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Call for Proposals: School to College Transitions among Vulnerable Youth in Lebanon

04/17/2019
The Education and Youth Policy program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut recently launched the project on “School to College Transitions among Vulnerable Youth in Lebanon”. This project addresses the critical school to college transitions among the vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee youth in Lebanon. These youth are at high risk of dropping out because they face a number of challenges, including financial, legislative, and institutional ones. The aim of the program is to guide this vulnerable group of young people at this sensitive period of their life so they can make better informed educational and life choices. Specifically, the program will explore how vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee youth transition from secondary to tertiary education and the initiatives that facilitate such a transition. This will be achieved, in part, through commissioned research studies in Lebanon.

Project Objectives and Priorities
The research should aim to address the following questions in general:
  • What are the school to college transitions of vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee youth in Lebanon?
  • What are the initiatives that facilitate the school to college transitions?
  • What are the perspectives of the different stakeholders on (a) the transition or lack thereof (b) and the available initiatives?
Eligibility Criteria
It is preferred that the researchers are based in Lebanon during the duration of the project. Researchers are expected to be available to respond to Advisory Committee reviews and comments on deliverables, and to attend workshops and a conference for the project throughout the project timeline. Proposals will be accepted from institutions including non-governmental institutions, humanitarian organizations, tertiary education institutions, and not-for-profit research centers, and/or independent researchers.

Eligible Research Methodologies
  • Qualitative research methodologies, such as participatory methods, community dialogues, journey mapping, field observations, structured stakeholder interviews, etc.;
  • Quantitative research methodologies, such as surveys, analysis of datasets, etc.;
The above list is not exhaustive, and any inquiries about the relevance of proposed methodologies can be sent to Fida Alameddine at fa60@aub.edu.lb.

Application Process
  • A 1,000-word proposal should include the following:
  • A clear statement of the topic that will be explored.
  • A detailed work plan describing the scope of work which includes the research timeline and associated milestones.
  • A description of the methodology proposed, including materials (e.g., interview guides, focus group discussion guides, consent forms, etc.) to be used during the implementation of the project.
  • A detailed budget breakdown (Use Table 1. Budget Template).
  • A section on ethical considerations for the study, including an overview of how the researcher plans to manage participant expectations, particularly participant expectations of tangible research outcomes, but also, expectations as they relate to short-term versus long-term outcomes of the study. Special attention must be given here to how the researcher will balance between the research benefits and benefits to the community.
  • A CV and two letters of recommendation.
Post-Award Process
Up to four short-listed candidates will be selected from among the submitted proposals and will be invited to a closed workshop in Beirut, Lebanon held from May 20-24, 2019 (TBC), where they will give a presentation of their research proposal to the project’s Advisory Committee. The final winner will be selected after this workshop.

Successful commissioned researcher/s will need to submit two brief progress narrative reports throughout the project timeline. The first progress narrative report on the data collection phase must be submitted end of July 2019 (TBC), and the second progress narrative report on analysis and write-up must be submitted in October 2019 (TBC).

Researcher/s will also have to attend meetings (in person or virtually) with the core team at IFI in order to discuss the progress of their work. The first draft of the case study research report must be submitted for review beginning of November 2019 (TBC). The selected researcher/s must commit to present the case studies/findings to the project’s Advisory Committee during a workshop to be held by the end of November 2019 (TBC) in Beirut, Lebanon. Researcher/s must incorporate reviews and comments from the Advisory Committee into the final draft of their case study research reports. The final draft must be submitted by February 15, 2020 (TBC).

All final research reports will be published as AUB Issam Fares Institute Research Reports. Researcher/s are invited to participate in a final conference for the project in Spring 2020.

The grant will be paid in three (3) installments, 25% at the start of the research, 25% upon submission and approval of the first draft of the report, and 50% upon submission and approval of the final draft of the report.
 
Grant Information
The size of the grant awarded will depend on the scope of the research proposed. The grant is intended to cover all research related activities. Proposals must be for a five-month research project starting in June 2019, during which researchers are expected to be available to respond to Advisory Committee reviews and comments on deliverables, and to attend workshops and a conference, beyond this timeframe.

Qualifications
  • Master’s degree or higher in social sciences, economics, or a relevant field. A degree in refugee studies, migration studies, human rights studies, labor studies, and/or gender studies is a plus.
  • Excellent command of Arabic is a must for the purpose of field work.
  • Easy mobility in all regions across Lebanon.
  • Evidence of having completed the CITI training for the following course: Social and Behavioral Basic/Refresher, or an equivalent.
How to Apply
The proposal must comply with the abovementioned objectives and eligibility criteria. Proposals must be submitted by email to Fida Alameddine at fa60@aub.edu.lb, no later than May 15, 2019. Proposals received beyond this deadline will not be considered. Shortlisted applicants will have to present their proposals during a closed workshop in Beirut to be held from May 20-24, 2019 (TBC). The selected researcher/s will be announced on May 29, 2019.


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