REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Graduate Student Research Grants to Advance the Science of Love
The Love Consortium is pleased to announce a competition for funding of student-initiated research proposals regarding the science of love, in collaboration with a researcher(s) who has relevant data described on The Love Consortium Dataverse.
AREAS OF FUNDING
The purpose of the award is to assist doctoral students with research costs associated with conducting collaborative and groundbreaking research on the science of love using at least one dataset from The Love Consortium Dataverse. Proposals are due by February 1, 2021 to fund research projects conducted between June 2021 and May 2022.
The Love Consortium intends to award multiple grants of up to $10,000 USD in June 2021. Awardees will be expected to submit a final report of their activities and to attend a future conference to present their work—the format of which (in-person conference or digital gathering) will depend on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The goal of the grants is to capitalize on existing but relatively underutilized data available on The Love Consortium Dataverse to rapidly fill gaps in scientific understanding of love. In doing so, these grants will serve the broader mission of The Love Consortium—to advance innovative and rigorous science by opening doors for collaboration, increasing opportunities for replication, and enhancing the generalizability of results.
What Do We Mean by "Love"?
The Love Consortium is focused on advancing the scientific study of all processes related to love and social connection. The science of love relates to a diverse range of communities of inquiry, including affective science, personality psychology, social psychology, close relationships, developmental science, the psychology of religion, neuroscience, organizational behavior, communication studies, and more. Across literatures, the construct of love goes by many names and there are many open empirical questions ranging from what love is to how it is observed in everyday life and what impact it has. As demonstrated in our recent event, "What is love?" (recording available here), we will consider proposals from a wide range of theoretical perspectives, measurement approaches, and contexts (e.g., parent-child love, dispositional compassionate love for humanity, emotions in friendships, and so on). We note that we are especially excited to fund research on love in understudied areas, such as love in non-romantic relationships or in diverse community samples.
We invite applicants to submit proposals about Love that align with their own interests and work. However, to underscore the breadth of opportunity, examples of the types of open questions about Love that could be addressed through this funding mechanism include:
How does Love develop?
How can Love best be cultivated or enhanced?
How does cultural context shape the expression of love?
How is Love best measured (e.g., love of humanity scales, observer reports of responsive behavior, compassionate goals scales, compassionate love scales, observed behavior of sympathetic joy, facial expression, vocal pitch, touch)?
What are the various ways that Love manifests (e.g., other-focused attention, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, approach-related sacrifice, expressed gratitude, compassion, communal orientation, sympathetic joy)?
Do children whose parents demonstrate Love toward one another become more loving themselves? Do they show developmental benefits?
What are the consequences of / benefits from being a loving person? (e.g., health consequences, character development, meaning in life)
How does Love influence those around us? Does it influence the health and well-being of our loved ones?
Does capacity to Love one person relate to Love for all? Is Love Contagious? Does Love flow through a friend group or social network?
What are the biological underpinnings or neural correlates of Love?
Is Love stable over time?
What is the role of Love in partner selection and romantic relationship initiation? How does it influence the trajectory of a relationship?
What can we learn about Love from studying it in its least conditional form - toward infants, new lovers, and those at the end of life?
To search descriptions of existing datasets containing constructs and methods relevant to your research interests, go to The Love Consortium Dataverse, below. Please note that new dataset descriptions are being added regularly, so check The Love Consortium Dataverse often.
THE LOVE CONSORTIUM DATAVERSE
For the Applicant
1. Applicants must plan to be enrolled in a full-time doctoral program for the complete tenure of the grant: between June 2021 and May 2022.*
2. Applicants must not have been previously awarded research funding from The Love Consortium. Those who applied for but did not receive funding in the past are welcome to apply again.
3. The proposal must include use of data from at least one dataset described on The Love Consortium Dataverse at the time of proposal submission, and because one aim is to foster cross-lab collaborations:
a. a key dataset in the proposal must be one described on The Love Consortium Dataverse, owned by someone who is not the applicant's graduate school advisor, and
b. the application must include a brief letter acknowledging the collaboration from the dataset owner.
