Friday, October 13, 2006

RWA Research Grant Competition

Around this time last year I found out about the Research Grant Competition sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. What did I have to lose? I applied--and, to my astonishment, I won!

The RWA grant deadline is coming up again: on January 1, 2007, to be precise. And although it's only open to US residents--about 64% of you reading this, according to tonight's SiteMeter statistics, although not you, Laura, the author of 99% of our posts!--I'd like to post this reminder, in the hope that someday soon they'll open the competition to international scholars as well.

Here's the core information; for the rest, including contact names and numbers, go to the RWA's formal announcement page.

Romance Writers of America Research Grant Program


• Amount: up to $5,000
• Tenure: March 1, 2007 through March 1, 2008
• Completed applications to be submitted to RWA in both email (RTF) and hard copy format.
• Decisions will be announced in February 2007

Romance Writers of America announces a Research Grant competition. The grant program seeks to develop and support academic research devoted to genre romance novels, writers, and readers. Appropriate fields of specialization include but are not limited to: anthropology, communications, cultural studies, education, English language and literature, gender studies, linguistics, literacy studies, psychology, rhetoric, and sociology. Proposals in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary studies are welcome. The ultimate goal of proposals should be significant publication in major journals or as a monograph from an academic press. RWA does not fund creative work (such as novels or films).

The RWA’s review committee, consisting of academics with doctorates, will fund one or more grants up to a total amount of $5,000. Individual applicants may request up to the total amount. The research grant(s) are intended to support direct research costs associated with the project, including travel, but not equipment.

RWA retains the right to award less than a proposal’s budget, or less than the total amount designated for the competition, should the review committee so recommend.


The objectives of the program are:
1. To support theoretical and substantive academic research about genre romance texts and literacy practices.
2. To encourage a well-informed public discourse about genre romance texts and literacy practices.


The RWA Research Grant Program is open to faculty at accredited colleges and universities, independent scholars with significant publication records, and dissertation candidates who have completed all course work and qualifying exams. No candidate need be a member of the RWA. Candidates must reside in the United States. RWA cannot accept applications from international scholars at this time.

Criteria for Selection

Preference will be given to scholars with a distinguished record of research and publication. In addition, criteria for evaluation are:
1. The significance of the proposed research
2. The definition, organization, clarity, and scope of the research proposal.
3. The quality or promise of the candidate
4. Likelihood of timely completion of the proposed research


The application process is comprised of the following:
• A cover sheet itemizing name, address, phone numbers, email address, title of research project and total amount requested
• A narrative proposal of no more than four pages, double spaced
• Bibliography (no more than two pages)
• CV with publications list (no more than three pages)
• Two reference letters
• Itemized budget with brief explanations of all significant amount, not to exceed two pages

Please note, everyone, that although I won this grant competition as a tenured professor asking for help to write literary analyses, the winner the year before was a graduate student planning to do ethnographic research. Whoever you are, and whatever your approach, don't count yourself out--and if you know someone else who might take an interest, please do spread the word!


  1. j as in jennifer13 October, 2006 13:58

    Congratulations! What will your research topic be, if I may ask?

  2. Eric's computer's causing problems for him, so I'll answer this one for him (hope that's OK, Eric!).

    Eric Murphy Selinger won the Research Grant competition of the Romance Writers of America for "Teach Me Tonight: the Art of Reading Romance Fiction One Book at a Time." He will spend the next year writing a series of essays on Jennifer Crusie, Julia Quinn, and Emma Holly, whose work he will teach in his summer course on "Re-reading the Romance." (DePaul Faculty News)

  3. Thank you for sharing this, Eric.