Building bridges across fields, universities, and countries: Successfully funding communication research through interdisciplinary collaboration

Zena Biocca, Frank Biocca
2002 Journal of applied communications research  
Even though there are few directorates explicitly dedicated to communication research at places like the National Science Foundation, there are significant opportunities for funding of interdisciplinary research on "communication problems." This article informally shares some principles, rules of thumb, and ideas about funding communication technology research projects, though it applies to other areas as well. The article draws on the experience of the communication technology research
more » ... gy research experience at the international, cross-university, and interdisciplinary network of Media Interface and Network Design (M.I.N.D.) Labs. KEY WORDS: Funded research, new media, virtual reality, presence. Do Funding Agencies Love Communication? M any believe that when it comes to funding, communication is a bit of an ugly duckling. "No one loves us," communication researchers protest. Chances are that most of the readers of this article were not lucky enough to receive systematic training in seeking, writing, and successfully funding their research as a communication Ph.D. student. There probably were not that many grants funding large projects in the communication department in which you were trained. If there was some outside research funding, chances are the funding was not very large and it probably was not from classic sources such as the National Science Foundation. Although there were many exceptions in the health communication and persuasion areas in the past decades, compared to fields such as biological science Zena Biocca is Grant and Administration Manager at the M.I.N.D. Lab at Michigan State University. After a 23 year career in healthcare management, over a dozen of those years in distance/virtual situations, she joined the lab to assist with grant writing, development and administration of the labs. Frank Biocca (Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Ameritech Professor of Telecommunication at Michigan State University, where he directs the Media Interface and Network Design (M.I.N.D.) Labs. He conducts research on cognition and communication when using emerging interfaces, mostly in the area of augmented reality and virtual reality.
doi:10.1080/00909880216598 fatcat:sg5phcjmdrbzzl26ulcuapsy5m