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Curriculum Research Fellowships
2011-2012 Call for Proposals

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Application deadline: 3rd October, 2011

The Central European University’s (CEU) Curriculum Resource Center (CRC) funded by the Open Society Institute’s (OSI) Higher Education Support Program (HESP), is launching a new call for applications for its Curriculum Research Fellowship. CRC invites applications from scholars (higher education researchers and teaching faculty) from the region to investigate specific questions related to social science curriculum development and curriculum design practices in former communist countries.

The aim of the research fellowship is to produce a body of scholarly literature on curriculum design and development which would provide CRC and its strategic partners with an insight into the development of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various disciplines and their implementation across the region.

Project description

The fellowships to be offered would consist of a negotiated research grant and consultancy provided to successful individuals or groups. The duration of the grant can range from 9 to 12 months, depending on the depth of the research to be carried out. Since all curriculum research will be directed towards disciplinary developments in one or more countries of our target region, future grantees will not be required to reside in Budapest.

However, all grantees will be required to attend two workshops in Budapest. The first one is a preparatory workshop/discussions at the beginning of the research grants, most likely in November or December 2011. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and comment each research proposal, prepare and peer-review the intended research plans for all projects, and give participants reading packages that would help them conceptualize their research in this new area. The second workshop is a writing seminar organized at the end of the research period, during which draft research papers would be discussed and reviewed.


Application is restricted to resident citizens of Eastern- and Southeastern Europe, the Former Soviet Union and Mongolia. Citizens of new EU member countries are eligible only if they participate in comparative group projects with colleagues from non-EU countries.

Due to the disciplinary depth and understanding of curriculum building policies required by such research, the target group of the Curriculum Research Fellowship will be innovative academics with a broad comparative perspective in their disciplines and excellent command of English. Fellowships can be offered to individuals or groups of researchers.

Short-listed applicants will be required to negotiate with host institutions in the region (departments, universities, accreditation agencies, etc) the terms of their future research activities carried out in those units - letters of agreement and cooperation will be requested from all institutions where curriculum research is to be carried out, particularly in cases where access to data is of paramount importance for the success of the research. (Higher-level university officials and experts can also be included in faculty-led group initiatives.)

Research outcomes

Selected researchers will be expected to critically assess the dynamics of curriculum development in existing social science disciplines, focusing on and addressing questions of particular importance for the countries and subject areas they cover. The scholarly purpose of the research needs to be clear in all cases, and the CRC will provide grantees with background materials, consultancy and professional development opportunities in this new area of research.

All projects need to result in research articles of high academic quality (in English) which will be peer-reviewed and published electronically on the CRC website. Successful fellowship grantees might be asked to offer a public lecture/roundtable presentation at Central European University on their research projects and findings.

Research areas

All research proposals need to focus on specific questions in relevant areas of social sciences and should have well-defined research hypotheses.

Applicants for the fellowship could propose research projects that address specific questions within the following broader areas (including but not limited to):

  • Comparative curriculum research in social sciences; regional, national and international differences in social science degree programs, their causes and effects
  • Undergraduate and graduate curricula: the problem of harmonization and possible discrepancies, overlaps, inconsistencies
  • Building new curricula – analysis of various possible strategies; importing externally developed curricula versus developing curricula internally at university or departmental level
  • The breadth of scholarship: inter-disciplinarity in curriculum planning, policies of cross-listing courses
  • Joint degree programs in our region; the results of international cooperation in building undergraduate and graduate curricula
  • The impact of individual and institutional external funds on host department’s curricula
  • Departmental curriculum changes reflecting new trends in disciplines: emergence of new subjects, sub-fields, curriculum practices causing the fragmentation of certain disciplines
  • Curriculum design and stakeholders: marketization of higher education.
  • Curriculum and educational objectives: preparing for academic or non-academic careers; knowledge and skills in social science curricula
  • Curriculum changes in the Bologna process. Processes and their effects in shifting to a three-cycle system of higher education

Priority will be given to research proposals that have an internationally or regionally comparative perspective, and/or to proposals that focus on disciplines that would benefit from the results of our fellowships. Detailed research proposals will be considered in both practical, immediate curriculum questions or more remote, background issues of theoretical significance that researchers believe to have a long-run effect on the development of curricula in their disciplines.

Selection process:

Research proposals will be selected by an international committee of higher education experts. The research proposal will be examined in relation to the time requested for the fellowship. Short-listed applicants might be asked to provide additional materials to their applications, and will be interviewed.

Application procedures:

All applicants need to:

  1. Fill out a Curriculum Research Fellowship application form.
  2. Attach a signed reference letter from a colleague in the applicant’s discipline who is of established standing.
  3. Attach a curriculum vitae (CV), which should include a list of publications, conference papers relevant to the topic of the proposed research.
  4. Enclose a detailed research proposal of minimum two pages which identifies the main research questions to be addressed during the fellowship.


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