Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences Grant 

With the goal of fostering innovation and excellence in the social sciences at Purdue University,the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences program seeks to encourage faculty to aim for “breakthrough advancements” that give Purdue and Liberal Arts a national and international reputation in the social sciences. The program seeks to stimulate innovative research efforts for collecting and analyzing pilot data necessary for preparing and submitting external grant proposals. Submissions should describe (a) conceptual and/or methodological innovation, (b) significant contribution to the social science literature, and (c) planned future external funding sources and programs of the proposed study. Research projects to be supported with this grant can take any of the following forms: (a) research proposed to be conducted in the social sciences by individual faculty members; (b) collaborative projects among faculty in the social sciences with the CLA; and (c) collaborative projects between faculty in the CLA and in other colleges at Purdue.

Spring 2016 Awards


Mangala Subramaniam is an associate professor in the department of sociology in Purdue Liberal Arts. Professor Subramaniam's research is in the broad areas of gender (and its intersections with caste, race, and class) and social movements. Professor Subramaniam will examine the ways in which those categorized as high risk to HIV cope with intimate partner violence. Scholars have established that intimate partner violence increases risks to HIV. The main goal of this project is to elucidate lessons from the details of how high risk groups, specifically the transgendered (TG) and men having sex with men (MSM)  manage and cope with IPV; whether they seek assistance and counseling once or repeatedly; and how appropriate interventions can be designed and implemented. A current CLA engagement grant explores the managing and coping with IPV among WSWs. Therefore this project is an exploratory study of the two remaining categories of high risk groups: TG and MSMs. An exploratory comparison across the three groups will be useful for designing a larger study to examine patterns in coping strategies that can be helpful for developing HIV prevention programs and making policy.

Kimberly Marion Suiseeya is an assistant professor in the departent of political science in the College of Liberal Arts.  Professor Marion Suiseeya received this award for work on her research project From Presence to Influence: Examining the politics of Indigenous Representation in Global Environmental Governance.

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