2016 Call for Grant Proposals

The Arthur W. Page Center in the College of Communications at Penn State University has announced its annual Page and Johnson Legacy Scholar competition for the study of integrity in public communication.

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. This year, the Center is issuing two calls, a call for ethics curriculum and a call for joint faculty-professional research projects.

The intent of the program is to foster a modern understanding and application of the Page Principles and the Johnson & Johnson Credo by supporting innovative research, educational or public service projects in a wide variety of academic disciplines and professional fields.

Ethics curriculum call

The 2016 Arthur W. Page Center Legacy Scholars Grants special call for curriculum aims to develop a complete set of teaching modules on communication ethics topics that will be shared with faculty in public relations and strategic communication. The goal of the project is to create a series of lessons that can be easily adopted into the public relations and strategic communications classroom. Research on current practices in ethics education identified 14 common topics that are taught in the public relations ethics course. The Center seeks experts in ethics education to develop modules on these topics to be shared broadly in website format.

Faculty are invited to submit a grant proposal to develop one or more modules on the following topics:

  • Professional codes of ethics
  • Ethical decision making
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Ethics in the digital age
  • Ethics and persuasion
  • Core ethical principles and theories
  • Transparency in communication
  • Legal issues in strategic communication
  • Ethics in a global context
  • Diversity in business
  • Ethical consideration in crisis management
  • Ethics for public relations writers
  • Ethics of public relations campaigns
  • Introduction to public relations ethics

Guidelines for curriculum grant applications can be found on the Page Center website.

The Center will offer a $2,000 honorarium for each module, half paid when the contract is signed and the other on delivery of the completed module. Honorarium payments can be shared by co-authors.

Authors of successful curriculum grants will join an advisory group of scholars and educators who will collaborate in developing the curriculum modules to complement one another. Curriculum authors will be expected to attend monthly conference calls and provide updates on their development process during fall 2016.

Faculty-practitioner call

In addition to the special call for ethics curriculum, the Center is issuing a call for grant proposals from joint faculty-communication practitioner teams on general topics of ethical communication. The Center will fund only four projects in this category, and all projects will be funded at $10,000. Of specific interest are proposals that align with prior initiatives of the Center and grant proposals that build on prior research supported by the Center.

These topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Corporate social responsibility communication
  • Digital and social media communication ethics
  • Sustainability and environmental communication
  • Public relations ethics

Proposals on other topics will be considered as well, including how company credos and codes of ethics affect corporate behavior, stakeholder engagement, history of public relations, health communication, and international communication.

Requirement for joint faculty-professional grant proposals

Proposals to the joint faculty-communication professional category are required to have at least one investigator who is a full-time faculty member in a communications discipline and one full-time non-academic communications professional. Graduate students may be listed on the proposal, but they may not be a primary investigator. Communication professionals may be employed in any sector including corporate, agency, government, and nonprofits.

The proposal should detail the issue to be address, how research will be conducted, and how the findings will be disseminated. Of particular interest is how communications professionals will actively share the findings of the studies with the profession, including moving findings into practice and sharing findings with colleagues and other professionals. Possible channels for disseminating the findings could be professional webinars, seminars, training sessions, blog posts, newsletter articles, whitepapers, etc.

Full guidelines for the joint faculty-practitioner grant applications can be found on the Page Center website.

Questions about the calls for grant proposals should be directed to Elaine Files or 814-863-6307.

Deadline for proposal submission is March 1, 2016.