2024 NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar Call for Proposals

November 30, 2023

Call for Host Proposals

2024 NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar

CA’s Doctoral Honors Seminar has a long-standing tradition of bringing together Communication doctoral students and several of the discipline’s distinguished scholars to discuss theory and research in the Communication arts and sciences. The seminar allows students to interact with and learn from senior scholars in the discipline, receive daily individualized coaching on research and dissertation projects, and network with other doctoral students. The seminars are normally held annually at a selected host institution. About 30 doctoral students are chosen to participate based on submitted papers and recommendations from their advisors. Students should assume that they will need to pay for their own travel to the Seminar unless informed otherwise; all accommodations and other expenses are provided by the host institution.

Proposals are being accepted for a host institution for the 2024 DHS. They are typically for one hosting year; however, multi-year proposals will be considered. Hosts will receive a $22,000 NCA grant (subject to Leg. Assembly approval) to cover event costs.

Proposal Components

Colleges and universities interested in hosting the NCA DHS must submit a proposal. Proposal deadlines can be found at the end of this document. Proposals should contain the following:


Proposal Components

Colleges and universities interested in hosting the NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar must complete a proposal for review by the NCA-DHS Review Committee. Proposal deadlines can be found at the end of this document. Proposals should contain: 

  1. A cover letter with the name of the college/university, name of proposal submitter, and contact information for submitter. 
  2. A narrative of no more than 5 pages that addresses the following: 
    1. Rationale, aligned with NCA’s strategic plan, for hosting the Doctoral Honors Seminar.
    2. Resources currently available for hosting the NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar (e.g., campus housing, cafeteria/nearby dining options, bus transportation between housing, sessions, and meals if necessary, staff availability).
    3. Tentative list of topics covered by session facilitators, including learning outcomes. Facilitators’ presentations should be IDEA-informed and consistent with NCA’s strategic plan.
    4. Tentative list of 20 diverse possible session facilitators (generally, nine will be chosen) with affiliations and email addresses. 
    5. Principal organizer and abbreviated CV that includes affiliation, phone number, and email address. 
    6. List of any co-organizers and/or key staff involved in the planning, organization, or management of the event, along with their roles in the event, affiliations, phone numbers, and email addresses. 
    7. Expected number of participants. 
    8. Marketing plan (website, flyers, emails, targeted messaging, etc.) with deadlines, ensuring that an optimally diverse audience is reached with Seminar information. 
    9. Plan for developing a registration site and promotion of registration with deadlines. 
  3. A detailed budget explaining how NCA funds will be used, any participant costs ex-pected (registration fee, lodging, meals, etc.), and any matching funds available (if applicable). 


Event Description and Host Expectations

The NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar is typically formatted as a three-day event, with sessions beginning on Wednesday and ending on Friday. Some previous hosts have chosen to open check-in and hold an Opening Session on Tuesday evening. Wednesday through Friday, participants are expected to attend sessions--a mixture of breakout sessions with cohort mentors (such as communication theory/research, media theory/ research, and rhetorical and performance theory/research) and plenary sessions for all attendees. Sessions last between 2 and 2½ hours each, usually one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks during the day should be planned as a group and optional social events may be built into the evenings.

It is expected that hosts will be engaged with their NCA liaison throughout the planning process. Processes/expectations will be explained in further detail during a planning meeting between the host and NCA liaison. Host expectations include, but are not limited to, the following plan and follow-up steps:

  1. Locating on-campus or off-campus housing for the event. 
  2. Creating a meal plan for the duration of the event (to include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). 
  3. Identifying plenary topics and diverse speakers and faculty mentors (usually nine), consistent with NCA’s IDEA goals and strategic plan. 
  4. Creating an event program to further learning outcomes and deliverables.
  5. IDEA-oriented marketing/promotion, in collaboration with NCA National Office.
  6. Developing a registration site and check-in procedures. 
  7. Providing the names, current addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and W-9 forms (if applicable) to NCA for payment of faculty mentors.
  8. Designing, disseminating, and analyzing a participant feedback survey.
  9. Providing a final report within two weeks of the event’s close that lists the names, locations, and affiliations of participants; goals, objectives, and tactics; outcomes; opportunities for improvement; feedback survey results; and final budget figures.

*The NCA National Office also will follow-up with participants over subsequent years after the Seminar regarding its benefits and results.*


Proposal Deadlines

NCA will accept proposals for one-, two-, and three-year hosts. Deadlines for proposals are as follows: 
For hosting the June 2024 Doctoral Honors Seminar: November 30, 2023
For hosting the June 2025 Doctoral Honors Seminar: October 31, 2024
For hosting the June 2026 Doctoral Honors Seminar: September 30, 2025
Applicants wishing to submit a multi-year funding proposal need to submit only one proposal.


Contact Information

To submit an application to host NCA’s Doctoral Honors Seminar, or for questions about hosting the event, please email Dr. Dane Claussen, NCA Director of Research, Publications, and Professional Advancement at: dclaussen@natcom.org.