CFP: Student & Faculty Research in Cooperative Econ

Event Date: 

Friday, May 21, 2021 - 12:00am

Event Contact: 

Nick Cohen (

Call for Proposals - Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty Research in Cooperative Economics

Application Deadline: May 21, 2021

The UCSB Blum Center invites proposals for student research in the area of cooperative economics, as part of a new initiative to promote scholarly and public understanding of the principles, practices, and prospects for cooperative enterprise on the Central Coast of California, in the U.S., and worldwide.

Cooperative economics encompasses a broad spectrum of collaborative endeavors, from the communal  practices and empowerment strategies of indigenous communities to the support and exchange networks developed within the contemporary mutual aid movement.  It is also the basis of a vast field of formally established cooperative enterprises.  These are organizations owned and democratically controlled by associations of people who come together to meet their shared economic needs in ways that contribute to community and social well-being. Cooperatives of varied size and scale have come to play a significant role as operators of grocery stores, housing communities, financial institutions, and worker-owned companies, as well as in agricultural production.  They are based on values of democracy, equity, accountability, and self-help, and prioritize the needs of members over the maximization of profit. There is a rich tradition of cooperative endeavor in movements for racial and intersectional justice.

We encourage proposals that explore cooperative economics from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and focus on topics related to the establishment, operation, and sustainability of cooperative enterprises, the cultural and political contexts within which cooperative economic arrangements have been pursued, and whether and how cooperatives have contributed to the well-being of the communities they serve. We also welcome proposals that center racial and intersectional justice. Funding is available for undergraduate and graduate student research projects as well as for faculty-directed research that employs undergraduate and/or graduate student research assistants. 

This initiative has been made possible by generous support from the family of Dr. U.S. Awasthi and from Philip H. White.

   Budgets and Allowable Expenses

Undergraduate and graduate students may request up to $2,000[1] to support original research projects.  Eligible expenses include costs related to original data collection, field work, or archival research software and/or small equipment required for the proposed research; data acquisition; transcription; and research supplies. In compliance with current Covid 19-related University of California restrictions, we are unable to fund long distance or airline travel for research at this time; mileage reimbursement for the use of a personal automobile for research-related purposes may be included in the project budget request. Grant funds may not be used for the costs of tuition, fees, or insurance; student salaries; participation in conferences or trainings; or non-expendable equipment.  Proposals for individual grants must be accompanied by a letter of support from the student’s faculty mentor or graduate advisor.  If your project involves human subjects, please be sure that you are in compliance with the University remote guidelines, including Institutional Review Board approval.[2]

Faculty may request up to $4,000 to support the costs of employing undergraduate and/or graduate students as research assistants in ways that facilitate student participation and provide mentorship in research related to cooperative economics.

   Timetable and Research Symposium

The grant period for these awards is July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Funds will be provided in the form of authorized direct payment and/or reimbursement of allowable expenses with appropriate receipts.  Award recipients will present their research at the Blum Center Cooperative Economics Research Symposium in spring 2022. 


Student applicants must be registered at UCSB at the time of application and for the duration of the project.

   To Apply

Proposals are due by May 21, 2021 at 11:59 pm, and should include the following:

  • A project abstract (up to 100 words)
  • A project description of up to 750 words describing the project objectives, central research questions, approach and methodology, contribution to understanding cooperative economics, and expected products or outcomes.
  • A detailed budget
  • A resume or c.v. (no longer than two pages)
  • A letter of recommendation from the student’s faculty mentor or graduate advisor


Additional instructions for student applicants are available by clicking here.

Application Submission

Student applicants: please fill out the online submission form and upload all required documents by clicking here.

Faculty applicants: please fill out the online submission form and upload all required documents by clicking here.


For questions, please contact, Nick Cohen (


[1]We expect grant amounts to range from $500-$2,000.

[2]Information on university guidelines for human subjects research and obtaining Institutional Review Board approval can be found at