SSH Rate

WFI Researchs Grants for the Study of Communication and Society

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) – housed within Villanova University’s Department of Communication – was founded on the principle that the study and practice of communication requires attention to values, ethics and social justice. One of the ways that we enact this mission is through the funding of research grants. These grants support the scholarly work of Communication scholars at Villanova University and across the world, work examining communication, its impact on the world around us and its ability to create social change and social justice.

Communication scholars across the nation, and across the world, are invited to apply for funds to support initial or ongoing phases of scholarly research aimed at presentation and publication. Although we do not limit our grants to a specific methodological orientation or subdisciplinary focus, all projects supported by the WFI have two things in common: they make communication the primary, and not secondary, focus, and they engage communication in terms of its impact on the world around us, its ability to create social change.


Research Grants are available for faculty at Villanova and at other institutions of higher education, postdoctoral researchers, doctoral candidates, and other doctoral-level scholars. However, eligibility to apply for the WFI grant program is limited to those in Communication or a closely related discipline.


The WFI Research Grants are awarded selectively on the basis of academic peer review of all submitted proposals; in recent years, our acceptance rate has typically been 13-15%. Awards for research grants are typically in the range of $5,000-$10,000, though larger amounts may be awarded for projects that are deemed especially meritorious. The total number of grants awarded will vary, based upon budgetary constraints; however, in recent years, we have awarded 5-8 WFI Research Grants each year.

Funds granted by the WFI and Villanova University (as an educational institution) may be applied to the hiring of graduate assistants, acquisition of resources or equipment, travel, and/or any other appropriate research related expenses. However, these funds may not be used to provide or supplement salaries. In addition, the WFI and Villanova (as an educational institution) do not provide funds for indirect costs associated with any grant.

Each submitted proposal should include a budget that clearly indicates how granted funds will be used, and that these funds will not be construed as salary or as indirect costs.

Evaluation Process

Evaluation will be proceed according to the standards of blind peer review. The following criteria will be used by the Director and the evaluation committee to judge the merits of each proposal:

  • The proposal includes all information requested, and is formatted according to guidelines.
  • The proposal has a clear rationale and a set of well-defined objectives which will advance the understanding of communication as central to social change and social justice.
  • The proposed project addresses timely and important topics, in a novel or innovative way.
  • The proposal is methodologically and conceptually sound, and makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature.
  • The project is judged as feasible, given the time schedule, the amount of support requested, and the resources available to the researcher(s).
  • The funding requested is appropriate to the scope of the project.

NB: The WFI Director and evaluation committee reserve the right to award grants to applicants that may be less than or more than the amount requested.

Application date
5 May 2017
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Social sciences Communication Sciences Gender Studies Pedagogic & Education Research Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Award granted
US$ 5-10.000