The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) Research Grant Program 2018, USA


May 07, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) Research Grant Program 2018, USA

2018/2019 WFI Research Grant Program

WFI Research Grants

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) – housed within Villanova University’s Department of Communication – was founded on the principle that the study and practice of communication requires attention to values, ethics and social justice. One of the ways that WFI enacts this mission is through the funding of research grants. These grants support the scholarly work of Communication scholars at Villanova University and across the world, work examining communication, its impact on the world around us and its ability to create social change and social justice.

Call for Research Proposals

Communication scholars across the nation, and across the world, are invited to apply for funds to support initial or ongoing phases of scholarly research aimed at presentation and publication. Although program does not limit the grants to a specific methodological orientation or subdisciplinary focus, all projects supported by the WFI have two things in common: they make communication the primary, and not secondary, focus, and they engage communication in terms of its impact on the world around us, its ability to create social change.


Research Grants are available for faculty at Villanova and at other institutions of higher education, postdoctoral researchers, doctoral candidates, and other doctoral-level scholars. However, eligibility to apply for the WFI grant program is limited to those in Communication or a closely related discipline.


The WFI Research Grants are awarded selectively on the basis of academic peer review of all submitted proposals; in recent years,  acceptance rate has typically been 13-15%. Awards for research grants are typically in the range of $5,000-$10,000, though larger amounts may be awarded for projects that are deemed especially meritorious. The total number of grants awarded will vary, based upon budgetary constraints; however, in recent years, the program has awarded 5-8 WFI Research Grants each year. Funds granted by the WFI and Villanova University (as an educational institution) may be applied to the hiring of graduate assistants, acquisition of resources or equipment, travel, and/or any other appropriate research-related expenses. However, these funds may not be used to provide or supplement salaries. In addition, the WFI and Villanova (as an educational institution) do not provide funds for indirect costs associated with any grant. Each submitted proposal should include a budget that clearly indicates how granted funds will be used, and that these funds will not be construed as salary or as indirect costs. 

Application Process

Applicants for the WFI research grant program should submit formal proposals to the Director of the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, Dr. Bryan Crable, using online system (link provided in the following paragraph). All applications will be evaluated by a committee convened by the WFI Director, one whose members' expertise reflects the content and methodology of the proposed project. Proposals for 2018/2019 WFI Research Grants are due by Monday, May 7, 2018, at 11:59pm EST. Absent extraordinary circumstances, proposals will not be reviewed or considered for funding if received after this date. Review of proposals will normally be completed within one month, absent extenuating circumstances.

You will be asked to create a Submittable account (if you don’t currently have one); the website will take you through the process of submitting your application, and will allow you to upload files to support this application. You will be asked to provide contact information (including institutional affiliation) for the PI(s) who will be directing the project, along with the title of your project.

In addition, you will be prompted by the website to upload the following 3 files (in doc, pdf, or rtf formats):

  1. A current CV of Principal Investigator(s). Multiple files can be uploaded.
  2. Abstract of the proposed research project in 500-750 words. 
  3. The full proposal. This should be prepared for blind review, using an abbreviated title as the file name (e.g., burkeellison_proposal.pdf). This file should include the following elements:
  • Narrative of the proposed research project. This should be no more than 10 pages in length (single-spaced, 12 point font, 1" margins), and should include: o

-Rationale: (a) a clear statement of the research goals of the project and importance of the topic, (b) a description of how the proposed project exemplifies the mission of the WFI, and (c) a description of the potential audience(s) for and concrete impact of the research project.

-Research Proposal: (a) brief positioning of the project within the relevant scholarly literature, (b) a clear statement of the theoretical/conceptual framework and/or methodology to be employed in the project, and, if applicable, (c) statement explaining any ethical considerations (e.g., human subjects review) related to the proposed research. NB: Although we will award grants to projects that are in the process of securing IRB approval, we will not disburse funds until we have been provided with evidence of IRB approval. o

-Time schedule: a description of the stages of the project and its expected beginning and ending dates.

-Outcome section: a description of the research outcome that will evidence success of the project.

  • References: a complete & properly-formatted list of sources cited within proposal narrative.
  • Budget: A complete list of all resources and financial support needed for the project should be provided. This should also include a list and brief description of any other sources of funding for the proposed project (grants, awards, etc.).

Evaluation Process

Evaluation will be proceed according to the standards of blind peer review. The following criteria will be used by the Director and the evaluation committee to judge the merits of each proposal: 

  • The proposal includes all information requested, and is formatted according to guidelines.
  • The proposal has a clear rationale and a set of well-defined objectives which will advance the understanding of communication as central to social change and social justice.
  • The proposed project addresses timely and important topics, in a novel or innovative way.
  • The proposal is methodologically and conceptually sound, and makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature.
  • The project is judged as feasible, given the time schedule, the amount of support requested, and the resources available to the researcher(s).
  • The funding requested is appropriate to the scope of the project. NB: The WFI Director and evaluation committee reserve the right to award grants to applicants that may be less than or more than the amount requested.

Outcomes Report

Successful grant recipients will be required to submit a brief progress report to the WFI Director midway through the timeline proposed, indicating progress toward the project's goals. Following the completion of the project, grant recipients may be asked to present the results of a project supported by a WFI grant on Villanova's campus, to provide an interview to be published on the WFI’s or Villanova’s website, or to summarize initial results in a WFI or Villanova University publication. Recipients will also be required to complete a final report, summarizing the outcome of the research project supported by the grant. Recipients are required to submit this report before requesting additional grants from the WFI, or no later than 12 months after receiving the grant. Failure to submit a report may result in ineligibility for consideration for future grants.

WFI Recognition

All scholars whose WFI-supported research is published (whether online or in print) are required to include an acknowledgement of the support of Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society—and to provide a copy to the WFI’s director.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
March 07, 2018
Link To Original