Project Mosaic primarily functions as a social sciences research collaboration incubator. As such, it is a centralized resource for junior and more experienced investigators who are looking for help lifting their creative thinking to the next level without disciplinary impediments, fleshing out promising research ideas and concepts, and move them to the point where external funding can be successfully secured to enable the full scope of this innovative mindset.
The research incubator offers a portfolio of services, including but not limited to:
- Review of research ideas and concepts, and team-based assistance to enhance the merit, impact, feasibility, rigor, and chances of external funding.
- Facilitation of research team formation.
- Peer mockup proposal reviews.
- Identification of, and facilitation of access to data, including social media and other crowd-sources data.
- Consultation on study design, including sampling, data collection methodologies, power analysis, database management, data analytic approach, visualization and mapping, natural language processing.
- Assistance with identification of relevant funding sources.
- Assistance with research proposal development.
Project Mosaic hosts research seminars featuring research currently undertaken by its faculty and student affiliates. These events are open to all faculty affiliates of Project Mosaic and graduate students they supervise. They usually take place on Thursdays in the Project Mosaic suite, Barnard 109, aka the Matrix. Below is a list of seminars that are scheduled:
Occasionally, we make available to faculty researchers seed grants consistent with our mission. we facilitate and encourage researchers in social, behavior, and economic sciences at UNC Charlotte to form collaborative teams to pursue external funding.Click on the link to learn more about some of our recent and current seed grant funding opportunities:Social Science Faculty Research Mentoring ProgramCollaborative Seed grantCollaborative Seed grant – IBSSFlash Social Science Grants
May 4, 2017, 1:00 pm, “The Matrix”
Jacopo Canello, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
Formal cooperation and relational networks in industrial districts: the role of strategic alliances
Abstract: The intensity of global competition and the increasing complexity in business environments are posing serious challenges to most entrepreneurs operating in industrial districts. Traditionally, such firms have been capable to build their competitive advantage relying on informal relationships with other businesses located in close proximity. However, the recent global transformations are forcing industrial districts to reshape the structure of their formerly self-contained networks, fostering interaction with external firms to avoid lock-in dynamics associated with over-embeddedness. In this context, the use of formal cooperation can provide significant benefits, facilitating learning processes and enhancing the acquisition of knowledge from outside the industrial district. Following this approach, strategic alliances can be viewed as complements rather than substitutes for relational contracts.
April 20, 2017, 1:15 pm and April 17, 2017, 1:15 pm, “The Matrix”
Ryan Wesslen, Computing and Information Systems
Social Media Data 1 & 2
Social media data (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) provides both opportunities and challenges for social science researchers. In this two part seminar series, I’ll address two key challenges for social scientists: inexperience with computational tools (e.g., API’s, programming skills, JSON datasets) and a lack of knowledge about the availability of social media data (e.g. what can and can’t be pulled, public API limits, how to efficiently search by keyword, availability of geocoded attributes, potential sampling bias).
The seminar series’ primary goal is to provide social scientist researchers best practices how to acquire social media to enable feasible research questions. Both seminars are hands-on and interactive, in which attendees will be asked to come up with Twitter queries relative to their own research. Given time constraints, we will only focus on pulling from Twitter.
In the first session, we’ll briefly review the process of acquiring Twitter through public API and proprietary resources (DSI’s Gnip Historical Powertrack for Twitter, Sophi’s Spritzer dataset). Then, attendees will be asked to brainstorm ideas for a query based on their research and share with the group their reasoning. Attendees will be provided feedback on ways to improve their queries and potential limitations (e.g. only 1-2% of tweets have geocoding, many users have missing profile information).
In the second session, attendees will be asked to refine their query terms and we’ll discuss as a group ideas on ways to pull the data (e.g., which API, how to), handle the data (e.g., unstructured, JSON) and analyze the data (e.g., spatial, time, text, social network).
Attendees are expected to attend both sessions. This workshop will be limited to ten attendees. By invitation only.
