CPTSC invites interested members to apply for research grants. Proposed research projects should relate to one or more of the following CPTSC goals to:

  • promote programs in technical, professional, and scientific communication
  • promote research pertaining to programmatic issues in technical, professional, and scientific communication
  • 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.  Funds may be used for expenses, materials, salary, and/or travel. CPTSC encourages faculty-student collaborations on projects and inter-institutional projects.

Award amounts vary, but typically, we will fund two awards between $1500-$3500.



2018 Grant Applications Due April 15, 2018

2018 CPTSC Research Grants CFP (*pdf for easy download)

The Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) invites interested members to apply for research grants of up to $1,500. The CPTSC Research Grant is designed to promote programs in technical, professional, and scientific communication; support research pertaining to programmatic issues within the field; 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. CPTSC will award a maximum of three research awards, and the number distributed will be determined by organizational funds and quality of proposals. CPTSC reserves the right to alter allocations based on the quality and quantity of submissions received. 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 or 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 and/or explores innovative curricula and teaching methods

● 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


● 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.

● CPTSC grants committee and executive committee members are not eligible for funding.

● 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)

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. (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: A statement that the researcher(s) understand and are willing to adhere to the requirements of the grant recipient (outlined below)

Criteria for Selection

Meets 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 has been or will be completed?

● Can this project be completed within the 12-18 month time frame?

● Is the environment 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 with a short (1-3 page) progress report on the status of the project at that point in time.

Within 12 months of receiving research funding from CPTSC

● Complete the research project.

● Propose to present research findings at the annual CPTSC conference (within two years of research


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

● 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 P rogrammatic

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 executive 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 Stacey Pigg ( ) or Joanna Schreiber ( if you wish to discuss your project with the CPTSC Executive Committee.

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

Submitting the Proposal

Proposals should be received by April 15, 2018 for full consideration. Decisions will be announced by June 1, 2018. Email proposals as .rtf or .doc attachments sent to Stacey Pigg ( ) or Joanna Schreiber (