Career Advancement Research Grant

CFP: Career Advancement Research Grant (2020)

The Special Interest Group for the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) invites interested members to apply for Career Advancement Research Grants up to $1,200. Proposed research projects should promote research pertaining to the design of communication, including (though not limited to) information design, information architecture, content development, user experience, help and documentation (traditional and user-contributed), social media, as well as technology that supports and enhances communication. The research methods should be rigorous and clearly situated within the fields of technical communication, user experience, and/or communication design.

We are focusing the two 2020 Career Advancement Research Grants to specifically fund projects that actively work to dismantle systemic injustices or create new visions of equity and justice. We are particularly excited about projects that work at the intersection between social justice and the discipline. Proposed research projects should include specific language about how their project achieves these goals.

These grants are specifically designed for early career and/or junior faculty who are working on one of their first major projects related to the design of communication. We encourage scholars at all levels to apply, especially doctoral students and members at non-research institutions, and we look forward to opportunities to support emerging scholarship in addition to established scholars.

Funds may be used for expenses, materials, salary, or research assistance. Funds may be used for travel to collect data and conduct research, but should not be requested for conference travel to present research. Grant recipients will additionally receive discounted registration to the SIGDOC conference in the year following the award of their grant.


To apply for a SIGDOC research grant, interested SIGDOC members should submit a 3-page proposal that contains the following information:

  • Project title on all pages
  • Name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information for the project
    investigator(s), on page 1, separable from items 3-6 (not included in page count)
  • A brief project description, with specific language about how the project attends
    to equity and justice
  • A discussion of the significance of the project to members of SIGDOC and
    identification of how the research will be published/made available
  • An outline of the project methodology or research tasks, including plans for IRB
    approval if human subjects are involved in any capacity
  • A projected budget statement, excluding institutional overhead and indirect costs
    (request a waiver from your institution if necessary. Exceptions can be made in
    instances when a waiver is not possible)

Applications should be emailed to no later than 11:59 on November 30, 2020. Winners will be selected by December 15, 2020 in time for projects planned for spring 2021 or later.

All applicants must be members of SIGDOC. To become a member, visit the ACM website. Recipients will be expected to produce a one-page report of their progress one year after receiving their award. The SIG would also like to be informed of any final publications resulting from the project. Recipients are encouraged to submit their research to SIGDOC’s Communication Design Quarterly.

Please direct any questions to Chair Dan Richards or Secretary/Treasurer Susan Youngblood at

Past Recipients


  • “Ideals and Realities: Exploring Usability in Born-Digital Scholarship”—Rob Grace, Ph.D and Jason Tham, Ph.D.
  • “Social Media Article Visualizer Project”—Stephen Carradini, Ph.D.



  • “Participatory Communication Design of Mapping Borderlands: Decolonizing Cartographic Information Design and Creating a Participatory Mapping Interface”—Eda Ozyesilpinar, Ph.D. and Victor Del Hierro, Ph.D.
  • “Improving the Design of Visual Risk Communication through a Content Analysis of a Crowdsourced Public Health App’s Existing User Comments”—Kristin Bivens, Ph.D. and Candice A. Welhausen, Ph.D.