Promotion of Communication in Emerging Democracies

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Submission deadline is September 1, 2024.


Grant Funded by The Dale G. Leathers Memorial Fund to Promote Communication Studies in Emerging Democracies   

Proposals are being solicited that promote scholarship and teaching of Communication Studies to benefit emerging democracies and their peoples. Any activity which contributes to this goal is potentially eligible for funding. Such activities include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • International travel for residents of emerging democracies to attend conferences or advanced training in Communication Studies
  • International travel for U.S. residents to disseminate Communication scholarship or to conduct training in Communication Studies in emerging democracies
  • Procuring and disseminating scholarly and instructional materials in Communication Studies for use by institutions within emerging democracies
  • Research about various topics in Communication conducted by residents of emerging democracies who would otherwise lack adequate support for such research
  • Research about communication phenomena in emerging democracies, which may be conducted by U.S. scholars or by others, and which promises to directly or indirectly promote effective communication practices  

The amount of the Leathers Award varies from year to year; it recently has been between $500-$600.

All submitters must be NCA members at the time of submission and maintain their membership throughout the grant period.

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.

Proposals will be reviewed and funded on an annual cycle. If the Trustees deem that no satisfactory proposals have been received in a particular cycle, or if the Trustees deem that available funds are insufficient to justify an award during a given cycle, no award need be made. 

Funds are disbursed to identified fiscal agents, not to individuals.

Proposals should not exceed 10 pages and must include the following information in the single PDF document:

  • A rationale for considering the target nation an emerging democracy
  • A statement of methods or listing of activities, depending on the nature of the proposal
  • A statement of expected outcomes and their relationships to the purpose of the grant
  • A statement explaining how this project aligns with NCA's strategic plan
  • A statement of the intended use of monies provided by the grant
  • An abbreviated, three-page CV of all applicants, to include the submitter/PI and any co-PIs.

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

Applicants should consult with their institution's Office of Sponsored Programs (or similar grants office) to review the NCA Funding Assessment Protocol and the NCA Promotional Activities and Sponsorship Acknowledgment Policy. Failure to secure the institution's guidance prior to submission can significantly delay, or prevent, grant awards.

Questions about the Dale G. Leathers Memorial Fund award, or any other NCA grant program, should be directed to Dr. Dane S. Claussen, NCA Director of Research, Publications and Professional Advancement at

About Dale G. Leathers

Dale G. Leathers, who died unexpectedly in May of 1997, was a respected scholar, teacher, and leader within the field of Communication Studies. Among other leadership posts, Professor Leathers served as President of the Southern States Communication Association, as Head of the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Georgia, and, in 1992, as the 78th President of the National Communication Association (NCA, then known as SCA).

His particular vision during his presidency and service on the NCA Administrative Committee was to facilitate outreach of U.S. Communication scholars and teachers to international colleagues, especially those residing in nations in which the field of Speech Communication was not yet well understood or developed. He devoted his most intense efforts to promoting Communication Studies in the nations of the Russian Federation, as he was convinced that to do so would nurture the slender foothold democracy had achieved among the peoples of those lands.

Toward that end, Professor Leathers was able to visit Russia on two occasions, the second time as Co-Chair of the First International Communication Research Colloquium. At the time of his death, Professor Leathers was editing the proceedings of that conference for joint publication in Russian and English. As a proper and fitting memorial to the life and work of Dale G. Leathers, therefore, this fund to promote Communication Studies in emerging democracies was established.