Since our launch in 2005, the Urban Communication Foundation has provided awards and grants to dozens of distinguished scholars, researchers, and journalists to recognize and support provocative work that contributes in significant ways to the discourse around urban communica-tion issues.
While most of our recipients hail from academia and journalism, we also encourage submis-sions from other practitioners whose work will lend new insights into the discipline, raise broader awareness of related socio-political, economic, and cultural concerns, or influence public policy.
Current Grants include:
James Carey Grant Urban Communication Grant
Michael Brill Grant in Urban Communication and Urban Design
Applied Urban Communication Grant
UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant
Gene Burd Grant for Research in Urban Journalism Studies
Media Ecology/UCF Student Research Grant
While most of our recipients hail from academia and journalism, we also encourage submissions from other practitioners whose work will lend new insights into the discipline, raise broader awareness of related socio-political, economic, and cultural concerns, or influence public policy, including:
To learn more about the Foundationʼs grants and awards, as well as our current and past recipients and their work, click on the links below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program provides funding for projects seeking $3,000 or less. The purpose is to fund projects that are small in scale, need seed-money or are short term. Funding priority is given to organizations and individuals with a record of sharing a mission consistent with core funding interests of the Urban Communication Foundation. The UCF provides support for innovative research projects that advance urban communication research and/or initiatives.
Deadline: Grants are evaluated and awarded throughout the year on a quarterly basis. The review process begins upon receipt of an application so there is no need to wait until the deadline to apply.
Cycle 1: Jan. 1 to March 31
Cycle 2: April 1 to June 30
Cycle 3: July 1 to Sept. 30
Cycle 4: Oct. 1 to Dec. 31
These grants are generally not renewable.
Allowable expenses for funding may include:
▪ Stipends for research or creative assistants
▪ Stipends for human subjects to participate
▪ Research related expenses (e.g.copying fees)
▪ Survey related expenses
▪ Production related expenses (e.g. video editing, filming expenses )
▪ Fees for publication rights,
▪ Transcription, library fees, media (film, cds, paper, etc), printing and copying.
▪ In selected cases, equipment rentals may be funded although the UCF does not usually fund equipment-related expenses.
▪ Research related travel
▪ Training and staff development
Funds may not be used for the following:
▪ Equipment (e.g. desktop computers; laptops; computer tablets)
▪ Salary or for release time from teaching for the purpose of writing and
▪ Conference related travel.
▪ Contributions to other organizations
Application Proposals should include:
▪ Proposal detailing the topic and purpose of the research project, including the form of any partnership with other researchers or organizations (maximum 750 words).
▪ Projected timeline, research/project goals, and future plans.
▪ CV/contact details, and the names of any other team members.
▪ Budget statement for the overall project and for the use of the funds requested.
▪ Statement on how the project for which funds are requested fits into any longer project and how partial funding would operate within the larger project where applicable.
Submit application materials to email@example.com. Submissions should be submitted before each quarterly deadline.
▪ A decision on Mini Grant applications can be expected within 3 to 6 weeks.
▪ Grantees are required to submit a report of project accomplishments on or before the project end date.
▪ Awarded recipients are announced on the Foundation website and social media.
Previous Recipients of the UCF Mini Grant
University of Lausanne
"Encounters Between Strangers and Diverse Interactions in Everyday Public Squares"
The James W. Carey Urban Communication Grant supports research that advances knowledge on the consequences of urban communication in and across urban societies. The grant is awarded by the Urban Communication Foundation (UCF) and co-sponsored by the Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division; the Health Communication Division, and the Popular Media & Culture Division. We welcome applications for research that will engage different urban actors and which will support civic engagement and equitable access to communication opportunities in the city.
The $2,500 grant is designed to facilitate research in progress or in the planning stages. It gives priority to projects that feature innovation and creative approaches to studying the transformation of urban communities and urban public life, especially at times of local and global change. Proposals from the Global South are particularly welcome and proposals that address issues of racial and/or racial justice are encouraged.
The grant is driven by James W. Carey’s scholarship and values. Carey, who was committed to the study of urbanity and community, famously noted: “I think all education, all scholarship is ultimately an aspect of citizenship”. He was committed to understanding the social and cultural consequences of technological and media change in cities and urban communities.
The winner(s) are announced each year at the annual ICA conference. Grant winners are expected to participate in the ICA conference and are required to report to the UCF on the progress of their research the year following the receipt of the grant.
