Past Opportunities

The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) invites undergraduate and graduate students to submit Research Briefs for the 2016 Women’s Summit.

Who We Are

Research changes lives. W+GRA is a unique community-university partnership that identifies and researches issues affecting women and girls in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. We fund translational research around work and wages, education, civic participation and leadership, health and well-being, and safety and domestic violence. But our work does not end there. The most important part of what we do is to share our work with those organizations, businesses, educational institutions, community leaders, and individuals who can use W+GRA research to develop programs, practices, and policies that change lives for the better.

Our touchstone event is the Women’s Summit. For the first time ever, we will be offering a multi-day event (April 14 + 15, 2016). On the afternoon of April 14, the Summit will focus on engaging undergraduate and graduate students and offering them a chance to share their research with the community. Research Briefs will play an important role in this portion of the Summit by linking academic knowledge with real world policy and practice implications.

Topic: Economic Mobility for Women + Girls: From Research to Practice + Policy.

Economic mobility is the ability of an individual or family to improve their economic status. In a major study, Charlotte ranked 50th out of 50 U.S. cities in terms of economic mobility. We can and must do better. W+GRA has a role to play. A vast majority of individuals living in poverty are women and children. 2016’s Summit will allow us to share research on wages, education, entrepreneurship, and more in ways that spur dialogue about how best to support the economic mobility of women + girls in our community.

The Call:

For the purpose of this call, a Research Brief is an exploration, situated within peer-reviewed research, of (1) a specific systemic problem or challenge facing women or girls in regards to economic mobility and (2) recommendations for policy or practices that can address the problem or challenge. Research Briefs should address some aspect of the broad topic of economic mobility for women + girls and may be grounded in, but not limited to, issues of educational access, workforce development, student debt, women’s entrepreneurship, women veterans, the “gig” economy, homelessness, systemic discrimination, mass incarceration, immigration, domestic violence, and social capital.

Briefs should be 5-10 pages long (excluding cover page, works cited page, graphs, tables, and images), double-spaced, Times New Roman 12, APA 6th, and include the following components:

  • Title
  • Introduction/Summary
  • Problem Description: Describe the context of the problem or challenge and the root causes of its continuation. Describe what the current literature tells us about the problem
  • Critique: Address the problem(s) with current policy or practice and why they have been unable to eliminate the problem/challenge. Since you are trying to convince an audience who may not agree with your assessment, you need to be clear on why the current policy or practices need to be changed.
  • Recommendation: Present your recommendations (with supporting data) for feasible policy or practice changes.
  • Conclusion

Please also include: (1) a cover page that includes the title of your brief, your name and affiliation, and a short biography and (2) a works cited page. 

Eligibility: Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Belmont Abbey College, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte School of Law, Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University, Johnson & Wales University, Queens University, Wingate University, and Winthrop University.  

Award: Briefs selected under this call will be published by W+GRA in spring of 2016 in a digital format. Student authors will be asked to participate in a roundtable discussion at the 2016 Women’s Summit on April 14, 2016, and will receive a $250 honorarium. Please note that briefs selected may be edited for clarity, length, and APA format. Not all briefs submitted will be selected. We anticipate selecting three briefs for publication. Authors of briefs not selected for publication will be recognized as Honorable Mentions in our post-Summit publication and will have the option to share their work as a poster on Thursday; poster presenters do not receive an honorarium.

Deadline: Briefs should be submitted electronically to Dr. Heather Brown, Executive Director, Women + Girls Research Alliance, at by March 1, 2016.