Call for Proposals: 2023 CPTSC Research Grants Open Call

Deadline: October 30, 2023

The Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) invites interested members to apply for research grants of up to $2,000. The CPTSC Research Grant supports research pertaining to programmatic issues within the field. The goal of supporting this research is to promote programs in technical, professional, and scientific communication and develop opportunities for the exchange of ideas, information, research, and career connections across technical, professional, and scientific communication communities. Proposals should help to define, develop, or better understand some particular aspect of the work of technical and professional communication program administration with clear application across institutions. 

The number of awards distributed will be determined by organizational funds and quality of proposals. Proposals will be assessed via anonymized peer review. Funded projects should be completed within 12 months of award receipt. 

CPTSC encourages proposals that investigate a discrete question around issues that affect multiple programs and recommend solutions that can be applied across programs. Examples include:

  • Curricular explorations that could lead to best or effective practices (e.g., a multi-site study on online teaching modes, in-depth understanding of courses that are common across programs, an examination of teaching practices and genres across institutions)
  • Faculty and professional development issues, such as the role of contingent faculty or issues around reappointment, promotion, and tenure
  • Relationships with other departments, other writing programs, and administration and what these relationships mean for TPC program administration and curricula
  • Practitioner-related research that could impact curricula and/or teaching practices
  • Multi-institutional research that revolves around a particularly pressing issue,explores innovative curricula and teaching methods, or offers methods for more socially-just instruction or program-building 
  • Development of a resource (e.g., a database, website, or software/application) that program administrators in the field could use to assist with the development or management of programs

Submitting the Proposal

Proposals should be received by October 30, 2023 for full consideration. Decisions will be announced by December 31, 2023. Email proposals as .docx or PDF attachments sent to Please specify which grants program you are applying for in the subject line and body of your email.


  • All applicants on the proposed project must be current CPTSC members.
  • Research projects funded in the previous award cycle are not eligible for repeat funding.
  • No applicant may serve as a reviewer for proposals or participate in funding determinations.
  • Grant committee chairs are not eligible to apply.
  • Graduate student projects are eligible for funding but should list a faculty mentor as a co-applicant.

Organization of the Proposal

Applicants should submit a 2–3 page proposal (single spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins) that contains the following information:

  1. Cover sheet: Include applicant name(s), institutional affiliations, contact information for the project leader, and project abstract of no more than 200 words (this page does not count as part of the length requirements). After this cover sheet, please do not include any information that references your name or institution, so that entries can be peer reviewed without mention of names or specific institutions. Using institutional classifications and categories may be important to explaining the value of your proposal, but please refrain from naming your institution directly. 
  2. Problem Statement: Explain the problem or question that the research project is attempting to solve.
  3. Background: Describe the significance of this question or problem by situating the proposed project in the context of current and previous program-based work in the field, drawing on field literature.
  4. Methodology: Outline the proposed method(s) and methodology. 
  5. Timeline: Include an annotated project timeline that notes the various major research activities/tasks associated with the project, including IRB approval if necessary. (For applicable research, funding will not be released until an IRB approval or exemption has been obtained and submitted to the grants coordinator.)
  6. Budget: Include an itemized project budget. Funds may be used for research expenses only, including materials, research assistants, travel to collect or analyze data, software, etc. Funds may not be used for salary, release time, or conference travel. Institutional overhead and indirect costs are not allowed in the budget. Proposals with matching or in-kind contributions are strongly encouraged.
  7. Statement: Include a statement that the researcher(s) understand and are willing to adhere to the requirements of the grant recipient (outlined below).

Criteria for Selection

Adherence to proposal guidelines

  • Membership will be verified, and only proposals from current CPTSC members will be considered
  • Application should be complete 
  • Project was not funded in the previous award cycle 

Significance and connections to programs 

  • Does the proposal address an important problem/issue that is relevant to CPTSC and its members?
  • How will knowledge and practice be advanced through this project?
  • Does the proposal make clear connections to existing research in the field? 
  • Is the project innovative and original?
  • Does the project employ novel approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies that will help advance knowledge and practice in the field? 
  • Can the results be applied across programs and institutions?

Methods and methodology

  • Are the methods and methodology clearly explained?
  • Are the methods and methodology appropriate for the question being asked?
  • Will the research as described result in useful findings that can impact TPC programs and/or pedagogy?
  • Is there a clear indication that the IRB process (if appropriate) has been or will be completed?
  • Can this project be completed within the 12-18 month time frame? 
  • If applicable, are the choices of site and/or participants suited to the aims of the project and to the project’s completion?

Budget effectiveness

  • Are all costs and expenditures clearly explained?
  • Do cost and expenditures make sense for the overall aims and methods?
  • Do the project outcomes justify the project’s expenses?

Requirements of Grant Recipients

All grant recipients must agree to do the following:

Within 6 months of receiving research funding from CPTSC 

  • Provide the CPTSC Research Grants Committee Chair(s) with a short (1-3 page) progress report on the status of the project at that point in time. 
  • Reach out to the Programmatic Perspectives editor(s) to begin discussing the scope and approach for your final deliverable.

Within 12 months of receiving research funding from CPTSC 

  • Complete the research project.

Within 18 months of receiving research funding from CPTSC/upon conclusion of the project  

  • Present research findings at the annual CPTSC conference (with an automatic acceptance within two years of research award).
  • Provide the CPTSC Research Grants Director with a formal final research report, in the form of a research article that will be published (pending peer review) in the CPTSC journal Programmatic Perspectives in order to share this information with the organization’s membership.

Nota Bene:  Any additional publications or presentations resulting from the research should acknowledge CPTSC grant support for the related project.

Guidance and Questions 

The CPTSC Grants Committee encourages applicants to contact them to discuss projects prior to the funding deadline. Because the committee has archives of existing syllabi and understandings of current field practices, they can help shape current projects and in some cases offer archival resources. Please contact Isidore Dorpenyo ( or Stacey Pigg ( if you wish to discuss your project with the CPTSC Grants Committee.

Questions relating to CPTSC’s Research Grants Program, the proposal submission guidelines, or the proposal submission and review processes should be emailed to Isidore Dorpenyo ( or Stacey Pigg (