2024 Call for Proposals: Expanding Theory for Integrity in Public Communication

The Arthur W. Page Center's 2024 Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Grant competition is accepting research proposals on expanding theory for integrity in public communication.

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Call for Proposals: Expanding Theory for Integrity in Public Communication

Senior research fellow and associate professor at Penn State Colleen Connolly-Ahern is leading the call. If you have questions, please contact Connolly-Ahern at cuc15@psu.edu.

The bedrock of successful research is theory. Theory guides research, from study design to data collection to analysis. The question is, considering the seismic changes in the communications industries, are the theories that have guided journalism and strategic communication research for the past decades – Agenda Setting, Excellence Theory, Inoculation, Uses and Gratifications, to name a few – adequate for the current environment? 

Can the boundary conditions of extant theory be expanded to include innovations such as artificial intelligence, e-commerce and content-on-demand? Could communication scholars expand their theoretical umbrella and look to other fields to explain emerging phenomena in the context of increasing technological change?

With an emphasis on fostering integrity in public communication, this call seeks to fund journalism and mass communication research that tests either

1) New theories in the area of mass communication research

2) Research that expands existing mass communication theory into new and innovative areas.

Researchers from all sub-areas of the field of mass communication are encouraged to apply. Researchers may propose either qualitative and quantitative tests of theory, or even multiple tests, in their proposals. Proposals should follow the Page Center’s guidelines for grant applications. Priority will be given to projects that fit the Page Center's mission. 

In a collaboration between the Arthur W. Page Center and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly all funded researchers will contribute an essay to a JMCQ invited forum, Expanding Theory for Integrity in Public Communication. This published forum provides an additional avenue of dissemination of the funded research, such as peer-reviewed journal articles or books, and aims to encourage further academic discussion on these important questions.

Deadlines & Notifications

► Application materials must be electronically submitted on or before Jan. 15, 2024.

► Scholars will be notified of the selection committee's decisions on March 22, 2024.

► Contracts for successful grants will be finalized by July 1, 2024.

► Final reports are due December 1, 2025.