Call for Proposals: 2023 CPTSC Research Grants to Promote Anti-racist Programs and Pedagogies

The mission of this grants program is to solicit research related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in technical and scientific communication programs, specifically targeting programmatic research related to multiple-marginalized students and faculty. This grants program is a collaboration between the CPTSC Executive Committee and the CPTSC Diversity Committee in an effort to reaffirm CPTSC’s commitment to anti-racist praxis.  

Deadline: October 30, 2023

The Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) invites interested members to apply for grants of up to $2,000 to support research that directly promotes anti-racism in technical, professional, and scientific communication programs and pedagogies. This grant was established by CPTSC as a first step in supporting the CPTSC Diversity Committee’s call to redress anti-Black racism in technical and scientific communication through the CPTSC Grants Program. Read the full text of the Diversity Committee’s call for anti-racist action here. CPTSC thanks Laura Gonzales, CPTSC Diversity Committee Chair, Victor Del Hierro, and Ann Shivers-McNair for their invaluable advice in drafting this call.

The systemic realities of racism and white supremacy are entrenched and upheld in covert, invisible, and observable ways at the classroom, program, and institutional levels. Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous policies and practices harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as faculty, administrators, and students (Haas & Eble, 2018; Jones & Williams, 2018;  Williams & Pimentel, 2016). More research is needed to make visible racist pedagogical, programmatic, and institutional practices and to promote anti-racist practices in technical, professional, and scientific communication programs and pedagogies. One avenue for working toward developing anti-racist practices in technical, professional, and scientific communication is to learn from scholars, teachers, and students working in these areas at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) (Jones, Savage, Yu, 2014; Savage and Matveeva, 2011; McKoy, 2019). Thus, CPTSC seeks research that goes beyond opposing or acknowledging racism, to exposing racist practices and providing concrete solutions for redressing racist pedagogical and programmatic practices in the field. 

CPTSC encourages proposals that investigate a discrete question addressing racism and white supremacy across multiple programs or that recommend anti-racist solutions that can be applied across programs. Proposals must establish a direct application to technical, scientific, and professional communication programs. 

Areas of inquiry include:

  • Curricular analyses that promote anti-racist practices in various areas (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
  • Anti-racist hiring and administrative practices
  • Anti-racist assessment practices
  • Anti-racist pedagogy
  • Anti-racist curriculum design 
  • Recruitment and retention of students and faculty of color
  • Institutional support and culture

Proposals will be assessed via anonymized peer review. Projects led by scholars at and projects about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be privileged for funding. Funded projects should be completed within 12 months of award receipt. 

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.


  • At least one applicant per research team should be a current CPTSC member at time of proposal. All members of the research team must be current CPTSC members to receive funding. Membership information and application is found on the CPTSC membership page. Please contact the grants committee co-chairs if you have questions about your membership status or if membership poses an undue hardship. 
  • Projects that involve non-academic community partnerships are encouraged, and non-academic community members do not need to be CPTSC members to participate.  
  • No applicant may serve as a reviewer for proposals or participate in funding determinations. 
  • 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 to 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.
  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. 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 according to the guidelines above.
  • Application should be complete. 
  • Project was not funded in the previous award cycle. 

Significance and connections to anti-racist programs and pedagogies 

  • Does the proposal promote anti-racist practices in technical, professional, and scientific communication programs and pedagogies?
  • Does the proposal investigate a discrete question addressing racism and/or white supremacy?
  • 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? The committee understands that many research offices may be backed up after being closed for COVID-19.
  • Can this project be completed within the 12-18-month time frame? 
  • If applicable, are the choices of sites 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 (though requests for extensions may be made if projects are affected by COVID-19 safety measures):

Within 6 months of receiving research funding from CPTSC 

  • Provide the CPTSC Research Grants Committee Chair 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 the 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 (


Jones, N., Savage, G., & Yu, H. (2014). Tracking our progress: Diversity in technical and professional communication programs. Programmatic Perspectives, 6(1), 132-152.

Jones, N. N., & Williams, M. F. (2018). Technologies of disenfranchisement: Literacy tests and black voters in the US from 1890 to 1965. Technical Communication, 65(4), 371-386.

Haas, A. M., & Eble, M. F. (Eds.). (2018). Key theoretical frameworks: Teaching technical communication in the twenty-first century. University Press of Colorado.

Mckoy, T. T. (2019). Y’all call it technical and professional communication, we call it# ForTheCulture: The use of amplification rhetorics in black communities and their implications for technical and professional communication studies. PhD diss., East Carolina University.

Savage, G., & Matveeva, N. (2011). Toward racial and ethnic diversity in technical communication programs. Programmatic Perspectives, 3(1), 58-85.

Williams, M. F., & Pimentel, O. (2016). Communicating race, ethnicity, and identity in technical communication. Routledge.