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Request for Proposals: International Research Collaboratives

Monday, February 24, 2020  
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Request for Proposals

International Research Collaboratives (IRC) for 2021 and 2022

Deadline: May 1, 2020 at Noon ET (17:00 hrs. UTC)


The Law and Society Association is pleased to invite the submission of proposals to form new or join existing International Research Collaboratives (IRCs) in preparation for the annual meetings in Chicago (2021) and Lisbon (2022). Instructions on how to apply are outlined below. Please, read carefully before submitting your proposal.


The IRC application can be found here:

 What are IRCs?

We use the term “IRC” to designate international and interdisciplinary collaborative groups of scholars from different backgrounds, experiences and training, who will work or have been already working together on some specific project involving a research or policy agenda related to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law,  across many possible social contexts. Over more than a decade, IRCs have become a key component of the intellectual life of LSA and have been influential in helping LSA achieve its mission of becoming increasingly global. The most recent list of existing IRCs can be accessed here:

IRCs have been instrumental in fostering and strengthening international and interdisciplinary scholarly networks, in promoting valuable collaborative research with scientific rigor and relevance, and in creating opportunities to share and communicate research to audiences at LSA meetings and other academic conferences. An important feature of IRCs that distinguishes them from other forms of collaborations within LSA (e.g. CRNs, or “collaborative research networks”) is that IRCs focus on concrete specific, self-contained projects with clear goals and tangible results, such as edited volumes, book chapters, symposia or articles to be published in scientific and academic journals in the social sciences, law, and other disciplines; such projects may include follow-up conferences, workshops and similar organized activities.  In fact, this type of specific, material output is an important factor in determining the merits of an IRC proposal for funding purposes, as indicated below. 

 Obtaining funding through IRCs

As in previous years in preparation for annual meetings outside the USA, the LSA is in the process of preparing an application to be submitted to the US National Science Foundation for a grant to support IRCs. Results from this effort will not be known until early in 2021. LSA’s application will seek funds for IRCs that are restricted to covering travel expenses only for IRC members from low and middle income countries.

World Bank:

The funds must be used to attend the Lisbon meeting in 2022 and/or the lead-up meeting in Chicago in 2021. Support to participate in the 2021 meeting must be justified as essential to the planning and preparation that will lead to a successful meeting of the proposed IRC in Lisbon the following year in 2022. 

Based on past experience, LSA funds will not fully cover the travel funding needs of IRC participants from low- and middle-income countries. As a result, IRCs are expected to be active in their own quest for financial support, in addition to assisting with LSA’s efforts to obtain additional funding.

 IRC Application process

The IRC application process involves two steps: (i) submission of the application to create an IRC (deadline: May 1, 2020), and (ii) review and decision by the IRC Committee (with notification to applicants by May 15th, 2020).  Successful IRCs will also be notified about the mechanisms for receiving funds and reporting key outcomes back to LSA, should funding be forthcoming.

Apply Here:



(i)              Each application shall consist of a brief proposal (800 words maximum, not including the list of participants) that outlines the topic and specific activities of the IRC, including proposed panels for the LSA Annual Meetings, proposed publications, follow-up conferences, or other activities to further develop the collaboration. The application shall also include the names, affiliation and role of the core members of the IRC, with special mention of those from low- and moderate-income countries, according to the methodology developed by The World Bank:  IRC applications shall be submitted via this link to the LSA website.


(ii)            Once received, IRC applications will be reviewed by an internationally diverse Ad-Hoc Committee appointed by LSA and decisions will be notified to the applicant by May 15th, 2020. In evaluating the proposals, the Committee will pay special attention to the following five criteria: (a) the intellectual excellence and the soundness and scientific promise of the IRC research plan; (b) the specific and concrete output proposed (e.g. book publication, future workshops or conferences); (c) the international and disciplinary diversity of the participants; (d) the diversity of career stages among proposed IRC members, and (e) the inclusion of individuals from low and middle income countries.


(iii)          Once selected, successful IRCs will communicate directly with LSA regarding the possibility of external funding as well as the disbursement of NSF and/or LSA funds.  We expect all successful IRCs to post an open call for participation in the IRC and consider applications for new members of the IRC from the broader Law and Society community before funds can be disbursed.


Queries and further information   

Any queries regarding the application process and any other matter regarding IRCs should directed to LSA Executive Officer Steven Boutcher ( Prospective applicants are discouraged from contacting directly the members of the Ad-Hoc Committee.


Law and Society Association

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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