Academic Research Grant


  • Amount: up to $5,000. Funds will be calculated/awarded in U.S. dollars.
  • Competition opens: February 2019 (Online form available at that time.)
  • Proposal Deadline: September 1, 2019.
  • Tenure: February 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
  • Completed applications to be submitted online. Reference letters can be e-mailed to [email protected].
  • Decisions will be announced in late January 2020.

Romance Writers of America announces the thirteenth annual 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).

RWA's review committee, which includes academics with doctorates, makes grant recipient recommendations to the RWA Board of Directors. RWA will fund one or more grants up to a total amount of $5,000. Funds will be calculated/awarded in U.S. dollars. 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.

Scholars who have won a grant may apply again, for a new project, beginning the fourth year after receiving the award (Example: If the award was received in April of 2000, the recipient can apply again with the competition beginning in the Fall of 2003.) The application must include evidence of the completion and publication of the first funded project.

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, e-mail 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. Funds must be requested in U.S. dollars.

Travel reimbursements will be limited to airfare and a maximum of current GSA rates for lodging and meals. Travel by automobile will also be reimbursed at the current GSA rate. Travel and conferences expenses not directly related to research for the project itself (including conferences at which this research may be presented) are not covered by the grant.

Budget requests may include phone fees, clerical help, copies and photographs, and library fees. No funds may be applied to university budget overhead assessments. The grants are not intended and cannot be used for the purchase of computers or other electronic equipment of any kind.

All materials must be received by September 1, 2019.

A hard copy should be mailed to the address below.

Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to:

Romance Writers of America
Attn: Academic Research Grant
14615 Benfer Road
Houston, TX 77069
832-717-5200, Ext. 126
[email protected]

View Grant Recipients