Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication


CPTSC Awards, Grants, and Scholarship Information

Research Grants

2013 CFP

The Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) invites interested members to apply for research grants up to $1,500. Proposed research projects should relate to one or more of the following CPTSC goals:

  • To promote programs in technical and scientific communication,
  • To promote research pertaining to programmatic issues in technical and scientific communication, or
  • To develop opportunities for the exchange of ideas and information concerning programs, research, and career opportunities.

CPTSC funds projects that contribute to our collective knowledge about all aspects of program administration. Successful projects in the past have compared programs via surveys, conducted textual analyses to inform program marketing, and studied the state of the professoriate. Funds may be used for expenses, materials, salary, and/or travel. CPTSC encourages faculty-student collaborations on projects.


To apply for a CPTSC research grant, interested CPTSC members should submit a 2-3 page proposal that contains the following information:

  1. Project title on all pages
  2. Name, institutional affiliation, and contact information for the project investigator(s), on page 1, separable from items 3-6.
  3. A brief project description
  4. A discussion of the significance of the project to members of CPTSC and identification of potential publication locations
  5. An outline of the project methodology or research tasks, including IRB approval if human subjects are involved in any capacity
  6. A projected budget statement (excluding institutional overhead and indirect costs. Request a waiver from your institution if necessary.

Specific information will be provided each year.

2010 CFP

Previous Award Winners


Janel Bloch, Northern Kentucky University, “Learning from Interns: Recommendations for programs in technical and scientific communication”

Laura Palmer, Southern Polytechnic State University,  “Information Literacy Skills of Incoming Master’s Students in Online Technical Communication Programs: An Examination of Faculty Expectations and Student Competencies”

Rebecca Rickly and Gregory Zobel, Texas Tech,  “Doctoral Student Research Confidence and Research Challenges”

Heather Shearer and Henrietta Shirk, Montana Tech, “Foundational Research to Develop Resources for Health Communication Programs”


Lisa Meloncon, University of Cincinnati: TechComm Programmatic Central: Updating and Populating a Database of Comprehensive Programmatic Data

Michael Salvo, Purdue University, European Developments in User-Centered Design: Articulating Centers of Practice

Susan Youngblood, Jo Mackiewicz, and Stewart Whittemore, Auburn University, Database for Service Learning Opportunities in Technical Communication (SLOT-C Database)


Susan Popham: African-American Women in a Technical Writing Program

Karl Stolley, Freddrick Logan, and Mathew Ephraim: Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Distance Education


Ann Brady and Laurence Jose: Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Scientific and Technical Communication

Ed Malone: The Role of Historical Studies in Technical Communication Curricula

Elizabeth Avery Gomez: Towards a Lexicon for Diversity in Technical and Scientific Communication Programs: Strengthening the Message in Academic Programs and Professional Organizations


Carolyn Rude and Kelli Cargile Cook: The Academic Job Market in Technical Communication, 2005-2006

Jim Nugent—Technical Communication Certificate Program Instructors: Their Situation and Professional Status

Nancy Coppola and Norbert Elliot—A Community Research Model for Assessment of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication


Kirk St. Amant—Expanding CPTSC Program Review Activities: Creating a Reviewer Network

Stevens Amidon and Stuart Blythe: Economics, Technology, and the Management of Technical Communication


Kenneth T. Rainey and Roy K. Turner: “STC Management Interviews”

Doreen Stärke-Meyerring and Ann Hill Duin: “Global Program Partnerships in Technical Communication”

Sandra Harner: “Trends in Undergraduate Curricula in Technical and Scientific Communication Programs”


Charlotte Thralls, Mark Zachry, and Kelli Cargile Cook: A Profile of Doctoral Graduates in Professional, Technical, and Scientific Communication, 1995-2000

Diversity Scholarship

Bedford/St. Martin's Diversity Scholarship

The CPTSC Graduate Student Diversity Award

Information and Application

Bedford/St. Martin’s, a leading publisher of textbooks in the field of technical communication, has agreed to sponsor a scholarship for the purpose of supporting the goal of CPTSC to increase diversity in its membership and in the field of technical communication. Eligible candidates for this scholarship include graduate students whose race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and/or nationality are underrepresented in the technical communication field. The scholarship is provided to assist the recipient with expenses associated with the CPTSC conference, up to the amount of the scholarship. It waives the conference fee and provides the winner a $350 scholarship from Bedford/St. Martin’s with an additional $150 supplement from an anonymous donor for a total of $500.

Applicants should satisfy all of the following criteria for the scholarship:

  • be a full or part-time graduate student (NOTE: Applicants are eligible for the scholarship if they are graduate students at the time of the conference at which the scholarship is given.)
  • be enrolled in a technical communication graduate program or closely related field
  • be a member of CPTSC by the deadline for current year conference registration
  • attend the current year annual meeting of CPTSC to receive the scholarship
  • be a member of a traditionally underrepresented group (racial, ethnic, and/or LGBTQ)  


  • be a person with "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity" (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)


  • be an international student from a nation that is underrepresented in the technical communication field

Selection Factors
The scholarship will be given to the graduate student who best meets the eligibility criteria and who exhibits the most potential in the field of Technical and Scientific Communication in his or her studies and research, as determined by the Diversity Scholarship review panel.

Applicants must submit an application form with all needed attachments by March 20, 2013. The scholarship committee will notify the recipients of the scholarship by e-mail no later than April 20, 2013.

NOTE: The scholarship recipient must attend the CPTSC conference to receive the scholarship.

