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University of Iowa News Release

 

May 2, 2007

Magid Funds Social Science Research Prizes For UI Students

Undergraduate students at the University of Iowa have the opportunity to compete for a new, annual prize recognizing excellence in social science research.

The awards -- $3,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 each for two third-place prizes -- are possible through the generosity of Frank N. Magid Associates Inc., in collaboration with the UI Social Science Research Center (SSRC) and the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

The Magid Undergraduate Prize for Social Science Research Excellence fosters development of skills that will help students succeed in the expanding world of applied social science. Those skills include analyzing and synthesizing data, communicating clearly across disciplinary boundaries, dealing with complex problems and presenting them in ways corporate representatives, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public can understand and use.

"This generous donation by Magid allows us to recognize and publicize outstanding undergraduate social science research on our campus," said SSRC Director Kevin Leicht. "The skills emphasized by our prize are skills social science graduates need to succeed in today's job market, where the ability to conduct solid research and communicate it to a wide audience is critical for success."

The quality of applicants' work will be assessed through an undergraduate research paper competition beginning in the 2007-08 academic year. Students will submit a major empirical research paper addressing a policy-relevant social science problem. The paper may use any combination of empirical social science data: surveys, ethnographic interviews, focus groups, statistical and historical archives, media-based data or experiments. Applicants will be expected to use analytical techniques appropriate for the complexity of the data and research problem, but the paper should be written for a generally educated lay audience.

Entries will be reviewed by the advisory board of the SSRC and researchers and analysts from Magid.

Applicants, all of whom must have a faculty sponsor from their major department, must also be:

* Social science undergraduates in good academic standing at the UI during the fall semester of 2007, or

* In the university honors program, pursuing a double-major that includes at least one social science discipline, or pursuing both a major and a minor in social science disciplines at the UI.

Papers will be accepted Sept. 15, 2007 through March 1, 2008. Awards will be announced by May 9, 2008. Applicants should contact Leicht at kevin-leicht@uiowa.edu or 319-353-2813 with questions.

Founded in 1957, Magid is a world leader in research-based consultation. Using rigorous research methods to study behaviors, attitudes and intentions of audiences, the company employs 350 experienced professionals, serving clients in 37 countries from offices in New York, Los Angeles, London Minneapolis, and Marion, Iowa. Visit http://www.magid.com/ for more information.

"We are very dedicated to support education through partnerships between our company and selected primary schools, colleges and universities," said Magid CEO Brent Magid. "One of the ways in which we seek to do this is by supporting rigorous social sciences research and the effective communication of that research with the broader public. We see huge corporate and societal value in providing incentives for this type of work."

The SSRC is an interdisciplinary institution dedicated to furthering social science research and practice at the UI, and developing ways to connect that research to the broader community. Started in January 2006, the center brings together top faculty from political science, sociology, economics and journalism and mass communication in an interdisciplinary setting, providing a resource for addressing common theoretical and methodological problems. The SSRC recently sponsored cutting-edge research on presidential candidates' popularity and other political issues relevant to Iowans. For more information on the political polling, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/election/news-events/index.html.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Kevin Leicht, Social Science Research Center, 319-353-2813, kevin-leicht@uiowa.edu; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070, nicole-riehl@uiowa.edu