Advancing urban research has been a key strategic goal for Georgia State and the College of Arts & Sciences for more than twenty years.
The ongoing mission of the center is to support faculty and graduate student research and sponsored programs to better understand the challenges and opportunities of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, communities and people, including their social justice activities and recognize that national and international urban processes affect local populations.
The mission statement captures three important directions of a center that focuses on Atlanta:
- Research addressing the social justice activities and challenges facing Atlanta’s communities.
- Qualitative and quantitative research that focuses on national or international urban issues which directly or indirectly relate to Atlanta.
- Research that enables graduate and undergraduate students to participate in the full range of research activities, from formulating research questions through professional presentations and publications.
The first goal is to increase center-related research and external grant support to enable the center to become financially self-sustaining.
The second goal is to assist graduate students in their neighborhood and community research.
The third goal is to foster partnerships and ties with community organizations and leaders to conduct applied research and community-initiated action programs.
A small grants program assists faculty in their research and funded-project development on topics related to the mission of the center.
Small grants of up to $1,000 enable faculty members to enhance research projects and grant proposals by purchasing research-related equipment or data; funding pilot studies or paying transcription costs; and improving the quality of the research or grant proposals by covering the costs of consultants for statistical or methodological advice, as well as the costs of expert assistance on grant proposal preparation.
The center offers a seed grant program for doctoral student dissertation research focusing on Atlanta.
The center will provide up to $500 to support doctoral students with dissertation committee approved topics related to Atlanta and its people, neighborhoods and communities. Funds could be used to cover travel to library collections or meeting grant program officers; purchasing research related equipment or data; and paying for pilot projects, data entry, transcribing activities, or consultant fees. Proposals could include: (1) a brief description of the project (1 page) including how the requested funds will advance or accelerate the completion of the project; (2) a short budget itemizing expenses (items must be for anticipated expenses and not reimbursements for past expenses); and (3) the signature or brief note from the dissertation chair supporting the proposal.
We organize informal brownbag sessions for faculty and graduate students to get to know colleagues in other departments with similar urban and community research interests in order to develop a community of scholars around these interdisciplinary research pursuits and to assist in the development of grant proposals.
This ongoing activity is designed to foster faculty and graduate student collaboration and the building of research teams. In addition to being introduced to common research interests and emerging collaborative research teams, graduate students may find faculty in other departments who may be valuable members of thesis and dissertation committees, as well as get assistance in identifying funding sources and small grants support for their own research agendas.
Future sessions will be devoted to developing research teams around emerging common topics including: housing instability; refugee and immigration communities and resettlement; LGBTQ neighborhoods and communities; and youth residences for at-risk youth. Additional sessions will also be devoted to assisting research teams in identifying potential sources of funding and writing competitive grant proposals.
The center assists in mentoring graduate students.
One of the post-pandemic challenges in graduate education is to create or recreate an academic community with graduate students through collaborative research projects and face-to- face mentoring. The center plans to encourage graduate students across the College with an interest in Atlanta research projects to regularly meet together and with center faculty to discuss common concerns, funding opportunities and assistance in writing grant proposals. Sessions include informal brown bag meetings to share research findings, as well as to provide a physical space and time for brainstorming and nurturing a cooperative and supportive learning environment.
We work to establish ties to community organizations and other local community partners to develop collaborative research and funded projects.
The center expects to continue to expand the neighborhood and community research agendas and sponsored programs of center-affiliated faculty members and graduate students, and to help establish and extend collaborations with local organizations to pursue community-initiated action research programs.
The center was created in 2003 as the Center for Neighborhood and Metropolitan Studies. After a comprehensive strategic planning process in 2018-2019, the center changed its name to the Center for Neighborhoods and Communities.
The center’s initial mission was to support interdisciplinary urban research, while the new name broadens the focus of the center to include support for faculty research that studies Atlanta’s neighborhoods, diverse lifestyles and life course communities.
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Georgia State University
Department of Sociology
Center for Neighborhoods and Communities
P.O. Box 3965
Atlanta, GA 30302