Author Archive for Melinda Miller

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Projects in Society and Neuroscience

The Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience Program (PSSN) invites proposals for interdisciplinary projects that lie at the intersection of neuroscience, the humanities, and the social sciences.

ELIGIBILITY: All full-time faculty at Columbia University and Barnard College. Non-Faculty may apply with the support of a faculty co-investigator (see Proposal Instructions for further details).

AMOUNT: Up to $30,000.00 total, for projects 1-2 years in duration

DEADLINE: Extended until March 29, 2017


Faculty Seed Grant Competition

The PSSN Program will offer annual seed/pilot grants to enable collaboration between Columbia and Barnard faculty in the humanities, arts, or social sciences, and faculty in the natural sciences whose primary focus is the empirical study of mind, brain, and behavior.  This request for proposals is open to all full-time faculty at Columbia University and Barnard College that contribute to these interdisciplinary goals. Non-faculty applications (including postdocs and senior PhD students) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with a letter of support from a faculty advisor and at least one full-time faculty member serving as co-investigator.

Proposals should outline interdisciplinary activities and research that involve either direct collaboration between neuroscientists and researchers from other disciplines, or traverse traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to investigate issues relevant to society and neuroscience.

Awards will be made of up to a total of $30,000 for projects 1 – 2 years in duration. Up to five grants will be awarded each year.

Submitting Proposals

Please download the full application instructions and grant guidelines before starting your proposal. Only complete proposals will be reviewed. Please submit proposals as a single PDF document by 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 to with “Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Projects in Society and Neuroscience” in the subject line of the email.

Please direct any questions to  For a list of 2015 and 2016 Seed Grant awardees and their projects, please click here.

Call for Papers – History of Science Society 2017 Annual Meeting

The History of Science Society (HSS) will hold its 2017 conference in the Sheraton City Centre in downtown Toronto November 9 – 12, 2017. The HSS encourages submissions on all topics. Proposals (250-word maximum for abstracts) must be submitted via the HSS submissions page.

Reviewers will give strong preference to sessions that reflect diversity, e.g. diverse institutional affiliation, a mix of men and women, and/or a balance of professional ranks. Only one proposal per person may be submitted – workshops, simply chairing a session, posters, and other non-typical proposals (e.g., interest group lectures) are excluded from this restriction (for a maximum of two presentations) but roundtables are not.

To encourage and aid the creation of panels with strong thematic coherence that draw upon historians of science across institutions and ranks, the conference organizers have created a proposal wiki. Anyone with a panel or paper idea seeking like-minded presenters should post and consult the postings there to round out a prospective session.

HSS also has special instructions for proposals for Roundtables, Posters, and Flash Talks.  Please see the HSS website for additional details.

Deadline for all types of proposals:  April 3, 2017.

Call for Applications – Ayrton Prize for Digital Engagement in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

In 2015 The British Society for the History of Science launched the Ayrton prize, a new prize recognizing outstanding web projects and digital engagement in the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM). The society is now accepting applications for 2017. Entrants do not have to be members of the BSHS and can be based in any country. In addition to an award in the amount of £300, the winning project will form the centerpiece of an issue of the BSHS magazine, Viewpoint, and all shortlisted entries will also be featured on the BSHS website.

To be eligible entries should:

– Be a self-contained website (including blogs and other web-based projects), available in English, whose overall content is in HSTM, or a distinct HSTM subsection of a website, such as an online exhibition section of a museum website.

– Have been created or updated with substantial new content within the last two calendar years (from the entry deadline).

– Communicate HSTM to a non-specialist audience and/or make new resources available for the study of HSTM.

– Reflect current best practice in the discipline.

– Make effective use of the medium.

The deadline for submissions is March 10, 2017; for more details on how to enter, please visit the BSHS website.

Call for Applications: 2017 Center for Science and Society Seed Grants

Eligibility: All full-time students, faculty, and postdocs at Columbia University and Barnard College

Amount of Award: $1,500 – $3,000

Deadline: Monday, February 20, 2017

The Center for Science and Society at Columbia University invites proposals for innovative interdisciplinary projects involving the study of science in society that need modest amounts of seed money to initiate collaborative research and programming. All full-time faculty, students, and postdocs at Columbia University and Barnard College are eligible, and proposals are welcomed especially from undergraduate and graduate students. Projects might include small research projects, support for a reading group, inviting a speaker, or a contribution towards developing a conference. Grants can be combined with any other funding held by the applicants. Awards will normally be in the range of $1,500-$3,000. Projects must be completed and funds expended by July 1, 2018.

