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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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Building Capacity for Science Communication
Partnership Awards
Request for Applications

Important Dates

Announcement – April 4, 2019
Proposals due – July 1, 2019
Reviews – July - August 2019
Awards made – Early September 2019
Grantees meeting – TBD
Final report due – December 1, 2020

Due to the volume of proposals, our review process is taking longer than originally anticipated. We now anticipate that we will make grant awards in early September.

Purpose and Overview

        With support from the Rita Allen Foundation(“Sponsor”), the National Academy of Sciences’(“NAS”) Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice (“Standing Committee”) is offering awards to support the formation and development of collaborative researcher–practitioner partnerships. These awards are intended to facilitate collaborative efforts that will advance the science of science communication through the development, use, and evaluation of evidenced-based approaches to the practice of communicating with people about science.

Support may be given to projects at various stages of project planning or execution:

Catalyst awards of up to $12,000 shall be used to facilitate the development of new collaborative partnerships or projects. Their purpose is to allow prospective partners to meet in person, to establish a productive collaboration, and to develop a preliminary project plan, which may then be used to secure external funding.

Partnership support awards of up to $50,000 shall be used to support the design, execution, and the evaluation of the first stages of a collaborative project.

        To apply for these awards, partners will submit a joint proposal that describes the rationale for their partnership, the focus of the collaborative work (i.e., the science communication problem and the science topical focus of the collaboration) that will be addressed through the partnership, a workplan for conducting the project collaboratively at all phases, an evaluation plan and an outline of how the work will improve the way in which science is communicated or used in applied settings. Proposals that have a focus on underserved populations will receive priority consideration. Additional details about the requirements for proposals appear below.

       Members of the Standing Committee will select the teams to receive awards, with an announcement in early August 2019. Awarded teams will receive funds to begin implementing their plans for collaboration.


       Fostering and strengthening connections between research and practice is central to the mission and goals of the Standing Committee, as shown in the box below.
Mission of the Standing Committee

The Standing Committee aims to advance science communication research, practice, and use by:

1. fostering and strengthening connections
• between existing networks and initiatives related to science communication
• between research and practice in science communication
• between diverse disciplines
• between science and diverse and new publics, and

2. strengthening the capacity and support for effective science communication, including encouraging research consistent with Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda.

The Standing Committee ultimately seeks to help connect more people with science and to help ensure that all people have access to and can use information from science.

Goals of the Standing Committee:
  1. Encourage building a more coherent knowledge base through systematic development and testing of different approaches to communicating science
  2. Make it easier for science communication practitioners to access, interpret and use research across disciplines to inform their practice.
  3. to support individuals and organizations in the communication of science outside the scientific enterprise.

       The Standing Committee seeks to advance the field of science communication and the use of evidence in practice in ways that are consistent with the 2017 NAS report, Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda. This report identified cross-cutting themes for researchers and communicators of science to consider in their work, as well as major challenges that should be addressed to advance the field and fill critical gaps in knowledge about effective practices. In addition to calling for partnerships between researchers and practitioners to address challenges in science communication, the report also called for:
  • Aligning communication approaches with goals
  • Moving beyond the “deficit model” of communication
  • Building and testing explanatory models of individual influences on science communication and their interactions in a system
  • Increased evaluation of science communication practice, especially in real-world settings  

       More detailed discussions of these points may be found in the report and additional materials at

       Proposals should be consistent with both the mission of the Standing Committee and the important themes of Communicating Science Effectively.

For more information please see the full Request for Applications
Register Here to Receive Updates about these Partnership Awards

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Currently Reviewing Applications


Rita Allen Foundation





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