Page Center to Fund Sustainability Communication Research and Other Scholarship for 2015-2016

January 6, 2015

Conceptual graphic of the earth made up of green people

National Survey of Public Planned on Sustainability Awareness, Attitudes.

The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research unit of Penn State University’s College of Communications, has issued a call for research proposals addressing sustainability communication as well as a broad range of other ethical topics.

“The Center will award grants to support scholars and professionals making important contributions to knowledge, practice, or public understanding of ethics and responsibility in public communication,” says Page Center Director Denise Sevick Bortree.

The first element of the call for proposals is organized around the Page Center’s new Sustainability Communication Initiative (SCI).  Managed by Lee Ahern, senior research fellow at the Arthur W. Page Center, the SCI supports teaching, service, research and creative activity exploring how the concept of sustainability is constructed and how the communication of this concept has emerged and evolved.  It also looks at how sustainability communications have impacted individuals, organizations and society.

The Page Center intends to conduct a large-scale national survey to gauge public beliefs, knowledge, attitudes and opinions about sustainability.

“We invite communication scholars to join the effort to design this survey and to submit specific survey-experiment modules to test and refine sustainability theory,” says Ahern, who will manage the call for sustainability grants.  While the Page Center will publish summary statistics, the funded researchers will retain exclusive rights to the data obtained from their individual survey-experiment modules.

In addition, the Page Center is issuing an open call for grant proposals on general topics of ethical communication.

The deadline for the receipt of proposals is April 17, 2015. The full call for proposals can be found at The value of the grants awarded will usually range from $1,000 to $10,000.

This marks the 11th year of grant proposals awarded by the Page Center. Since its founding in 2004, The Page Center has funded 172 scholars and awarded $600,000 in grants.

The Page Center is named for Arthur W. Page, a pioneer in the field of corporate public relations who was known for his principled approach to communication. It also draws inspiration from Robert Wood Johnson who devised a credo under which the Johnson & Johnson firm sought to serve the public interest first.

The Page Center seeks to foster a modern understanding and application of Arthur W. Page’s principles and Robert Wood Johnson’s business philosophy by supporting innovative research, educational or public service projects in a wide variety of academic disciplines and professional fields. For further information on the Center and the Page or Johnson Legacy Scholar Grants, see its website at

For questions on the sustainability communications grants contact Lee Ahern at or (814) 865-8314. Questions about the open call should be directed to Elaine Files at or (814) 863-6307.