Research Development Updates: A Note from Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, Fall 2019


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photo of Jocelyn Stitt
photo of Jocelyn Stitt

September 20, 2019

Our annual newsletter, Genderscapes is a great time to share some of the successes we have had supporting faculty with funding for their research. Last year I provided feedback on grants worth almost seven million dollars. While not all of these were funded, below is a selection of those that were successful. I think they show the diversity of disciplines, grants, and faculty I work with.

Sean McCabe (School of Nursing, Co-Director, Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health, and IRWG faculty affiliate) and I have worked on many grant proposals together, but I was especially pleased to see “Sexual Orientation, Discrimination, and Health Disparities in DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorders” funded by the NIH. Sean created an innovative project that explores how both institutional and individual discrimination impacts LGBT people’s use and potential abuse of alcohol and other substances. LGBT people can be at a higher risk for developing substance use disorders, although the causes for this risk factor are still being worked out.

Anna Kirkland (IRWG, Women’s Studies) teamed up with Sandra Levitsky (Sociology) on a National Science Foundation proposal to bring a postdoctoral researcher to IRWG. They were awarded an NSF postdoc for a researcher with expertise related to Law, Gender, and Health. Katherine McCabe, who recently received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois, joins us this Fall.

I worked with Annette Joseph-Gabriel (Assistant Professor of French) on her proposal for the Institute for the Humanities, reading some of her published scholarship and providing feedback on her application, which was successful. We also brainstormed ideas for a title for her book that would clearly communicate her intent but would also work for her publisher. Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire is forthcoming in January 2020 from the University of Illinois Press as part of the New Black Studies series. When I told Annette I would be writing about our work together for Genderscapes she thoughtfully added,

“One really helpful aspect of our conversation for me is that in addition to everything you have described here, you also helped me to make a connection between my first book and my second book project. That connection was very important for my Institute for the Humanities proposal and has been just as crucial for reworking my IH proposal into an NEH Summer Stipend application. I just received word that Michigan has nominated me to move forward to the next step of submitting the application to the NEH. I just wanted to highlight the ripple effect of your helping me to make sense of the larger thematic connections across my work. I so appreciate the work you do.”

This kind of work can be invisible to the larger community, since it didn’t involve an externally funded grant, but it is central to the kind of relationship building and support for faculty working on issues of gender that makes my job so rewarding.


Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, PhD
Director of Faculty Research Development

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