2024 NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat - Extended

March 01, 2024

Call for Host Proposals

2024 NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat

NCA’s Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat, organized by the NCA’s Research Coun-cil, provides the opportunity for intensive writing time for associate professors who want to finish an in-progress project that will get them promoted to full professor. Re-treat participants have uninterrupted time to work towards the completion of scholar-ship and/or a creative project. The MCSWR is specifically targeted to faculty who have been Associate Professors for at least 5 years (that is, tenured in 2018-19 or earlier).

During the retreat, participants have the opportunity to meet and consult with two facilitators/mentors, who will provide general advice on scholarly productivity, writing, and career management. Participant applications will be strongly encouraged reflecting the total diversity of scholarship and creative activity in the discipline. Applicants are not limited by area of inquiry, topic, method, or affiliation (interest group, division, etc.). Because the facilitators will focus on broad writing guidance and professional development, it is not necessary that projects be related to the facilitators’ own research foci. Participants are expected to present their projects on a panel at the 2024 NCA Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Retreat normally is held annually at a selected host institution. About 8-10 faculty members are chosen to participate based on submitted papers and plans. Faculty should assume that they will need to pay for their own travel to the Retreat; all accommodations and other expenses are provided by the host institution. 

Proposals are being accepted for hosts for the 2024 MCSWR. Proposals are typically for one hosting year; however, multi-year proposals will be considered. Hosts will receive a $16,500 NCA grant (subject to Legislative Assembly approval) to cover event costs. 

Proposal Components

Colleges/universities interested in hosting the NCA MCSWR must submit a proposal. Deadlines are at the end of this document. Proposals should contain the following:

Proposal Components

Colleges and universities interested in hosting the NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat should complete a proposal for review by the NCA Research Council. Proposal deadlines are at the end of this document. Proposals should contain the following: 

  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 for hosting the NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat, including the Retreat plan’s alignment with NCA’s strategic plan and its IDEA strategic plan.
    2. Resources currently available for hosting the NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat (e.g., campus housing, cafeteria/nearby dining options, bus transportation between housing, sessions, and meals if necessary, staff availability). 
    3. Tentative list of topics to be covered by session facilitators, and their planned learning outcomes, in addition to intensive writing sessions. 
    4. Tentative list of 4+ (two will need to be chosen) possible session facilitators 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 and diversity of participants. 
    8. Marketing plan (website, flyers, emails, targeted messaging, etc.) with deadlines. 
    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).

Criteria by which CFPs will be evaluated:

  1. Completeness of proposal
  2. Realistic numbers for participants, revenues and expenses; likelihood that the event will break even or lose as little money as possible
  3. Alignment with NCA strategic plan
  4. IDEA-orientation (see IDEA Task Force report and IDEA strategic plan)
  5. Extent to which plan executes/achieves the goals of the event, including having enough volunteers from on- and off-campus to achieve all goals
  6. Extent to which proposal balances keeping successful elements of past years’ summer program with eliminating elements that didn’t work and trying new approaches (incremental improvement, not innovation for its own sake)
  7. Strength of marketing plan, including evidence that it can be executed
  8. Extra consideration: proposals to host the event twice or even three times


Event Description and Host Expectations

The NCA Mid-Career Scholars’ Writing Retreat is typically formatted as a five-day event, with sessions beginning on Monday and ending on Friday. Some previous hosts have chosen to open check-in and even hold an opening event on Sunday evening. Monday through Friday, participants are expected to attend sessions, which are mixture of individual writing sessions with mentors and mentor-led sessions for everyone. Writing sessions last between 3½ and 4 hours each from Tuesday morning until noon Friday. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks should be planned as a group and both mentoring sessions for everyone and social events should be built into the evenings.

It is expected that hosts will be engaged with the Research Council and NCA liaison throughout the planning process. Processes and expectations will be explained in fur-ther detail during a planning meeting. 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 faculty mentors (usually two) and topics of all-mentoring sessions.
  4. Creating an event program that achieves learning outcomes and deliverables.
  5. Marketing and promotion, in collaboration with the Research Council and NCA National Office liaison. 
  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 Retreat 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 July 2024 Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat: Jan. 31, 2024
  • For hosting the July 2025 Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat: Nov. 30, 2024
  • For hosting the July 2026 Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat: October 31, 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 Mid-Career Scholars Writing Retreat, or for questions about hosting the event, please email academic@natcom.org