Scholarly Communications Research Grants - FAQs

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  1. What if I’m not sure what budget category to put an expense into?
  2. I have an idea for a research project that is connected to my PhD or Masters program. Can I apply for a research grant as part of my studies?
  3. Do the word count limits include references?
  4. Will you consider awarding funding for a project that is unconfirmed, for example if not all collaborators have fully committed at this stage?
  5. Are staff at institutions with organizational memberships eligible?
  6. Do I need to have matching funds from my institution?
  7. Can I use this grant to pay summer stipends for faculty or student research assistants?
  8. Can I account for institutional overhead costs in the budget?
  9. If my grant application is successful, how do I access the additional funding for dissemination?

What if I’m not sure what budget category to put an expense into?

Use whichever category seems most logical and be sure to add some detail in the description field so it is clear what the funding will be used for. If you still have questions, please get in touch.

I have an idea for a research project that is connected to my Ph.D. or Masters program. Can I apply for a research grant as part of my studies?

While the research grant cannot be used to pay for tuition or other degree-related expenses, we recognize that you may be considering a research project on scholarly communications that is connected to, or a part of, your area of study. Research projects that may form the basis of a wider program of study are eligible for consideration. They must still fulfill the selection criteria and recipients must fulfill the obligations outlined in the CFP, including dissemination.

Do the word count limits include references?

No.

Will you consider awarding funding for a project that is unconfirmed, for example if not all collaborators have fully committed at this stage?

Yes, we will certainly consider your application. However, if it is successful, you will need to sign a document agreeing to carry out the research and fulfill the program obligations. If at any stage during the application and award process you learn that your project cannot go ahead, please let us know so that we can consider offering the grant to another applicant.

Are staff at institutions with organizational memberships eligible?

At least one member of the project team must be an ACRL member to be eligible for these grants. Eligibility for grant and scholarship programs is considered one of the benefits of membership.

Do I need to have matching funds from my institution?

No. However, if your institution or any other organization is providing any support, you will see that there is a column for it on the budget worksheet. Indicate how much support you have (if applicable) and use the final section of the budget worksheet to briefly describe it.

Can I use this grant to pay summer stipends for faculty or student research assistants?

Yes, you can use grant funds for summer stipends. In the description field under 'personnel' on the budget worksheet, be sure to explain the amount for each person. Most likely this would be their regular pay rate multiplied by the amount of time you allocate. For staff on a 9-month academic contract, also explain that the stipend would supplement that.

Can I account for institutional overhead costs in the budget?

No, general operating or overhead expenses and other indirect costs are not funded and should not be included in the budget worksheet.

If my grant application is successful, how do I access the additional funding for dissemination?

If you receive an ACRL Scholarly Communications Research Grant, you are eligible for up to $1,500 in additional funding to disseminate your research in an approved venue beyond the usual ACRL and ALA conferences in order to expand the reach of the research. To access that funding you will need to submit a brief plan (2 pages maximum) to ACRL outlining the dissemination venue and rationale for choosing it:

  1. A description of the proposed presentation, article, or other form of dissemination;
  2. An explanation of how this will promote your research findings and contribute to knowledge in the field;
  3. An explanation of why you have chosen this particular format and venue for dissemination (include details of the conference/journal/publisher and web links if available);
  4. An itemized budget; and
  5. If the proposed dissemination activity takes place during normal working hours, an indication that your supervisor supports you taking the time to engage in this activity.

If approved, ACRL will reimburse you for the itemized expenses. This additional funding must be expended by August 31, 2021. You should request approval in advance of making any definite travel plans. Reimbursement requests should be submitted within 30 days of the activity.

If your questions are not answered here or in the Call for Proposals, please contact ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant at kmalenfant@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext 2510 and ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee Vice-Chair Nathan Hall at nfhall@vt.edu or 540-231-1751. This page will be updated on an on-going basis.