NCA Research Cultivation Grants

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Application Deadline is September 1, 2024.


The Research Cultivation Grant (RCG) supports NCA’s mission to “foster professional success in research.” The specific goal of the RCG is to facilitate first-time grant-seeking for those without prior grant experience and/or those desiring to build a foundation for future grant pursuits. In this sense, RCG is a grant-seeding program with both short-term and long-term promise. Funded projects will have the potential to make significant contributions to the study and practices of communication.

RCG-funded projects will be those proposing innovative research (such as understudied domains, novel or creative methodologies), promoting IDEA as defined by NCA’s strategic plan (focused on historically marginalized groups), and/or engaged scholarship (such as research mobilized in non-academic contexts of pressing social, civic, and ethical concerns, or that translates communication theory into practice).

Applicants may seek support up to $15,000. Applications are due September 1 for awards given in following year.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. All investigators listed on the grant must be NCA members at the time of submission.
  2. Project investigators must have no prior research grant funding since completion of the terminal degree. Applicants are required to hold a terminal degree.
  3. 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 be considered for or to receive grants from NCA.

Funding Parameters

  1. Funding expenses must be directly related to the conduct of the research. Funding cannot be used for: conference travel or events, faculty salary or equivalent, computers and hardware for routine tasks like managing and tabulating data, writing or editing documents or manuscript preparation, construction and remodeling of facilities, subscriptions to journals.
  2. Funds must be dispersed within one year of receiving the award.
  3. NCA will pay up to 10 percent of indirect costs, but the total funding amount, including both direct and indirect costs, cannot exceed the $15,000 funding limit.
  4. Funds are disbursed to identified university fiscal agents, not to individuals.
  5. Undergraduate and graduate appointments must be on an hourly basis.

All questions should be directed to Dane Claussen,

Applications require the submission of a single document that includes three parts: A detailed description of the proposed project, a detailed budget, and a CV for each applicant. Applications that do not meet eligibility requirements or whose applications do not provide the following criteria will be rejected prior to review.

A. Detailed description of the proposed project written for a diverse audience of Communication scholars, no longer than 10 pages, double-spaced, which includes answers to the following questions:

  • What do you propose to investigate?
  • How is your project innovative and/or focused on innovation, IDEA, and/or engaged scholarship?
  • How clearly does the proposal articulate the goals of the project to a diverse audience of Communication scholars?
  • Why is this an important project?
  • How does this project align with NCA’s strategic plan?
  • Which methods, models, theories, or frameworks inform the proposed project?
  • What deliverables will result from this project?
  • How will this grant advance your program of research?

B. Detailed budget, no more than two pages, including rationale for each expense.

C. CVs for each Principal Investigator that are no longer than three pages and includes full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation.

Help for Grant Seekers

Applicants are strongly encouraged to view and utilize NCA's resources for composing and submitting grant proposals. Click here to view these resources.

All grant recipients will be required to attend the NCA Annual Convention in the year following their award. Recipients will serve as panelists and provide reflections on their grant experience (to include development, process, etc.). 

All grant recipients will be required to provide a final report (detailing status on articulated deliverables, financial outlays, conference paper submissions, article submissions or publications, creative/original activity, media production, and any other deliverables that may be result from the funded project) within six months of the grant completion date. 

All grant recipients are required to follow the reporting requirements outlined in NCA’s Assessment Protocol and follow the NCA Promotional Activities and Sponsorship Acknowledgment Policy. 

All grant recipients are expected 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 NCA’s Assessment Protocol and NCA’s Promotional Activities and Sponsorship Acknowledgment Policy with your grant officer before applying.

All scholars funded through this grant are required to include acknowledgment of support by NCA in any publications or presentations resulting from the RCG.