The recipient of the 2022 James W. Carey Urban Communication Grant is Satarupa Dasgupta, for her proposal, "The impact of mobility and visibility in urban spaces on stigmatization and healthcare seeking behavior among non-brothel-based transient sex workers." She is as Assistant Professor of Applied Communication at Ramapo College of New Jersey.
The next award will be presented in 2023.
Ramapo College of New Jersey
"The impact of mobility and visibility in urban spaces on stigmatization and healthcare seeking behavior among non-brothel-based transient sex workers"
University of Massachusetts Amherst
"Pandemic Dashboards: How Cities Craft Knowledge of COVID-19"
Adriana A. de Souza e Silva
North Carolina State University
Germaine Halegoua and Jessa Lingel
University of Kansas and University of Pennsylvania
“Invisibility and hypervisibility: Failures of imagination in urban broadband networks”.
Sarah C. Bishop
Department of Communication Studies, Baruch College, City University of New York
“(Un)Documented Media Makers and the Search for Connection Online”.
Charles T. Salmon, Thanomwong Poorisat, and Franklin J. Boster
Nanyang Technological University and Michigan State University
“Public Will and the Problem of Urban Homelessness”.
Nancy Chen, Andrea Wenzel, and Nan Zhao
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California
“A research project designed to lead a new media news platform serving the city of Alhambra, CA”
Aalto University, Finland
“Collaborative Design & Action Framework for Social & Urban Transformation in Cape Town.”
Yong Jin Park
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“Online News Frame, Deliberation, Engagement.”
Erin D. McClellan
Department of Communication at Boise State University
“A Study of Boston’s City Hall Pla-za.”
Department of Sociology at Tulane University
Yong Jun Shin
Doctoral Candidate, Urban Communication, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Interaction Between Urban Politics and Communication Ecology: With the Case of a Local Low-Income Housing Policy.”
The Michael Brill Award for Urban Communication, Design, and Human Behavior supports innovative research that seeks to enhance the quality of community life by examining human communicative behavior in the context of the technologies and the physical environments in which those interactions occur. This research should address and connect theoretical perspectives from the fields of communication, design and the social sciences. Research supported by the Brill Grant may focus on how physical community places influence the mode, nature, and content of human communicative behavior OR use a communication lens for examining community places and human activity.
Grant amount: $3,000 per grant
Eligible participants must be EDRA members to apply for and receive this grant. Each complete application should include: (a) a statement or research proposal in no more than two pages describing the nature and significance of the project in relatively non-technical terms; anticipated schedule (expected completion time); plans for dissemination of the project results; and a budget, (b) an appendix of up to two pages for bibliography, photos, figures, etc. may be included, and (c) a copy of the applicant’s current CV or resume.
For updates and inquiries about this research grant, go to the EDRA website.
Previous Recipients of the UCF/EDRA Michael Brill Award:
Pablo García de Paredes
Doctorant en architecture, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
PhD Candidate in Social Sciences, University of Panamá
"A Re-design of Home Use and Home Environments Due to COVID Will Have an Impact in Communication and Community Engagement"
Prof. Kyoungmee Kate Byun
Northern Arizona University
"Exploration of human perception towards physical settings of an exhibition as a narrative environment: A study using Virtual Reality (VR)"
University of California Berkeley
"How Does Streetscape Design Communicate Walkability and Influence Walking Behavior?"
Indiana University Bloomington
"Understanding Communication and Patient Care Delivery in Two Different Outpatient Clinic Designs: A Comparison of Onstage/Offstage and Linear Modules"
University of Colorado Boulder
"Communicating Sustainability in the Green Science Museum"
Pennsylvania State University
"Developing an Online Platform for Participatory Resilient Urban Landscape Design"
Seunghae Lee and Paul Platosh
Oregon State University
"Wayfinding and Augmented Reality"
Dr. Shalini Misra
Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech.
Adjunct Instructor at Hillsborough Community College
Joongsub Kim, PH.D., RA, AIA, AICP
Associate Professor, Coordinator: The Detroit Studio + Community Outreach Program
"Assessing Shrinking City Models: Focus on Strategies for Citizen Participation"
The Applied Urban Communication Research Grant is an annually funded prize given to foster and promote significant, inter-disciplinary communication research contributions that extend the boundaries of “applied research” by investigating real-life communication phenomena affecting urban communities. The prize is to be awarded to fund the development of original research that meaningfully centralizes the concerns of everyday citizens and their struggle to define, identify with, and/or construct “spaces” for discourse and/or engagement within cities.
