C. R. Anderson Research Fund Proposals

C. R. Anderson Research Fund Proposals

Call for Research Proposals

Association for Business Communication members may apply for financial support from the C. R. Anderson Research Fund (CRARF) for business communication research. CRARF offers grants through the Business Communication Research Foundation. This Foundation is a 501@c-3 affiliate of the Association for Business Communication. It honors Professor C.R. Anderson, pioneer teacher of Business Communication at the University of Illinois for 40 years and founder of the American Business Communication Association, now the Association for Business Communication (ABC).

CRARF grants provide up to USD 5,000 for expenses related to the execution of the business communication research within the course of a project of up to 12 months. Expenses that are considered include software for data collection and analysis, justified project-related travel expenses, tokens of appreciation for research subjects, and pay for research support staff, such as data coders, transcribers, and staff to run complex statistical analyses. Grants do not cover expenses for computers or educational programs. 


CRARF supports innovative business communication research, that is, research exploring how people communicate effectively within and outside business organizations to get work done. The field pays particular attention to writing and speaking effectiveness for workplace transactions. It draws its theoretical perspectives and qualitative/quantitative research methods from diverse fields, including composition, information systems, intercultural communication, linguistics, management, and rhetoric.

Eligibility criteria

Who can apply?

All graduate students and faculty who are members of ABC are welcome to apply. Join or renew here.  Awards are limited to once per every four years.

What amount and kind of costs are funded?

CRARF grants provide up to USD 5,000 to cover costs for executing research during the course of one year. The research proposed should be in its infancy; completed projects are not funded. As stressed earlier, funded items may include software for analyses, research-related travel and accommodations (for example to conduct field work), tokens of appreciation for research subjects, and research support staff compensation for coding data, transcribing interviews, designing and running statistical analyses. CRARF does not cover computers, training programs, or research dissemination costs, such as expenses for attending conferences.  CRARF does not cover indirect costs or other overhead.

When are proposals due?

The next round of grant proposals are due September 3, 2024. Research proposals received after January 2, 2024 will be evaluated in the September 2024 review cycle. Applicants can expect a decision within 4–6 weeks.

Selection Criteria:

  • Eligibility of the applicant as an ABC member
  • Scholarly contribution to the field of Business Communication
  • Originality and innovation of the research
  • Theoretical grounding of the research
  • Rigorous research methods employed
  • Feasibility of research completion within the one-year time frame
  • Justification for the budgeted items requested

Selection Procedure:

CRARF proposals are presented to the CRARF Committee, who conduct blind reviews using the selection criteria to assess the merits of proposals. The CRARF Committee Chair then reports Committee recommendations to the Business Communication Research Foundation Board. Using Committee recommendations, the Board determines which proposals to fund. CRARF applicants typically receive decision letters from the CRARF Committee Chair within 4-to-6 weeks. Recipients of CRARF support are issued funds from the Business Communication Research Foundation ABC Headquarters.

Members of ABC’s CRARF Committee and the Business Communication Research Foundation Board are not allowed to apply for funds when they hold these positions.

CRARF Recipient Conditions:

Recipients of CRARF support agree to:

  • Present their funded research at an annual or regional ABC conference in one of the first two years following the allocation of the funds. ABC will waive the recipient’s registration fee for the first ABC conference at which this research is presented.
  • Submit a 1,000-word research report to the CRARF Committee via this link (log in first) within 6 months after the close of the project, that is, one year after CRARF funds are allocated.  Click here for a sample report.
  • Acknowledge the financial support of the CRARF in all conference presentations and publications (both print and online).
  • Submit to this link for the CRARF Committee Chair complete citations of publications resulting from CRARF-supported research. Dissertations, published working papers, conference proceedings, books, book chapters, and journal articles are all of interest. These citations are listed under CRARF on the ABC website.

How to Apply:

To apply, log in to ABC and submit materials here: https://www.businesscommunication.org/p/su/rd/survey=9b3124b4-788b-11ec-b5dd-bc764e103916

Research proposals must include: (1) an abstract, (2) a project description, (3) a detailed budget, and (4) the applicant’s curriculum vitae (CV) as described below:

(1) Abstract (no more than 100 words) – A one paragraph overview of the proposed research including the research question, the primary reason why this question needs to be answered for business communication academic and/or professional communities, the research methods to be used to obtain, analyze, and validate the data, and the new knowledge the research is expected to bring to business communication.

(2) Project Description (no more than 2000 words not counting the list of references) - A detailed description of the research project that covers the following:

Research Question & Significance for Business Communication  – What is the specific research question that this research will answer for Business Communication? How will this research contribute to Business Communication effectiveness? What gap in the Business Communication literature will this research address? What makes this research original or innovative?

Theoretical Foundation with Key Citations – What is the theoretical foundation of this research? (For example, the research might “extend our understanding of agency and genre theory,” or “apply and extend Toulmin’s components of argument.”) What key literature does this research draw upon, depart from, or synthesize?

Research Methods & Rigor – What qualitative and/or quantitative research method(s) will be used to investigate the research question and validate the findings?

Examples of questions that might be relevant for the proposed research include: How will the data be obtained? How much data will be needed for this kind of research? Is access to the data assured and how so? If human subjects are used, how many will be included and what is the rationale for their selection? If interviews or focus groups are used, what will be the general focus of the questions used? What methods will be used to analyze the data?

Anticipated Results & Implications – What are the anticipated results of this research? What are target publications for these results? What are the implications of the results for practitioners? If applicable, what will this research contribute to theory?

Timeline – Plot key research activities on a timeline. The research should be designed to complete within the one-year timeframe of the funding.

References – List references used.

(3) Detailed Budget – Provide a detailed budget for the entire project, including (a) other research funds already secured for this research proposal (this amount will be deducted from the total amount for your project; (b) other research funds being sought for this research proposal; (c) the amount being requested from CRARF, including an itemized list of expenses showing the breakdown of totals (such as the number of coding hours needed and the cost per hour); (d) total cost of the project, including all sources of funding.

(4) Curriculum Vitae (CV) – A two to three page history of the applicant’s academic, work, and publication record.

Grant Writing Tips

Click here for Tips for Applying for a C. R. Anderson Grant (downloadable pdf)

Previous C. R. Anderson Research Fund Grant Recipients

Previous Recipients