The Department of Geography would like to extend a big congratulations to Dr. Sarah Elwood and Dr. Vicky Lawson for being awarded a five year (2013-2018), $500,000 Research Coordination Network Grant from the NSF! They have been awarded the grant to develop a collaborative network of researchers from around the world whose members will generate conceptual and methodological innovations in poverty research. The Relational Poverty Network (RPN) will extend mainstream poverty research with a relational conceptualization of poverty--an approach which holds great promise for innovative poverty policy, but also significant conceptual and methodological challenges for achievement.
Sarah and Vicky will develop the RPN through a series of annual workshops and ongoing activities, through which participants will produce new ways of operationalizing relational poverty concepts, create resources to support robust mixed-methods research and 'many sites to many sites' comparison, and catalyze dialogue across mainstream and relational poverty research scholars. Network members will also create and share publically available educational materials for teaching about relational poverty approaches in multiple disciplinary contexts.
Over the past few years Sarah and Vicky have built a core group of 60 social scientists at 30 institutions, including human geographers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, economists, anthropologists, and philosophers from the U.S., Argentina, South Africa, India, Canada, and Thailand. Going forward the RPN will expand from this core group. According to Sarah and Vicky: "This grant comes after a long sustained effort of proposal submission, revision, and re-submission to various funders--we are extremely grateful for the many ways that Geography faculty, staff, and graduate students have helped in this process." Congrats to both!