Submitting Proposals
To apply, please submit the following as a single PDF document by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 20, 2017 to to the email address with “Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Projects in Science and Society” in the subject line of the email:

  • Cover page, including title of proposal, principal investigator(s) and departmental affiliations, an executive summary of the project, and the total funding amount sought
  • Proposal narrative with timeline of research (no more than 3 pages in 12-point font)
  • Itemized projected budget
  • CVs for each investigator

Conditions of Receipt
Grant recipients must provide annual reports on project activities, including updates on external funding proposals (successful or unsuccessful), and any papers, publications, course syllabi, and/or reports resulting from seed grant activities. When applicable, research projects involving human subjects and/or animals must obtain (and keep current) approval from the appropriate University regulatory offices.

For more information, please contact The Center for Science and Society at Columbia University. Download a copy of the call for applications here.

Call for Abstracts: Biodiversity and Its Histories

Abstracts requested for presentations during the Workshop, “Biodiversity and Its Histories,” April 24-25, 2017, Columbia University and the New York Botanical Garden

We invite proposals for a workshop examining the multiple historical origins of the values of biodiversity. Our aim is to better understand how these diverse values have developed historically, and how they in turn inform current scientific research, international debates over conservation policy, and initiatives to protect biocultural diversity. Scholars in the following fields are encouraged to apply, especially those focusing on Africa or Asia and/or the pre-1900 context: ecology, biology, geography, anthropology, philosophy, law, art history, cultural history, and history and philosophy of science.

Among the topics to be considered are:

  • Motivations for the observation and protection of variety in nature;
  • The values attached to biological diversity in relation to human cultural diversity;
  • The shifting valuation of “diversity” at the organismic level, as in cases of hybridity or mixed ancestry;
  • Political and legal efforts to protect biological diversity in these multiple senses and the conflicts surrounding them.

This workshop is part of a series of scholarly and public events organized by Deborah Coen, Helen Curry, and Paul White, and sponsored by the Darwin Correspondence Project at University of Cambridge, Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, the Center for Science & Society at Columbia University and Barnard College, and the Humanities Institute of the New York Botanical Garden.

Conference participants will receive accommodation and limited funding for travel expenses.

Please send short abstracts (no more than 300 words) to  Download the full CFP for more details.

Deadline for submission: November 1, 2016


Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Scholar with the Making and Knowing Project, Columbia University

The Making and Knowing Project seeks a three-year Postdoctoral Scholar, to start July 1, 2017.

The Department of History at Columbia University in the City of New York invites applications from qualified candidates for a postdoctoral position as part of the Making and Knowing Project, which is working toward the publication of an open access digital critical edition and translation of a late sixteenth-century French manuscript. The successful applicant will co-teach the laboratory seminar each semester with Professor Pamela Smith and other postdoctoral scholars, and take part in all activities of the Making and Knowing Project.  For two of the three years, the Scholar will teach one section each semester of the Introduction to Contemporary Civilization, a central part of Columbia’s signature Core Curriculum. Core teaching requires instructors to attend Core Curriculum weekly instructor meetings and lectures, in addition to teaching a discussion based class twice a week (ca. 4 hours/week). The Scholar will have the opportunity to contribute content to the critical edition and to publish research in collaboration with the Making and Knowing team. The Scholar will hold the title of Lecturer in History.

The appointment start date is July 1, 2017. Renewal for a second and third year will be contingent upon satisfactory performance. Starting salary will be about $53,000, plus benefits, and a modest research stipend.

Eligibility Requirements:  A PhD, preferably in history or a cognate discipline (such as art history, conservation, or history of science).  Some experience in laboratory, conservation, or studio work, and a knowledge of French language and history. A background in early modern European history and digital skills will be beneficial. Candidates must hold the doctoral degree by July 1, 2017 or have received it within the previous three years.

Application: All applications must be made through Columbia University’s online Recruitment of Academic Personnel System (RAPS). For more information and to apply, please go to the following link: Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Review of Applications will begin October 30, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

For questions about the position, please contact Pamela Smith at

Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience, Postdoctoral Opportunities

The Center for Science and Society at Columbia University invites applications for a postdoctoral research scholar/scientist or associate research scholar/scientist position to begin July 1, 2017.

