If you are interested in dramatically improving the social sciences while advancing your own knowledge and publications, consider applying for a FAST Fellowship.
FAST Fellows Overview
The Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory (FAST) welcomes your participation as we strive to understand, analyze, and advance social theory within and between disciplines such as psychology, sociology, business, policy, and more. In this section, we will outline the main areas where Fellows might expect to work (Administrative, Analytical, and Exploratory). Each of these areas is critical to the success of FAST and the rapid advancement of the social sciences.
This area includes a wide variety of technical, communications, and related activities needed to help FAST run effectively. Fellows in this area, depending on their contract, might engage in web-building, database support, developing and/or sustaining linkages between FAST and other organizations, marketing (or, “spreading the meme”), recruiting new Fellows, fundraising, strategic planning, editing, publishing, and more.
The general goal of this section is to provide personal, organizational, and infrastructure support for Fellows who are working to analyze and advance theory.
The skills you develop and apply in this functional area will prove useful in your career as a scholar or practitioner. Consider this an “open” organization where you have the opportunity to define your own job – and support others as they work to help the body of theory in the social sciences!
Fellows working in this area are doing some of the “core” work of FAST by an analyzing social theory. Work here includes: choosing a theory (or body of theory), conducting rigorous, scholarly, analyses of the target theories, and writing the results for publishing in academic journals and in the FAST database.
One goal of this area is to help Fellows become published authors in the academic literature – with all the learning and experience that entails. We do this to support your growth and prestige as a scholar.
Another important goal is to build a storehouse of theories (and their analyses) that scholars may draw upon for their research and practice. By providing these analyses, we are serving the global community of scholars and practitioners – providing them with critical information about which theories to use—and why.
Fellows wishing to work in this area should already have a Master’s level of understanding in some field of social theory (economics, psychology, sociology, etc.). Before beginning their analyses, Fellows must demonstrate proficiency in one of two areas of metatheory (construction and analysis).
Critical Qualitative/Quantitative Metatheoretical Analysis
Here, specific criteria are applied to the analysis of individual theories and bodies of theory to determine their complexity, robustness, and other related measures. The goal is to conduct analyses that are rigorous, quantitative, and repeatable.
Critical Metatheoretical Construction
Here, multiple theories are integrated to create an overarching metatheory that includes and subsumes the constituent theories. Here, it is important to make only connections that are clearly implied by existing theories.
Using the analytical tools of metatheory, the next step for a Fellow is to write a paper for publication in the academic literature. Using the specific tools within the analytical or the constructive approach (or perhaps both) Fellows will investigate a topic of their own choosing. This will include: Scanning the literature to determine relevant articles, Skimming those articles to find useful theories, Deconstructing theories into causal propositions, Analyzing those propositions, and writing the paper using a template provided for that purpose. Fellow will identify appropriate journals, submit the paper, receive feedback, and revise the paper as needed.
FAST cannot guarantee publication of your paper. However, we want you to be succeed and will work with you at every step of the way to maximize your opportunity for success. Your published paper will provide a benchmark – a milestone for the advancement of theory in your topic. The results of your analysis will also be added to our database—a resource for scholars and practitioners in your field.
Fellows wishing to work in this area should contact the director with a research proposal. Even if you have the start of idea, we would be glad to talk with you about it – we appreciate your creativity!
If you are interested in becoming a Fellow at FAST, please submit a CV and letter of interest. We look forward to hearing from you.