March 23, 2017, 1:00 pm, “The Matrix”
George Banks, Dept. of Management
Evidence on Questionable Research Practices: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…and How Effective are Interventions?
Abstract: Questionable research or reporting practices (QRPs) contribute to a growing concern regarding the credibility of research in the social and natural sciences. Such practices include design, analytic, or reporting practices that may introduce biased evidence, which can have harmful implications for evidence-based practice, theory development, and perceptions of the rigor of science. To assess the extent to which QRPs are actually a concern, we conducted a systematic review to consider the evidence on QRPs. Using a triangulation approach (e.g., by reviewing data from observations, sensitivity analyses, and surveys), we identified the good, the bad, and the ugly. Of the studies that fit our criteria, 91% found more severe evidence. Drawing upon the findings, a series of studies have been designed and are being executed to evaluate the effectiveness of various types of interventions (e.g., open data policies, results-blind reviews, study pre-registration, reviewer training). The goal of this program of research is to encourage a systematic, collegial, and constructive dialogue regarding QRPs in social and natural science research.
March 16, 2017, 2:00 pm, “The Matrix”
Kristen Beach, Dept. of Special Education and Child Development
Summer Camp and Reading: A Community Collaboration
Abstract: In partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Aldersgate Retirement Community, and the YMCA, we provided an all day summer camp to 34 rising 2nd and 3rd grade students who attended low-income schools and were struggling readers in the prior academic year. The camp included two hours of literacy instruction, as well as nutrition instruction, swimming instruction, and summer activities provided by the YMCA. Results of the reading instruction will be discussed, which include limited growth for rising 2nd graders and strong growth for rising 3rd graders. The investigator will also discuss opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in research around senior living and quality of life, child development, including health and wellness, and other topics relevant to the comprehensive summer program.
February 16, 2017, 1:30pm, “The Matrix”
Shannon Reid, Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology
The Science of Studying Street Gangs
Abstract: This presentation explores how the study of street gangs has changed over the last ten years to incorporate analytic techniques. These methodologies include agent based models, social network analysis and Lotka- Volterra spatial models. Next steps and future directions of the study of street gangs will also be discussed.
February 9, 2017, 1:00pm, “The Matrix”
Elena A. Platonova, Dept. of Public Health Sciences
Patient-Centered Communication by Safety Net Providers: Segmentation of Patient Assessments
Abstract: We analyzed patient assessments of safety net providers’ communication to examine how patient assessment of provider communication was related to patients trust and satisfaction with the provider. We collected data in 2013 using a self-administered questionnaire in two free clinics and a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Charlotte. Items from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) instrument were used to measure patient assessment of provider communication effectiveness and provider courteousness. We used latent class analysis to identify clusters of patients segmented by their assessment of provider communication, patient trust and satisfaction with the provider.
February 2, 2017, 1:30pm, “The Matrix”
Jessamyn Bowling, Dept. of Public Health Sciences
Discussion on planning for a mixed methods study
Abstract: I’m in the initial phase of an exploratory health assessment of gender minority individuals (e.g. trans men/women, gender non-binary etc) in Mecklenburg County. The study will use photo-elicitation interviews and a survey. I’ll present some domains of consideration for mixed methods research and solicit feedback on how to best shape this study in order to triangulate results. This seminar will advance campus dialogues regarding mixed methods and inform the study design.
January 19, 2017, 1:30pm, “The Matrix”
Victor Z. Chen, Dept. of Management
Human social diversity from genes to sciences: An evolutionary perspective
Abstract: In this study, we integrate multiple disciplines and theorize the resilient determinants in human orientations and behaviors as an evolution of seven replicators. They are genes, pre-linguistic habits, linguistic habits, custom, writing systems, judicial systems, and scientific paradigms. We re-conceptualize path dependence as the transmission of these replicators and the forming of a multi-level society. We further re-conceptualize globalization as the synthesis of these replicators across societies. We challenge the traditional view of boundaries of organizations and societies, and suggest a re-thinking of nation states as borders, foreignness based on nationality, as well as discipline-based rationality.