The Center for Ethics in Public Life has, since 2013, sought to support academic research relevant to the issues of Political Ethics and Public Values by providing small research grants. The call for proposals goes out every fall to fund research being planned for that academic year. Below find the most recent call for proposals as well as description of projects from years past.
Here is the most recent call for proposals:
The Center for Ethics in Public Life opened its doors in 2011 with a mission to advance research, education, and advocacy on ethics issues relevant to the public sphere in the state of Missouri. This mission includes normative questions, and the empirical data that helps answer them, regarding: the behavior of elected and appointed officials and public employees, as well as the ideal functioning of political institutions and agencies, particularly at the state and local level, ideals of public participation and oversight of governmental functions, media roles in government, and the role of non-profits in the public sphere. Particular areas of interest include (but are not limited to): voter education and political media, elections, legislative processes, advocacy and lobbying, and public administration at the local level.
CEPL is a non-partisan Center focused on creating open dialogues and evidence–based assessment surrounding actual and ideal political decision making processes. Therefore viable projects for the Fellows program need to focus on the political process, not on particular policy outcomes or positions. Projects may range across many disciplines and approaches: from conceptual inquiries into the value structures underlying governmental processes to empirical explorations of democratic functioning of many kinds.
Projects funded in years past:
Dr. Adriano Udani, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri St. Louis
Examining the framing of Voter ID issues and the rhetoric associated with them in the context of Missouri Elections. The project seeks to assess the prevalence of Voter ID rhetoric in Missouri, the variation by candidates and political jurisdiction (e.g. districts and states), as well as examine the correlation between various types of rhetoric and candidates electoral success.
Dr. David Kimball: Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri St. Louis
This project seeks to create an election administration report card for all of the local jurisdictions that administer elections in the state of Missouri. Based on the Election Performance Index (EPI) created by the Pew Charitable Trusts which ranks each state according to 17 measures of election performance this project seeks to do a similar evaluation within the state of Missouri for all of the 116 different counties or cities managing elections. Keep an eye out for the report here on the CEPL website.
Dr. Brian Fogarty: Lecturer in Quantitative Social Science at the University of Glasgow.
This project will investigate how the local, national, and international print and electronic media covered the Michael Brown case and Ferguson protests. By comparing coverage both in terms of the different kinds of media outlets, and different geographic areas, and different ways of framing the issue (i.e. as a case of police needing to maintain order, or as a case of free speech rights being exercised) this project seeks to give a broad understanding of how media both reflects and creates public opinion on such hot-button issues.
Dr. Debra Leiter: Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Some voters vote one direction or the other based on class and racial identity, some vote on ideological and issue-based reasoning, some vote based on economic performance. These different voting strategies have been identified in prior research. This project seeks to examine the degree to which voters vary in the ways in which they make voting decisions. It will use European voting data and survey responses gauge the connection between different voting strategies and different kinds of voters. All of which contributes to a better picture of how a voting electorate comes to its decisions.