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Dean's Fellows: Projects

Qualitative Analysis of Research Practices in Religion

Description: Ithaka S+R is proposing a multi-institutional research project to identify best practices for library support for faculty in Religious Studies/Theology. The question they pose:  “What resources and services do your faculty members need to be successful in their teaching and research?”  In recent years Ithaka S+R has conducted several in-depth qualitative analyses of research practices of faculty in several fields, including art history, chemistry and history. They are seeking partners to conduct a project for faculty in Religious Studies.  Vanderbilt Divinity Library was approached as one possible partner.

They are defining the field of religious studies broadly, and would mean the target faculty would be in the Divinity School, the Religious Studies Department and the Graduate Department of Religion. (including dual and secondary appointments this would be a group of about 60 faculty). The study requires a research team of 1-3 individuals, which may include library staff, graduate students, and/or an analyst from Ithaka S+R. Ithaka S+R will provide training for the team in the ethnographic research methods to be applied. We envision the Dean’s Fellow to be a graduate student to be one of the team members along with one or two librarians.

Duties: The Fellow will work with the librarians on the team, to conduct the research interviews during the spring 2016 semester. The Fellow will be required to travel to the training meeting in January 2016. The expected protocol will be to interview a target number of faculty (perhaps 10-15) over the course of several weeks in February. Preparation research before each faculty interview, analysis and reporting for each interview, according to protocols Ithaka S+R will establish.

Skills Needed or To Be Developed: Ithaka has indicated they will provide training for the enthnographic research methods required. It was suggested that a graduate student in anthropology, or in religion with interest in this type of research would be ideal candidates.

Bill Hook, Associate Dean and Director of the Divinity Library
Chris Benda, Divinity Library liaison
Ramona Romero, Central Library liaison

Dates of Employment: Spring 2016

Potential Candidates: Students with an interest in religion and/or anthropology of research methods in the study of religion.

Contact: Bill Hook, Associate Dean of Libraries, (615)343-8350

Please follow the Application Process to apply for this fellowship. Applications will be accepted through October 30, 2015.

See other Spring 2016 Fellowships