey an understanding of workplace studies and could be explored in the scope of this research travel award

    – Methods to be employed in exploring your research questions including how data will be collected, the types of data you will collect and how you will analyze the data

    – Proposed timeline for completion before May 2020