4. The applicant's graduate school advisor must permit the student's work on the project. Note: The graduate student advisor does not need to be a part of the proposed project but can be. Regardless, the student's use of time must be acceptable to the advisor.
5. Among other uses, funds may be used for a summer stipend for the applicant if they do not have another source of funding; for supplies and services to conduct biological assays on stored specimens; for software to conduct behavioral coding on existing video records; for registration fees or costs associated with statistical methods workshops or academic conferences; and, where safe, to cover costs for the trainee to travel to live/work on site for research activities or to travel to workshops or academic conferences. Given the existing data, use of funds for participant payment will rarely be justified, but exceptions may be made, such as a planned conceptual replication of a key idea that can't be replicated in another existing dataset. Funds may not be used to pay faculty salaries.
6. Applicants may be from any discipline.
To find tools for initiating effective cross-lab collaboration, go to the resources here on our website.
*Exceptions will be considered for students graduating earlier; inquire at for more information.
For Researchers with Datasets Described on The Love Consortium Dataverse
1. You are eligible to be a collaborator on multiple submissions and multiple student grants: you can say "yes" to any grant proposal in which you would like to take part, and you are free to decline to participate in any proposal in which you do not wish to take part.
2. We encourage you to look closely at proposals that come from students in labs outside of your typical collaborators and area of research. One of our goals is to increase the diversity of scholars working in this area, and another is to increase the diversity of ideas in this area. There are many bright, talented, and hard-working young researchers who may not have had access to data like you have posted. Working with scholars outside your usual professional network provides an opportunity to improve access to difficult-to-collect data for the good of the field and the advancement of the scientific study of love, all while expanding your own professional network.
3. To post a searchable description of an existing dataset on which you are open to collaboration, go to The Love Consortium Dataverse.
4. To find tools for effective cross-lab collaboration, go to the resources here on our website.
All the information found in this section can be found in a pdf that you can download here.
All applications should be submitted online by February 1, 2021 at 11:59PM IDLW (the last time zone on Earth). The online submission form can be accessed by clicking this link.
The application consists of nine components, detailed below. The first five components require that you download and complete the provided templates, which can then be uploaded via the submission form alongside the remaining application pieces. Please be sure to use the provided templates, rather than creating your own documents, as they help to ensure a consistent and streamlined review process.
We recommend having all materials completed prior to beginning the submission form.
Research Proposal: Describe your proposed research project in 1500 words or less. References as well as up to one Table or Figure may be included beyond the 1500-word limit. Your proposal should address:
The gap in understanding and theoretical justification for the investigation
The hypothesis / hypotheses or research question(s)
Proposed methods and analysis plan
Statement of contribution to research on love
Statement of anticipated consequences of these activities (e.g., manuscript submission, conference presentation, future collaborations, consequences for this area of research, for the public, etc.)
Note: To reduce biases in the review process, this portion of your application will be reviewed via masked review. As such, we ask that you please do not include any identifying information within the body of your research proposal.
- Statement of Readiness: Describe your readiness to conduct this particular research project in 200 words or less. This statement might include details about your prior experience conducting similar research in the past, any supporting statistical or methodological skills you possess, or other relevant knowledge.
Contribution to Diversity: The Love Consortium is committed to promoting diversity in the science of social connection. For example, this includes promoting trainees and scholarship from people with historically under-represented backgrounds, studying human experience in people from a wide range of backgrounds, studying social connection across a range of relationship types, and even in the theories and methods brought to bear on a given research question.
In 200 words or less, please describe how your proposed project will help advance diversity in the science of social connection.
Budget: Grants will be awarded for up to $10,000 USD in direct costs. Among other uses, funds may be used for a summer stipend for the applicant if they do not have another source of funding; for supplies and services to conduct biological assays on stored specimens; for software to conduct behavioral coding on existing video records; for registration fees or costs associated with statistical methods workshops or academic conferences; and, where safe, to cover costs for the trainee to travel to live/work on site for research activities or to travel to workshops or academic conferences. Given the existing data, use of funds for participant payment will rarely be justified, but exceptions may be made, such as a planned conceptual replication of a key idea that can't be replicated in another existing dataset. Funds may not be used to pay faculty salaries.
