Center for Social Research

Projects - Frequently Asked Questions

At any given time, CSR is generally supporting or conducting several long-term projects and at least a dozen shorter-term projects. Please visit our weblog's Projects section to see the latest news on current CSR projects.

FAQ Summary

Click the question text to see a longer answer to each question.

What are CSR's priorities for projects?

As part of Calvin College, we are first and foremost an educational institution. Our top goal and chief specialization is helping our clients develop and advance their own social research skills, especially in large-scale quantitative data collection and analysis. While CSR's internal capacity to conduct research directly is growing, we'll always be most interested in active collaboration with our clients at Calvin and elsewhere. We benefit Calvin College and the community most by identifying, learning, and disseminating new modes of research and new logistical tools.

CSR's top priority is to maintain a high level of service to long-term, significant social research projects, particularly those led by Calvin faculty with an academic publishing agenda. A high but secondary priority is providing research, evaluation, and technical services to organizations in the broader West Michigan community, including non-profits, businesses, governments, churches, and other faith-based organizations. For both of these priorities, we seek to maximize our availability to help apply for grants and contracts to sustain such projects. Finally, we serve Calvin faculty, staff and students through smaller-scale consultation and support for social-research-related aspects of scholarly and administrative projects, with a focus on empowering and educating our partners.

How do I request CSR's help with a project?

We are always happy to talk with you in person and provide advice and encouragement for your work. Contact Neil Carlson to schedule an appointment to discuss your ideas, 616 526-6420.

CSR cannot commit to direct participation in projects until a formal application, budget agreement and schedule are in place. This process can take time, since the planning process itself often reveals the need for revisions to the overall research concept and time line. Prospective clients are encouraged to contact CSR early in the project imagination process and let us help you think it through from the beginning.

Does CSR approve research with human subjects?

Calvin College's Institutional Review Board is responsible for reviewing research projects for adherence to legal and ethical standards of protection for human research subjects. For advice and support, please do contact us. However, all official IRB-related correspondence should be directed to the current chair of the IRB, not the Center for Social Research. Please visit the IRB web site for more information.

Thank you for your interest!