NCA Mid-Career Scholar’s Writing Retreat

NCA Mid-Career Scholar’s Writing Retreat
July 16 - 20, 2018
University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
702 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL
United States

Application Deadline: January 19, 2018

Finding it difficult to get time to work on that project that will get you promoted to Full? The NCA Mid-Career Scholars' Writing Retreat (MCSWR) is designed to provide the opportunity for intensive writing time. Retreat participants will have uninterrupted time to work towards the completion of scholarship and/or a creative project. The goal of the retreat is to support significant progress on the completion of an in-progress project that will help toward promotion to Full Professor. The MCSWR is specifically targeted to faculty who have been Associate Professor for at least 5 years (that is, tenured in 2012-2013 or prior). 

During the retreat, participants will have the opportunity to meet and consult with two facilitators/mentors, who will provide general advice on scholarly productivity, writing, and career management. The facilitators for the Summer 2018 MCSWR will be Dr. Patrice Buzzanell (University of South Florida) and Dr. Cara Finnegan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Applications reflecting the total diversity of scholarship and creative activity in the discipline are strongly encouraged. 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.

The MCSWR is sponsored by NCA and organized by the NCA Research Board. 

Participants will be provided with most meals, a travel stipend, and housing. MCSWR participants will present their projects on a panel at the 2018 NCA Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Member of NCA
  • Held rank of Associate Professor for at least five years (tenure achieved 2012-2013 or prior)
  • In-progress writing project

Date and Location

The 2018 MCSWR will be held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on July 16-20, 2018. Located in East Central Illinois, Champaign-Urbana has been described as micro-urban (, meaning it has a vibrant concentration of opportunities (e.g., arts, technology, and nightlife) that is usually associated with much larger communities.  


Detailed transportation information will be provided to the selected participants.

Living Conditions


MCSWR participants will be housed in private dorm rooms on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Each participant will have his/her own room, but likely will share a bathroom with one other person. The dorm is air conditioned with wireless internet throughout. Participants will have access to the fitness center, and parking is included. Housing is provided at no cost to the participants.


The private dorm is less than one block from the historic and recently rennovated Lincoln Hall, home to the Department of Communication. Workspaces, meeting rooms, and wireless access will be available in Lincoln Hall.


All breakfasts and lunches will be provided at the retreat. Group dinners will also be part of the retreat on two nights, and the dormitory cafeteria will be available on the other nights. There also is a large variety of restaurant options for those who wish to venture off at their own cost for dinner.   


Smoking is not allowed on campus.  However, for those who wish to smoke, there is an area that is considered off campus less than a block from both the dorm and Lincoln Hall.  


Plan to arrive at the Retreat no later than 5:00 pm on July 16.  Participants will meet for dinner and an orientation session.  The schedule for the Retreat is:

  •             8:00     breakfast
  •             8:30     writing
  •           12:30     lunch
  •             1:30     writing
  •             5:30     dinner
  •             8:00     meetings with mentors
  •             9:00     social hour
  •           10:00     to bed

To enable participants to accomplish their writing goals, the schedule is rigorously enforced. The retreat will end with a celebratory dinner on July 20, and check-out from the dorm is July 21 by 12 p.m. 

To Apply

Please submit:

1. A curriculum vitae

2.  A 2-3 page letter that includes: (1) a brief project description (project summary, primary argument and/or research questions, text(s) and/or location(s) and/or data, and method); (2) a statement about the current status of the project, the amount completed on the project, and the expectation of what you plan to accomplish during the retreat; (3) an articulation of any obstacles you are encountering in completing the project; and (4) a statement regarding how you believe the MCSWR will benefit your efforts in working toward Full Professor at your institution.

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by January 19, 2018

Applications should be sent to: Dr. John Caughlin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,

Evaluation Criteria

  • Applicant meets all eligibility requirements
  • Clarity and quality of project
  • Likelihood that the retreat will be of significant benefit to applicant
  • Cohort diversity

Eight to ten participants will be selected to participate. If your application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter and additional details about travel and the MCSWR.