The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies: Research Award Program

Submission deadline: December. 1 2017.

Send complete applications to:

The Murphy Institute’s Research Awards Program supports original qualitative and quantitative research by
CUNY scholars on issues relevant to the labor and social justice movements, both nationally and locally.

Researchers from all academic disciplines are invited to apply. The Awards Program is open to CUNY faculty
and Level 3 Ph.D. students (excluding those with appointments at the Murphy Institute). Applicants must
submit a CV, a research proposal no longer than 750 words, a budget (up to $10,000) and budget justification.
Proposals should specify the research question, hypotheses, methodology, and the type of publication or other
deliverable the applicant intends to produce (beyond the research paper mentioned below). The proposal
should also highlight the proposed project’s benefits to the labor and social justice movements, and a
dissemination plan. Documentation of IRB approval will be required before funds are disbursed to applicants
selected for awards. Award recipients will be required to submit a 20-25 page research paper and may be
asked to make a public presentation under Murphy auspices.

A committee of Murphy’s full-time and consortial faculty will make the final selection of awardees. Although
full consideration will be given to any labor-related topic, preference will be given to proposals that address the
three topic areas described below:

Organizing Strategies
With union density rates now below 11 percent, union organizing is often seen as a prerequisite for success in
the struggle for social and economic justice. But employer opposition to organizing is formidable, and the
political and legal environment presents many other challenges. What is the future for union organizing in this
context? What organizing strategies, models, and techniques are most effective in the 21st century?

Worker Centers and Alt-Labor.
There are now over 200 “worker centers” in the United States, which are engaged in non-traditional forms of
labor organizing and advocacy, focused on low-wage and immigrant workers in sectors where traditional
unions are absent. What are the strengths and weaknesses of worker centers? Under what conditions do they
succeed? How have they influenced the larger labor movement?

Pay Equity
Although pay equity has been on the labor movement and public policy agenda for decades, it remains an
elusive goal. Women working full-time, year-round still earn only 80 percent of what men are paid. That is a
narrower gap than in the past – in the 1960s it was 59 percent – but much more is needed. Racial disparities in
pay also persist. What can be done to address these inequalities? How do they vary across demographic
groups? What can organized labor and social justice organizations do to improve the situation?

Awards will be announced in early 2018.