Columbia University is pleased to announce three interdisciplinary postdoctoral positions in the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program for researchers who have earned the doctorate, or its equivalent, in (1) a humanities, arts, or social science discipline ― such as psychology, psychiatry, public health, law, history, economics, literature, political science, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, journalism, music and the arts ― and who have extensive acquaintance with, and critical understanding of, neuroscience research; OR (2) neuroscience or a related discipline in the natural sciences and who have extensive acquaintance with, and critical understanding of, another discipline in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. These Scholars will join an innovative program, Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience, which will include nine postdoctoral positions and a large group of mentors and affiliated faculty from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Review of applications will begin on November 28, 2016 and will continue until the positions are filled. Candidates must hold a doctoral level degree (PhD, DPhil, EdD, JD, etc.) by July 1, 2017, and must have received this degree after July 1, 2012.

Please visit Columbia’s online application site at for further information about this posting and to submit your application. Instructions for the required research proposal can be found under the “Scholars” section of the Presidential Scholars website.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Job Opportunity: VISTA Program Director, York University

York University is currently seeking a 7-year staff appointment: Program Director for our new VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) Program. This will be the most senior staff position in the program, which will involve a large budget, many York vision researchers, staff, and trainees, and over 50 partner organizations. Required qualifications include management experience and a Masters or PhD degree.

Location: York University, Toronto, Canada

Eligibility: Management experience and a Masters or PhD degree

Deadline: open until filled

For more information, please visit:

Call for Abstracts: Understanding Material Loss Across Time and Space

The Understanding Material Loss Conference will take place at the University of Birmingham, UK, 17-18 February and intends to examine the usefulness of ‘loss’ as an analytical framework across different disciplines and subfields, but principally within historical studies.

Abstracts and proposals for papers and panels must be submitted by Friday, October 14.

Understanding Material Loss Conference seeks to uncover the multiple practices and institutions that emerged in response to different forms of material loss in the past and asks, how has loss shaped (and been shaped by) processes of acquisition, possession, stability, abundance and permanence? By doing so it seeks to gauge the extent to which ‘loss’ can be used as an organizing framework of study across different disciplines and subfields. Understanding Material Loss seeks papers from across a variety of time periods and geographies. Although open and speculative in nature, this conference will focus on three broad topics within the wider rubric of loss, in order to facilitate meaningful conversations and exchanges.

Using Materials

  • How has the ‘loss’ of particular materials affected scientific practice, manufacturing, architectural design or development in the past?
  • How have humans responded to the partial loss or decay of materials?
  • How have ‘lost’ skills or knowledge affected the use of materials?
  • How have humans re-appropriated or recycled seemingly damaged or obsolete materials?

Possessing Objects

  • How have humans sought to maintain and mark the ownership of objects?
  • How has the loss of possessions and property affected human mobility and constructions of identity?
  • How have communities historically responded to the loss of particular objects? When and why have they sought to stave off the loss of things?
  • Where, when and how have cultures of repair flourished?
  • How has the loss of possessions and property (or the potential for loss) affected processes of production, consumption or financial stability?

Inhabiting Sites and Spaces

  • When and why have particular sites or buildings been understood as destroyed or obsolete?
  • How have past societies responded to the loss of particular sites?
  • When and how have landscapes been actively purged of symbols and sites?
  • How have past societies worked to rebuild or reclaim particular sites?
  • What strategies did past societies develop to ensure the resilience of certain structures?

Please visit the conference website for additional details.

Please send proposals (250 words max per paper) for papers and panels to conference organizer Kate Smith ( by Friday 14 October 2016. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Roundtable panels featuring 5-6 papers of 10 minutes each or other innovative formats are encouraged.

Job Opportunity: Project Manager, The Center for Science and Society

The Center for Science and Society (CSS) at Columbia University seeks a Project Manager who will demonstrate superb multi-tasking skills and independent judgement when working with staff and associated faculty to support the program’s activities, events, and research. The Project Manager will be responsible for organizing and executing all activities related to CSS lectures, events and meetings; overseeing program finances and grants; and facilitating digital communications, promotion, and social media outreach. Additionally, the successful applicant will support the History in Action (HIA) Program, a grant-sponsored program in the History Department, and its associated events, programs, website and budget.

Requirements:  A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a minimum 2 years of related work experience, preferably in an event management role with financial responsibilities within a university or non-profit setting. Academic background in history or history of science and technology is a plus.

TO APPLY: Please see the Jobs at Columbia (JAC) posting for further information. All applications must be made through JAC.

@The Center of Science and Society at Columbia University 2016
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