The recipient of the prize will receive a medal and a $2,500 grant-in-aid to be awarded to fund communication research related to urban communication. Nominees will be evaluated based on the potential impact of their work as well as the quality and rigor of their contribution. Nominees must be members of ECA. The award is be presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association.
For information on applying for this grant see the Eastern Communication Association website:
Max Renner is the recipient of the 2021 UCF Eastern Communication Association Applied Urban Communication Research Grant for his proposal and project titled "Building Architects: Invention, Places, and Publics," which interrogates the rhetorical constructions of how architects understand their relationship to their projects, to the public places they design, create, and the inherent implications of their work.
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
Caitlin Bruce is the recipient of the 2018 UCF Eastern Communucation Association Applied Urban Communication Research Grant for her proposal to explore the history of graffiti in León Guanajuato Mexico from 2000 to 2018. In León, the history of graffiti and its shifting treatments by the public and the state is the key to unlocking larger questions that concern scholars of urban communication, art history, and cultural studies.
Manchester Community College
Rebecca Townsend is the recipient of the 2016 UCF Eastern Communication Association Applied Urban Communication Research Grant for her proposed study of Social Networks and Pedestrian Safety. Professor Townsend is a Professor at Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT. This interdisciplinary work seeks to explore what people say they will do when they engage in a common practice in cities across the globe: cross the street. There is no communication scholarship that explores pedestrian safety messages, nor pedestrian activity, nor how social networks or expert messages about safety affect pedestrian behavior.
Susan Carr Mancino and Hannah Cherico Karolak
"Memorials as Ironic Sites: Urban Communication Ethics in Local, National, and International Communities"
New Century College at George Mason University,
"The 'Digital City': A Critical Examination of the Discursive Practices of Urban Digitality"
Christopher Newport University in Tidewater Virginia (CNU)
"Investigation of the Space and Community Impact of Four Major League Baseball (MLB) Ballparks Located in the Urban Downtown of their Respective Cities"
Douglas J. Marshall and Mary L. Kahl
"The Communicative Importance of Public Ritual: The New Orleans Jazz Funeral"
"Indiana State University, Above the Fray, The Design and Discourses of Elevated Urban Parks"
"The Rhetorical Importance of Public Space in Low-Income Urban Communities"
Alfred G. Mueller II
Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State Mont Alto
"Eisenhower’s Rhetoric of the Road"
Dept. of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University
"Communicating ‘Urban’ in an Environmental Magnet Elementary School"
Funded by the Urban Communication Foundation, this grant supports communication and media research that advances our understanding of the growing complexity of the urban environment. It is predicated on the assumption that communication scholars have a valuable contribution to make to an understanding of the urban landscape. The grant is open to all IAMCR members.
The 1500-euro award is designed to support research already in progress or in the beginning stages. It gives priority to projects that feature innovative, inter-disciplinary, applied, and creative approaches to studying the central role of communication in the transformation of urban cultures and communities. A 5-person committee consisting of three IAMCR members and two Urban Communication Foundation representatives will judge the proposals.
The award is presented each year at the annual IAMCR Conference. For application information and a list of previous awardees go to: https://iamcr.org/ucf-iamcr-research-grant
University of Massachusetts Amherst
"Welcome to the neighborhood: Examining hyper-local information-sharing and community development on NextDoor"
Dept. of Communications, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta
"From Street Art to Social Media: In Search of an Alternative Public Service Media for Urban Javanese in
the City of Yogyakarta, Indonesia"
AEJMC has partnered with the Urban Communication Foundation to create the Gene Burd Grant for Research in Urban Journalism Studies. The purpose of this annual grant is to stimulate research that explains, enlightens, inspires, and improves the practice and study of journalism and communication in order to advance our understanding of journalism in urban environments.
