Small Research Grants Program

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), working in conjunction with the Catholic Higher Education Research Cooperative (CHERC), is offering a maximum of five small grants to facilitate research projects that advance understanding of Catholic higher education in the United States. Projects that provide new information or develop data-gathering tools or methodologies regarding the assessment of Catholic mission and identity are especially welcome. 

Grants for individual projects may range from $1,500 to $2,500. A larger grant to a group of researchers may be considered in special circumstances. The grant may be used toward any legitimate research expense and may be combined with grants from the researcher’s home campus. Student projects (seminar papers, thesis, dissertations) conducted primarily to fulfill requirements of a class or a degree program are not eligible. Applicants must be employed as faculty or staff at an ACCU member institution. Campuses need not be CHERC members.

Appropriate projects will: 

Read short descriptions of the projects funded in 2015, 2014 and 2013

  • Advance understanding of an aspect of Catholic higher education.
  • Be of interest and applicable to a variety of campuses, not just one.
  • Employ sound methods of data gathering and analysis.
  • Use quantitative or qualitative methodologies
  • Be practical and of an appropriate scale to the grant available.

Grant funds may be used for the following kinds of expenses:

  • Payment of charges for access to existing data.
  • Purchase of software.
  • Hiring of student research assistance.
  • Data-gathering costs such as duplicating or small payments to study participants.
  • Purchase of library services.
  • Salary support for the researcher.

Funds will be released only when the project is completed and documentation of expenditures has been provided.

Should a human subjects review be necessary, the researcher must obtain the review from the institutional review board of his or her home campus. Projects may be provisionally accepted when the human subjects review is in process.

The application should be no more than  two pages (single-spaced) and contain the following information:

  • The name(s), title(s), and institutional affiliation(s) of the researcher(s).
  • Contact information including mailing address, email, and telephone numbers.
  • A project title, a description of the research problem to be addressed, and an indication of its significance to Catholic higher education.
  • A statement of how the project expands our understanding of an aspect of Catholic higher education and who in Catholic colleges and universities will find the research of interest.
  • A description of the source of data, the methods of analysis to be used, and the final product to be produced.
  • A simple budget describing how the funds from the small grant program will be used.
  • The name and contact information for an administrative contact (i.e.  a grants office) on the researcher’s campus.

Given the small size of the grant, it is expected that institutions will not assess overhead charges.

Applications for the Small Research Grant Program must be submitted electronically as either a Word document or in PDF form. Submissions for 2016 will be accepted beginning on January 4, 2016, and will be due by April 1, 2016. Applicants should feel free to contact ACCU to help shape the project or ask about expenses not listed above. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of 3-5 researchers, including some chosen from CHERC.

In most circumstances, final project reports are to be submitted to ACCU no later than October 31.

Those receiving grants agree that ACCU will have the first option to publish a brief report (typically 1-2 pages) of the project in its Update newsletter within 12 months. Alternately, a summary of the research will be available in the research section of the ACCU website. Publication in other arenas should acknowledge ACCU support.

Short descriptions of the projects funded since 2013, the evaluation rubric, and the form for financial reporting are available for review.

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