2011 Research Grant Proposals (call)


Funding Opportunities and General Information
The Research Grants Committee (RGC) of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) invites proposals for research projects that investigate issues and practices in writing program administration.

Organization of the Proposal
Please organize your proposal into the following sections:

1. Cover page with:

  • Names and institutional affiliations of all investigators (do not identify yourself or your institution in any other part of the proposal);

  • Project title;

  • Contact information: mailing address, email address, and phone number for main contact person;

  • Funding Preference: state whether you want your proposal to be considered for “General Research” or “Targeted Research” funding. (Note: If you choose “Targeted Research,” and your proposal is not funded in that category, it will be considered for funding from the “General Grants” funds.)

2. Project overview of no more than two pages, single-spaced, in which you do the following:

  • Explain the problem or question your research project will investigate or attempt to solve, and make clear, if necessary, why this is a significant problem/question for the field.

  • Briefly sketch the methodology you plan to use to approach the problem.

  • If appropriate, describe how the project will address the problem or question you have identified.

  • Provide a timetable detailing how the project will proceed.

  • Connect the project to previously published research and scholarship.

  • Describe your (and/or your team’s) expertise and experience in this area.

  • Describe how the results will be shared professionally (see “Expectations of Reward Recipients” below).

3. Realistic, detailed budget on a separate page. For grants over $1000, in-kind budget items or alternative budget sources must be included in the budget. State also whether you will accept partial funding.


Criteria for Selection
Successful proposals pursue research that will help the CWPA achieve its mission and goals as stated in its constitution:

The National Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) represents teachers and researchers whose teaching and scholarship focus on intellectual and pedagogical aspects of writing programs and their administration. Its goal is to provide resources, support, and services on matters attendant to the administration of writing programs. Writing programs, for CWPA’s purposes, specifically include all writing-across-the-disciplines programs, writing centers, and writing courses with multiple sections. .
The RGC will use these criteria to conduct blind review of all proposals.

Significance, relevance, generalizability

  • Does the project address an important problem that is relevant to the work of writing program administrators—i.e., that will make an original and significant contribution?

  • If the aims of the project are achieved, how will writing-program-administration knowledge and practice be advanced?

  • Will the project’s aims apply to contexts outside of the immediate institutional context of origin? (Note: “proof of concept” and “model program” projects may be considered generalizable.)

  • Innovation

  • Is the project original and innovative? For example: does the project challenge existing practices or address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?

  • Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?

Methods and feasibility

  • Are the methods clearly described?

  • Is the methodology adequately developed, well-reasoned, and likely to result in useful findings?

  • Environment(s)

  • Is/are the environment/environments well-suited to the aims—i.e., does the proposed project benefit from the unique features of the institution, or populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?

  • Not required but helpful: Does the proposal aim to study populations or settings that have been underrepresented in writing-program research?

Cost Effectiveness

  • Does the budget clearly explain costs?

  • Are the budget items reasonable? When appropriate, does the budget (or narrative) explain why certain items are justified?

  • Do the project’s outcomes justify the project’s expenses—are the CWPA and its members getting a good “bang for the buck?”

  • Not required for grants under $1000 but helpful for all proposals: Does the budget include in-kind or matching funds from other sources (such as the institution or other funding agencies)?

Sharing of project findings

  • Not required but helpful: Is there a plan for sharing the results broadly, such as the creation of a website or other digital venue?

Restrictions and Preferences
Ordinarily, funding will not be given for

  • Release time for the grantee or others

  • Outside consultants or evaluators

  • The production of non-researched materials

  • Dissertation research

  • Equipment

  • Travel to present research at WPA or any other conference (funding for travel to conferences for research purposes may be considered)

  • Supplements to existing grants, unless it is clear that the CWPA grant provides an opportunity to extend the project in new directions

  • Institutional overhead (in rare cases, proposals requesting a maximum of 10% of the award total may be funded)

  • Multiple proposals in a given funding year (i.e., do not submit more than one proposal)

  • Proposals from CWPA Executive Board or Research Grants Committee members who have served during the current year or previous three years

The RGC will give first consideration for awards to those who have not received an award for three or more years.

Expectations of Award Recipients
Publication: Recipients are expected to publish or present their research in one or more of the following venues:


  • WPA: Writing Program Administration, the journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators: grantees are expected to submit articles resulting from the research to WPA for first consideration;

  • other print or online journals;

  • digital venues: research articles can be uploaded to ERIC (free), Google Scholar (free), or other venues;

  • WPA Summer Conference (held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2011 and in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2012); research can be presented during a session or as a poster.

Final Report: Grantees are expected to submit a final written report of their research outcomes to the Chair of the Research Grants Committee by June 15 of the year after the completion of the grant. Ordinarily, reports will be five to seven pages in length, but up to ten pages is acceptable. These reports should outline specific plans for submitting an article reporting the results to the WPA: Writing Program Administration journal and/or other plans for sharing results.