Call for Applications: DML Research Associates 2013 Summer Institute Program

Integrating Research and Practice: Transforming Media-Rich Educational Practice in Diverse Learning Settings

Hosted by the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

June 17-21, 2013

Call For Applications

Deadline: April 16, 2013

The Digital Media and Learning (DML) Research Hub invites advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars conducting research in the field of Digital Media and Learning to submit applications for the DML Research Associates Summer Institute to be held June 17-21, 2013, at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

This one-week institute will examine ways in which education can be transformed through the effective use of new media. More specifically, this year’s institute explores the integration of research into the design, delivery and evaluation of digital learning and media-rich programs for young people across a wide range of settings, including informal learning institutions, schools, homes, and online.

While we welcome applications that focus on diverse learning environments, we are particularly interested in research that examines informal learning institutions. These institutions are taking on an increasingly central role in purveying digital media experiences for young people given shrinking school budgets and increasing pedagogical and other constraints. A growing number of informal learning institutions have established digital learning and media-rich programs specifically for young people. Research efforts have not caught up to this growing centrality of the informal sector in digital media and learning. This lack of connection between these institutions and current research is a missed opportunity, both for the informal educators and the researchers, as well as for the ultimate intended beneficiaries—the learners.

This year’s institute will focus on several aspects of how to most effectively to connect digital media and learning research to the practice of education in diverse learning settings. Proposals are welcome that explore any or several of the following dimensions of this challenge:

  • How can research best measure and document the effectiveness and outcomes of innovative educational programs and technology deployment in diverse learning settings?
  • How can we identify key program features and support the scaling and spread of effective innovations within and across learning settings?
  • What are models of successful partnerships between researchers and educational programs housed in diverse learning and community institutions?
  • What can research tell us about how programs and practices might best adapt to the needs of different localities, communities, populations and settings, especially in the face of institutional constraints?
  • How can programs effectively connect learning across formal and informal settings, between digital and analog experiences, and between in-school and out-of-school learning experiences?

The goal of the institute is to support the professional development of a diverse cohort of junior scholars working in the emerging field of digital media and learning, and to begin the process of connecting this scholarship to practitioners in diverse learning settings.

Participants will share information about their research and build relationships with key researchers at institutions across the country and globally. The institute will also provide the opportunity for scholars to meet, interact and strategize with informal educators from the Bay Area.

Participants will also receive guidance and support in developing a personal project such as a publication, grant proposal, dissertation, book chapter, or other relevant outcome. Participants will have opportunities to engage with – and be mentored by – senior scholars working in the field. 
In partnership with the California Academy of Sciences, the DML Research Hub will provide funding for up to twelve advanced graduate and current postdoctoral scholars to travel to the meeting (round-trip economy airfare, ground transportation), as well as a limited meal per diem, shared accommodations, and activities during the one-week summer institute. Participants will be expected to join in all of the activities associated with the program, such as reading and providing feedback on a variety of writings and projects, engaging with mentors from academia and educational practice, and developing a work-in-progress. Participants will submit part of a current project, a work-in-progress, for discussion to the institute. Ideally, this work will be substantial enough to allow for significant feedback, but not so long that it will be difficult for people to prepare adequately (suggested length: 8,000-9,000 words).

Application Process

We welcome applicants from all disciplines whose research touches on issues related to DML, including social scientists, humanists, legal scholars, technologists, and education scholars. We are looking to create a diverse cohort representing different experiences and perspectives.

Applicants must currently be affiliated with an academic or research institution. Applicants need not be from U.S. institutions or be U.S. citizens, but must be able to obtain a U.S. Visa to participate.

To Apply:

Create a profile through Fastapps:

Write and submit a 1-2 page cover letter through Fastapps that outlines:

  • Your research (or other work) and its relevance to the theme of Integrating Research and Practice: Transforming media-rich educational practice in diverse learning settings
  • Professional significance of participating in the summer institute
  • Contribution to the diversity of the field of Digital Media and Learning
  • Description of proposed work-in-progress project

Also include in your application:

  • Your current CV
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

All application materials should be submitted via the Fastapps application system on or before April 16, 2013. Email addresses for two recommenders should be entered into the Fastapps system, and recommenders will receive a personalized link to submit their confidential letters. Letters must be received on or before April 16, 2013. Notification of awards will be sent in early May. Any questions about the program should be addressed to the DML Research Hub at 

About the DML Research Hub: Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of its Digital Media and Learning portfolio, the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub is a major initiative of the University of California Humanities Research Institute. Both the UC-wide Humanities Research Institute and the Research Hub are based at the UC Irvine campus. The MacArthur Foundation launched its Digital Media and Learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way people, especially young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations. 
To learn more about the DML Research Hub, visit

UC Humanities Research Institute
Digital Media and Learning Hub
4000 Humanities Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697