UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Bridging gaps between professionals and researchers and building curricula on ethics for communications classrooms are two areas that the Arthur W. Page Center is focusing on with its latest call for grant proposals. These two calls span across the diverse discipline of public relations but share a common goal to contribute new knowledge and best practices within the field.
Each year, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research center within Penn State's College of Communications, funds a select group of research projects as a part of its Page and Johnson Legacy Scholar program. While focus areas differ from year to year, the center aims to support research that fosters an understanding and application of the Page Principles and Johnson & Johnson Credo, two philosophies that promote ethical decision-making in public relations.
“Our grants support scholars and professionals who, with their research, make key contributions to the the field of communications and public relations,” said Denise Bortree, Arthur W. Page Center director. “Unique to this year, we are reaching beyond the lab and identifying effective practices with help from the current generation of professionals, while also providing an understanding of ethics communications for the next generation.”
Ethics Curriculum Call
One piece of the 2016 call for proposals is the ethics curriculum call. In this, the Page Center aims to develop a complete set of teaching modules on a range of topics related to communications ethics. These modules will be shared with communications and public relations faculty, and they will provide a series of lessons that are ready for the classroom.
“We find that ethics can sometimes fall by the wayside or be relegated to a class or two in introductory communications courses,” Bortree, an associate professor in advertising/public relations, said. “We need to instill the role of ethics as early as possible and we want to make it easier for professors to give this important subject the time and resources it needs.”
Research on ethics education has identified 14 common topics that are most frequently taught in public relations courses. With this call for proposals, the center encourages experts in ethics education to develop online educational modules on any number of topics to be shared broadly with communications classrooms across the globe.
Visit the ethics curriculum call page for more information.
In addition to the special call for ethics curriculum, the center is issuing a call for grant proposals authored by teams of researchers and communication practitioners. The projects can be on general topics of ethical communication, including but not limited to corporate social responsibility, digital/social media communication, sustainability/environmental communication and public relations ethics.
Proposals on other topics will be considered as well, including stakeholder engagement, the history of public relations, health communication, international communication and how company credos and codes of ethics affect corporate behavior. The center will fund four projects in this category.
Visit the faculty-practitioner call page for more information.
The deadline for proposal submissions is March 1, 2016.
This call marks the 12th year that the Page Center will award grant proposals. Since its founding in 2004, the center has funded 193 scholars and awarded more than $675,000 in grants.
Questions about either call can be directed to Elaine Files at 814-863-6307.