2021 - 2022
Dr. Ayleen Cabas-Mijares (Marquette University) & Dr. Joy Jenkins (University of Tennessee)
"For the Neighborhood: Examining The Role of Local Digital News in the Creation and Disruption of Territorial Stigma"
The Media Ecology Association invites proposals for a research grant in the amount of $2500 sponsored by the Urban Communication Foundation. Proposals should be grounded in a theoretical or philosophical approach associated with the field of media ecology and should address topics of media ecological concern regarding the study of cities and urban environments as they relate to human communication, social interaction, technological mediation, and cultural change and continuity. Proposals concerned with identity and affiliation in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other differences that make a difference are encouraged.
Proposals will be evaluated via anonymous review, and in addition to the stipend, the author(s) will receive complimentary membership in the Media Ecology Association (including subscription to Explorations in Media Ecology) for the year of the award and registration at our annual convention. A program session at the annual convention will be devoted to the research study, and when completed, the study will be published in Explorations in Media Ecology (which would not preclude publication elsewhere). The competition will be open to graduate students registered for degree programs and who have been Media Ecology Association members for at least one year.
The application should be accompanied by 1) an abstract no longer than 100 words followed by 2) a one-page description of the proposed study. In addition, the application should be accompanied by 3) a faculty letter of support.
Applications for this year are open until February 1, 2022. Please send all application materials Lance Strate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Urban Risk & Crisis Communication in the Post-Human City: A Media Ecology Approach”
The Gary Gumpert Grant is awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
Send inquiries to Peter Haratonik email@example.com, Executive Coordinator, Urban Communication Foundation.
Previous Recipients of the Gary Gumpert Grant: The State of the Field of Urban Communication
Dept. of Communication, George Mason University
“State of the Field 2015: Research in Health Communication”
Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds
“The Local, The European and the Global: The Visual Material Communication of Urban Space in the European Capital of Culture Scheme.”
Rhetoric and Public Culture Department of Communication, Northwestern University
“Community Mural Arts, Urban Polemic, and Political Tourism: Place-Based Strategies in Media Space.
Dept. of Communication Studies, California State University, San Bernardino
“Transformations in the Media Environment and the Cityscape of Şanlıurfa (Turkey).”
Shannon C. Mattern
Dept. of Media Studies and Film, the New School
“Cities Before Cinema: Mediating Urban Space and Experience Before the Mechanically Reproduced Image.”
Dept. of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College
“Hub2: Using Emerging Technologies to Strengthen Community and Civic Identity in Boston.”
Laura Forlano, Ph.D
Candidate, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
“Generation Mesh: Understanding the Users of WiFi Networks in Urban Spaces.”
Erin D. McClellan
Dept. of Communication, Denison University
“Rhetorics of Place and Space in the Public Squares: Savannah, Georgia.”
Lee Humphreys, Ph.D.
Candidate, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania
“Mobile Social Networking in Urban Environments.”
University of Macau, China
“Transnational Urban Spaces and Post-Socialist Consumption in Macau.”
Matthew Matsaganis, Ph.D. Candidate
Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California
“The Role of Communication Space in Building Social Capital.”
Casey Man Kong Lum
William Patterson University
“Outdoor Advertising and Urban Communication: A Study of Outdoor Signs in and Across Contested Urban Landscape in China.”
White Paper Grants are awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors. The next award is planned for 2021. Details to be announced.
Dr. Irene Ponzo, Dr. Andrea Pogliano, and Dr. Qian Lu are the 2015 winners of the White Paper Proposal for their work on their paper “The Politics And Policy Of Migration In Europe And North America”
Dr. Lan Ni, Dr. Beverly J. Gor, and Dr. Zhi-wen Xiao are the 2013 White Paper Proposal winners.
Dr. Lan Ni, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. Focusing on the identification of publics, relationship management, and conflict management, her research examines how public relations in intercultural settings can both benefit organizations and empower publics, especially immigrants and minority groups.
Dr. Beverly J. Gor is a Staff Analyst with the Houston Health Department (HHD) working in the Director’s Office in the Office of Program Planning and Development. She and her col-leagues design and evaluate public health programs coordinated by HHD. Beverly is a native Houstonian and a co-founder of the Asian American Health Coalition and its HOPE Clinic, a federally qualified health center.
Dr. Zhiwen Xiao is an Associate Professor in Health Communication and a faculty affiliate of women’s studies at the University of Houston.
Dr. Laura Forlano and Prof. Anijo Punnen Mathew of the Illinois Institute of Technology are the 2012 recipients of the UCF White Paper Award on “Designing Digital Networks for Urban Public Space”. They began their work this Fall.