You may also request a maximum of 5% for your university's indirect/F&A costs, beyond the direct costs mentioned above. We encourage universities to waive indirect costs if possible.
Please use the budget template spreadsheet to list the items and associated costs for which you would like to use the requested funds.
Budget Justification: Describe how each of the requested budget items will support the proposed research project.
Curriculum Vitae: Please submit your curriculum vitae, saved as a PDF file with your full name and “CV” in the file name (e.g., Alex Garcia CV).
Supporting Letters: You will need to request three types of brief letters/statements that must be submitted with your proposal:
Advisor's Consent. You will submit your graduate school advisor's name, institutional affiliation, and email address with your application. When you submit your application, we will send your graduate school advisor an email with an online link to a brief confidential survey where they will be asked to respond to four items:
Are they aware of the contents of your proposal? Yes/no
How do they think your specific skills and capacity will facilitate your success on this specific project? (Limited to 300 words or fewer.)
Do they consent to this proposed use of your time and what is their level of enthusiasm for your work on this proposal vis a vis your training and career goals? (Limited to 300 words or fewer.)
Do they have any reservations about your involvement in or ability to complete the proposed project? (Limited to 300 words or fewer.
Your advisor's responses to this survey will be due within two weeks from their receipt of the email and no later than February 15th, 2021 at 11:59PM IDLW.
Note: You should discuss this aspect of the requirement with your advisor when you decide you would like to submit a proposal.
Letter of Collaboration. For any dataset from The Love Consortium Dataverse to be included in the proposed project, please submit a brief letter acknowledging the collaboration from the data owner(s) with the following information (one paragraph will typically suffice; 1 page maximum):
Willingness to collaborate on the proposed project
Name of the dataset described on The Love Consortium Dataverse (include doi)
The status of ethics approval to share the data with you
Whether the data owner has reviewed the project proposal and believes it to be feasible, given the dataset
Whether authorship has been discussed (The proposed project may be at a stage where it is premature to discuss authorship, which is an acceptable answer.)
Note: You should request this letter once the person agrees to be a collaborator, and you will be responsible for uploading their letter when you submit your application. One letter should be submitted for any dataset included in the proposal that is not owned by your graduate school advisor. If you have multiple letters of collaboration from owners of datasets to be used in the proposed work, these letters should be merged into one pdf document for upload within the online submission survey.
Project Mentor Statement. You must identify one primary project mentor for this project. The person must have a Ph.D. and be affiliated with an academic institution. Typically, it will be a collaborator identified in 7b or your graduate school advisor (identified in 7a), but the person may also be someone who has the expertise you need to execute the project. The key is that they are willing to meet with you regularly about the project and are willing to take ethical responsibility for the conduct of the research. (Due to the latter requirement, the mentor must have a tenure-track or tenured position; Postdocs are eligible to be the project mentor but must have a co-mentor who has a tenure-track or tenured position.)
You will submit your project mentor's name, institutional affiliation, and email address with your application. When you submit your application, we will send your project mentor an email asking them to simply respond to that email with confirmation that (a) they agreed to be your project mentor on the project, (b) they are willing to meet with you about it regularly, and (c) they are willing to take ethical responsibility for the conduct of the research.
Note: You should discuss this aspect of the requirement with your proposed project mentor when you decide you would like to submit a proposal.
___Statement of readiness*
___Contribution to diversity*
___Graduate school advisor's contact information for brief consent survey
___Letter(s) of collaboration from dataset owner(s)
___Project mentor's contact information for brief confirmation of willingness to be your project mentor
*Your research proposal, statement of readiness, contribution to diversity, and budget justification should be uploaded together as one PDF using the provided template.
**Your budget should be uploaded separately in CSV format using the provided template.