Advancing the Discipline Grants

Call for Proposals 

NCA funds projects and events that advance the discipline of communication. While there are many funding outlets for communication scholars to seek support for academic disciplinary research, NCA is uniquely positioned to support work that is focused on the discipline itself. All funded activities align with the goals of NCA's strategic plan and have widespread impact that reaches beyond a single department, campus, or NCA unit.  

Information about projects and events that have been funded by NCA in the past. 

Funding proposals submitted through this request for proposals should be for one-time funding not to exceed $5,000. (Contact Trevor Parry-Giles for larger and/or multi-year requests.) Preference is given to stand-alone projects/events, but partial funding of larger projects/events will be considered provided the funding is allocated to a specific piece of the larger endeavor.

Eligibility/ Funding Parameters 

  • Principal Investigators must be NCA members at the time of submission.
  • Officers, directors, trustees (the Legislative Assembly and its Executive Committee), key employees, substantial contributors or employees thereof, or grant selection committee members are not eligible to receive grants from NCA.
  • Travel, equipment, and other funding categories will only be allocated for items that are in direct support of the proposed project or event. Examples of things that would not be eligible for funding under this term are attendance at NCA’s annual convention and purchase of office computers. Funds may not be used to augment the budget of NCA convention-related activity.
  • NCA will pay up to 10 percent of indirect costs, but the total funding amount including both direct and indirect costs cannot exceed the $5,000 funding limit. Funds are disbursed to identified fiscal agents, not to individuals.

Application Process 

  • The next application deadline is Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 5 p.m. Eastern.
  • Each proposal should be submitted with a funding request form (Word version) (PDF version
  • Proposals should be submitted by the deadline as one PDF document containing all applicable information to LaKesha Anderson, NCA Assistant Director of Academic and Professional Affairs, at
  • All proposals should include the following:
    1. A detailed description of the proposed activity which includes answers to the following questions:
      • For events
        • What is the topic of the event?
        • Why is this an important topic and how can the event be used to advance the discipline of communication? How does this align with NCA’s strategic plan?
        • In what way(s) will NCA members benefit from this event?  How many people are likely to benefit?
        • What is the planned structure of the event?
        • What are the logistical details of the event, e.g., dates, location, organizers?    
      • For projects
        • What do you propose to investigate?
        • Why is this an important project and how can the results be used to advance the discipline of communication? How does this align with NCA’s strategic plan?
          What is the methodology by which you plan to accomplish this?
        • In what way(s) will NCA members benefit from this event? How many people are likely to benefit?
        • What tangible deliverables will be produced through this project?    
    2. A detailed budget including rationale for each expense and a list of other confirmed funding sources; and
    3. A CV for each Principal Investigator that is no longer than three pages long and includes full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation.    

Obligations of Grant Recipients 
The funding request form describes the assessment protocols as well as requirements regarding promotional activities and sponsorship acknowledgment. All grantees are required to meet these obligations.

All applicants are encouraged to check with their home institution regarding the rules and regulations involved with accepting grants to be sure applicants follow acceptable practice for their institution and state. NCA recommends that you share the protocol for assessment, reporting and promotional activities as outlined in the funding request form with your grant officer before applying.
For counsel on proposal development, contact Trevor Parry-Giles at or 202-534-1103202-534-1116.