Three Types of Research Contributions

As CIES has grown larger, more diverse, and more inclusive of participants who work beyond academia, a uniform or “one size fits all” set of guidelines ill-suits many contributors. While there are no rigid boundaries between different types of research, proposal submitters for CIES 2021 will be asked to indicate which type of research best describes their contribution to the conference program: (I) applied research, (II) conceptual/theoretical research, or (III) empirical research. Proposals submitted for CIES 2021 via the online submission system will be evaluated by blind peer review according to slightly different criteria for each type of research contribution.

During the online proposal submission process, you will also be required to select at least 1 and up to 3 keywords to describe the main topic(s) of your proposal; these terms will be used in the subject index of the conference program, so please choose only the terms most relevant to your proposal. You will also be required to select at least 1 and up to 3 geographic descriptors that describe the regional focus of your proposal; you will be able to choose from a list of regions. To preview the list of the keywords please click here, please To preview the list of countries organized by geographic region descriptors (according to UN classifications), please click here.

Type I: Applied Research

Applied research refers to a report on a project or program intervention which demonstrates relevance to the field of comparative and international education, the conference theme, and/or the focus of a CIES Committee or Special Interest Group (SIG). Proposals for presentations of applied research should clearly describe the needs or problems that the given project or program intervention address. Authors should consider what advice they can offer to or seek from the CIES audience, as well as how the project/program might address similar challenges in other contexts. Considerations for applied research should include the impact of the project on the problems targeted, how the project’s impact is assessed, and what might be done differently in future interventions (see rubric below).

Type II: Conceptual/Theoretical Research

Conceptual or theoretical research offers a critique of literature, a program, or an institution relevant to the field of comparative and international education, the conference theme, and/or the focus of a CIES Committee or Special Interest Group (SIG). Proposals for presentations of conceptual/theoretical research should review past literature for diverse perspectives and build on existing work. Theoretical contributions should be situated with respect to geopolitical, national, and/or linguistic contexts and consider implications for future practice, policy, or theory. Authors should reflect on the originality of their own contribution to consider how new knowledge is produced and why it is important to gain such insight.

Type III: Empirical Research

Empirical research offers an evidence-based qualitative, quantitative, and/or historical analysis relevant to the field of comparative and international education, the conference theme, and/or the focus of a CIES Committee or Special Interest Group (SIG). Proposals should include a theoretical framework to guide central research questions as well as methods of data collection and analysis. Conclusions should be drawn in relation to evidence collected as part of the research. Authors should reflect on the originality of their own contribution to consider how new knowledge is produced and why it is important to gain such insight.

Questions to Be Addressed in Proposal Summaries

I. Applied Research II.  Conceptual/

Theoretical Research

III. Empirical Research
How is the topic relevant to comparative and international education, sustainability, or a SIG? How is the topic relevant to comparative and international education, sustainability, or a SIG? How is the topic relevant to comparative and international education, sustainability, or a SIG?
What is the need or the problem that the program or intervention tries to address? In reviewing literature or alternative perspectives, how does the contribution build on existing work? Is there a strong theoretical framework that uses theories to guide questions? Which theories?
What advice do you offer or do you seek at CIES, and how can it address similar challenges elsewhere? How is the theoretical contribution situated in terms of linguistic, national, or geo-political contexts? How are sources of information used to inform choices about data collection and analysis?
What would you have done differently, knowing what you know now about the project or program? What are the implications of the critique for future practice, policy, or theory? How do the research methods and results support the conclusions drawn from the data?
What was the impact of the project on the problem it targeted? How was the project’s impact assessed? How original is the contribution? What do we learn that we did not know, and why is it important? How original is the contribution? What do we learn that we did not know, and why is it important?