University of Minnesota
interdisciplinary studies of writing
center for writing

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Research grants to support inquiry into writing in and across the disciplines

UMN imageIn what ways does writing support student learning in and across the disciplines? When we teach with writing, where and how do theory and practice intersect? As we conceive of “writing” much more broadly than just words on paper, in what new ways does writing foster learning? Questions like these are at the heart of the Center’s Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing program, which offers grants to support the research of University of Minnesota scholars and teachers into writing and literacy.

Click here for examples (in pdf form) of project summaries from successful ISW grant proposals.


Principal Investigator must be a University of Minnesota faculty or P&A staff member. Graduate students may serve as co–Principal Investigators with faculty or P&A staff. For funding opportunities solely for graduate students, please see information on our Literacy and Rhetorical Studies minor and its associated grants and fellowships.


Variable, depending on merit of proposal and availability of funds, but typically between $2500 and $6000.

Expenses permitted

Research grants from ISW primarily cover the salary and fringe of graduate and undergraduate Research Assistants whose contributions are part of their professional development. Other fundable expenses may include equipment and supplies; research and consultation costs associated with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), the Office of Measurement Services (OMS), or the like; and publication/documentation costs.

Expenses not permitted

The Center does not fund faculty release time or the work of Teaching Assistants. No Facilities and Administrative/Indirect costs are permitted.

Application deadlines

Letter of Intent: February 5, 2018
Full application (if invited): March 19, 2018


April 16, 2018

Criteria for selection

  • Clarity of stated educational need or research gap, and degree to which project addresses stated educational need or research gap
  • Engagement with relevant literature
  • Precision of research question/problem
  • Effectiveness of methodology to answer the research question
  • Feasibility of accomplishing goals given the proposed time and budget
  • Meaningful participation by undergraduate or graduate Research Assistant(s) (if applicable)
  • Project's implications for understanding how writing is taught and/or learned
  • Plans for disseminating results

Preference will be given to proposals from applicants who have not received ISW grants in the past.