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Grants for the Study of Writing in the Disciplines

Image description: tight cluster of sharpened colored pencils, points up, on a back background

Photo credit: engin akyurt on Unsplash

The Grants for the Study of Writing in the Disciplines (WID Grants) program provides financial and consultative support for UMN faculty and instructors who want to learn more about how writing is conceptualized, taught, and learned (or unlearned) in the disciplines.

Mission of the WID Grants program

The WID Grants program offers small grants to support faculty & instructor research on writing in academic disciplines. We define Writing In the Disciplines broadly: writing takes many forms (e.g., texts, objects, images) in different academic discourse communities, and it embraces many varieties of language and ways of knowing. WID Grants–funded research may connect disciplinary writing with spaces outside the University, and/or it may create deeper understandings of scholarly and professional writing within and/or across the disciplines.

WID Grants fund projects that investigate what happens at the intersections of teaching with and learning through writing—whether within or across disciplines. Teacher-scholars use WID Grants funding for small, focused research projects—or for discrete sections of larger projects—that address educational needs or research gaps in their field(s) or discipline(s). Funded projects can result in presentation and publication, and are often used as a prelude to seek additional funding from national grants. These focused research projects are a good fit for a WID research grant when they also contribute to a larger understanding of big questions about writing pedagogy and practice, such as the following:

  • How might we teach writing in ways that interrupt or eliminate systemic barriers to students’ full and equitable participation in and across disciplines?
  • In what ways does writing support student learning in and across disciplines? When we teach with writing, where do theory and practice collide?
  • Because writing expectations are always variable and local, what does it mean to produce writing in a discipline (whether accounting, aerospace engineering, anthropology, or apparel design)? Or writing in science (or arts, or humanities, or pre-professional programs)? Or “college-level” writing or “workplace-ready” writing?
  • How do writing expectations change when we collaborate with colleagues across disciplines and methodologies, and what innovations emerge to address complex and novel topics and questions?
  • As we conceive of “writing” much more broadly than just words on paper, how do practices of representation (charts, figures, illustration) and persuasion (images, infographics, and audio-video) work in different academic fields?

Statements of interest are collected in Spring semester, with the top applicants invited to complete a full application. Funds are awarded in late Spring semester for work to take place during the summer or the following academic year.


Principal Investigator must be a University of Minnesota faculty or P&A staff member. Graduate students may not serve as Principal Investigators nor as Co–Principal Investigators; however, they may serve as Research Assistants on WID grants. For funding opportunities solely for graduate students, please see information on our Literacy and Rhetorical Studies minor and its associated grants and fellowships.

Amounts and permitted expenses

Award amounts are variable, depending on merit of proposal, availability of funds, and number of applicants in a given year, but typically are between $2500 and $6000.

expenses permitted

WID research grants 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

WID grants do not fund faculty release time or the work of Teaching Assistants. No Facilities and Administrative/Indirect costs are permitted. Unlike the Literacy and Rhetorical Studies Minor summer fellowship, the WID Grants Program does not provide financial support for dissertation or thesis research. For funding opportunities solely for graduate students, please see information on our Literacy and Rhetorical Studies minor and its associated grants and fellowships.

Application process and deadlines

The application process begins with a statement of interest. All statements will receive follow-up feedback; successful statements will receive feedback and an invitation (including instructions and selection criteria) to submit a full application.

Research consultations

Whether or not you intend to apply for a WID grant, program directors Katie Levin (she/her) and Dan Emery (he/him) welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your ideas for research involving teaching with and learning through writing.

Pencil photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash



Dr. Katie Levin and Dr. Dan Emery
10 Nicholson Hall
216 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455 |