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Vonage Research Opportunity on Virality

OpenGrounds and Vonage, a leading telecommunications corporation, invite faculty and graduate students to apply to be part of a multi-disciplinary group to investigate the phenomenon of the viral spread of information as a distinct characteristic of instantaneous global communication.

This new research collaboration will be made up of 2-3 research teams who will work both independently and in collaboration with each other and Vonage to develop new understandings for impact in a variety of fields and in practice. 

Potential starting points for developing specific research proposals include but are not limited to:

-Define and distinguish characteristics of virality in relation to other cultural processes. 

-Identify thresholds and mechanisms of the viral spread of information and distinguish from standard models of diffusion. 

-Develop taxonomy of types of virality over time, including historical research and defining parameters.

-Develop empirical research to recognize recurring patterns and viral morphology.

-Develop agent-based models to test behaviors and control variables to discover potential drivers of viral phenomena.

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This research initiative will fund 2 or 3 projects at $15,000 - $25,000 each over an eight-month period (May –December 2013). The project proposals may come from cross-disciplinary research teams or individual researchers. 

The funding is intended to support faculty and graduate research assistants with academic year and summer stipends, with the expectation that both faculty and graduate students are engaged in the larger multi-team collaboration. One goal of this call for proposals is to identify faculty and students who are currently engaged in research that intersects these issues, to advance their work within a pan-university and corporate partnership.

Research Timeline

March 20 Call for proposals issued
April 20 Research proposals due
May 1 (approx.) Research teams announced and commencement of research – teams to meet together at approx. 3-week intervals, including engagement with Vonage
August 15 Interim progress report and review with Vonage
October 1 Draft report of research results and review with Vonage
December 1 Final Report/Presentation

Proposal Requirements

1-2 page statement of research goals and methods
Names of research team members and Principle Investigator
1-2 page CV for each team member
Budget proposal for up to $25,000

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Research proposals are due April 20.