Submission Guidelines
All application materials are to be submitted electronically in one PDF file to Label the file in the following way: CPTSC_DiversityAward_YourLastName_FirstName.pdf. See the Bedford/St. Martin’s Scholarship application form for the list of materials to be submitted.

If you have any questions, please email Natasha Jones at

CPTSC Service Awards

Established in 1998, the CPTSC Service Award honors members with a distinguished service history.

Persons nominated to receive the Distinguished Service Award will in general possess the following characteristics and attributes:

  1. They must be members of CPTSC at the time of their nomination.
  2. They should be members of long standing in CPTSC with at least seven consecutive years of membership sometime during their careers. The Distinguished Service Selection Committee (DSSC) can recommend exceptions to this rule but only for members of extraordinary merit.
  3. The nominees must have made significant long-term contributions to programming in technical communication. It is expected the DSSC will consider only members who have established significant careers in technical communication programming, working both on the local and the national levels. The key question will be, "have technical communication programs been significantly affected in a positive manner by this person's career"?

Honorary Distinguished Service Award
The DSSC of the Executive Committee with the advice of the DSSC may from time to time choose non-members to receive an Honorary Distinguished Service Award. Such honorary recipients should have made significant contributions to CPTSC or to programming in technical communication. This contribution could be either as a career-long emphasis or as a significant special contribution.

Past Recipients

2017 no award given

2016 Donna Kain | Honorary DSW David Russell

2015 Sam Geonetta

2014 Tracy Bridgeford

2013 Kelli Cargile Cook and Nancy Walters Coppola | Honorary George Hayhoe


2011 Stuart Selber

2010 Jan Tovey (posthumously), Jeff Grabill

2009 Gerald Savage | Honorary DSW Michael Steehouder

2008 Bruce Maylath | Honorary DSW Donald Cunningham

2007 Sherry Little, James Zappen

2006 Karen Schnakenberg

2005 Katherine Staples

2004 Ken Rainey, Debby Andrews

2003 Steve Bernhardt

2002 Dan Riordan

2001 Carolyn Rude

2000 Mary Coney

1999 Thomas Warren, Laurie Hayes

1998: Tom Pearsall, Virginia Book, Marilyn Samuels

CPTSC Award for Excellence in Program Assessment

CPTSC Award for Excellence in Program Assessment

This award recognizes outstanding contributions that individuals, collaborators, or teams have made to program assessment in technical and scientific communication. Nominees will be evaluated for the contributions they have made to one or more of the following areas and according to the following criteria:

Area 1: Research (Individual or collaborative)

Evaluation Criteria: Significant publication(s) of an article/articles or a book/books that focus on assessment and assessment practices

Area 2: Implementation (Individual or collaborative)

Evaluation Criteria: Successful development and implementation of a  programmatic assessment model or method

Area 3: Service (Individual or collaborative)

Evaluation Criteria: Significant contribution to assessment practice/research on a local, regional, or national level

CPTSC Award for Excellence in Program Assessment Committee Criteria   


Read the 2015 CFP here.

2014 Award-winning Program

The Committee for the 2014 CPTSC Award for Excellence in Program Assessment selected the Bachelor of Science Program in Professional Communication and Emerging Media at University Wisconsin Stout for outstanding contributions that its faculty have made to program assessment in technical and scientific communication in the area of Implementation.

2014 Award-winner

The Committee for the 2014 CPTSC Award for Excellence in Program Assessment selected Dr. Charles Sides for outstanding contributions to program assessment in technical and scientific communication as a practitioner and editor in the area of Service.

CPTSC Service

Program Review

he CPTSC conducts reviews of academic programs in technical and scientific communication. The documentation for this process is available here at this site.

Application for Review
Program administrators who are intersted in having their programs reviewed submit an Application.

In preparation for a program review, faculty for the program complete and submit the Self Study.

For more information about the process, contact either ...

CPTSC Documents

Administrator's Committee White Papers

The CPTSC Executive Committee recently established an Administrator’s Committee, which is tasked with with providing administrative and teaching resources to membership. The first project of the Administrator’s Committee, chaired by Tammy Rice-Bailey, was to establish a subcommittee to develop white papers, or reports, to inform membership concisely about complex issues facing the field of Technical and Professional Communication. This White Paper Subcommittee, consisting of Rice-Bailey, Felicia Chong, and Aimee Roundtree, has completed their first three papers on the topics of program assessment, service learning, and program recruitment. These white papers can be accessed below.

If there are particular topics you would like to see covered, or if you are interested in potentially writing or contributing to a white paper, please contact Tammy Rice-Bailey, rice-bailey@msoe,edu. Suggested topics are reviewed for acceptance by the White Paper Subcommittee. We hope to hear from you!

The CPTSC constitution was revised October 2011, and it is currently undergoing a review. Read more about the joining the organizaiton under Membership Information.
CPTSC Archives

At the 1994 Annual Business meeting in Las Cruces, NM, the CPTSC Membership adopted a resolution initiating an archive of organizational materials at the University of Minnesota.

The archived materials are available at the Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Because digital copies have been made, this archive is considered closed. However, digital copies will be available soon on the Andersen Library's website.When available, an announcement will be made on the CPTSC discussion list.

Future archived materials will be digitized and stored on an external hard drive. Please contact Tracy Bridgeford if you have any materials you'd like to include in the archive.

Annotated bibliography

During the 2008 summer semester, Jessica Pearson, University of Minnesota student, interned with CPTSC creating an annotated bibliography of each document in the archives. An annotated bibliography of the archives will be available soon.