William & Mary

Government department nabs three NSF grants

Rapoport called the receipt of three NSF grantsThe government department at the College was awarded three grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling $371,807 for the coming school year. Only one other NSF grant was awarded to a government or political science department in the state of Virginia.

Not only did William and Mary’s government department garner most of the Virginia grants, it was given the largest number of the seven active NSF grants awarded nationwide to non-Ph.D. granting government/political science programs. The other four active grants are spread between three universities, Brigham Young University, San Diego State University and Dartmouth.

Even if you add grants given to doctorate granting institutions to the analysis, you only find 10 universities with more grants in their government departments than in William and Mary’s. “That means that of the six top rated Ph.D. programs in political science in the country (US News and World Report, 2005) only three have more NSF grants than do we,” said Ron Rapoport, chairman of the government department. “That’s pretty remarkable.”

The grants, awarded to assistant professor Michael Tierney ($153,680) and professors C. Lawrence Evans ($143,254 ) and Ron Rapoport ($74,873), are for research involving the effectiveness of international environmental aid since World War II, the reasons that politicians and party leaders decide or change their floor votes and the dynamics of third-party influence on the major political parties, respectively.