Monday, December 4, 2006

ALWD scholarship grants

The announcement below arrives courtesy of Professor Sarah Ricks, at Rutgers-Camden, who is happy to answer questions at:


The Association of Legal Writing Directors is pleased to announce the ALWD Summer Research Grant Program for teachers of legal research and writing for 2007.  This Program reflects the Association’s commitment to the professional development of legal research and writing professionals.

            Each year, the Association awards several research grants to teachers of legal research and writing.  These research grants will enable these gifted educators to spend their summers exploring scholarly ideas of interest to them, producing the type of scholarship that will be of assistance to others in the field, and providing tangible evidence of the Association’s support for the scholarly pursuits of legal research and writing professionals. 

            In the past, the grants have been for varying amounts, from $2000 to $5000. The actual number of grants varies and reflects the royalties from the ALWD Citation Manual.  These royalties are the primary source of funding for the grants and every attempt will be made to provide as many grants as is feasible each year.


1. Eligibility.    The ALWD Summer Research Grant Program is open to both full-time and adjunct teachers of legal writing.  ALWD Board members, officers, and members of the ALWD Scholarship Committee are, however, ineligible to participate until they have been out of those positions for a full academic year.  Legal Research & Writing program directors are encouraged to invite colleagues in their programs to apply for the grants to ensure a rich diversity of proposals and ideas from both veteran professionals and those new to the field.

2.  Deadline.    To be considered for funding for the summer of 2007, the application must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 1, 2007.  Applications should be sent in a Microsoft Word attachment to an e-mail to

3.  Application materials:        The application must consist of:
- The Application Form that is included at the end of this notice.
- A five page Synopsis/Abstract of the research project that includes:
·         a preliminary list of targeted research sources;
·         a description of the research methods to be employed;
·         a detailed description of the project;
·         a table of contents for the piece;
·         a timeline for completion of the work; and
·         a discussion of  both the contribution the piece will make to legal research and writing scholarship and the gap in the current literature that it fills. 

There should be no identifying information on this Synopsis/Abstract since the applications will be reviewed blindly.

4.  Where to send the application:  Applications should be sent to the Chair of the ALWD Scholarship Committee:
            Sarah E. Ricks
            Clinical Associate Professor of Law & Co-Director,
            Pro Bono Research Project
            Rutgers School of Law – Camden

5.  Review Process and Standards:    All Synopses/Abstracts will be blindly reviewed by at least three people who are either members of the ALWD Board or members of the ALWD Scholarship Committee.  Those members will rank the proposals based on the following criteria:
·         How well thought-out is the proposal?
·         Is the topic one that has previously been covered in the relevant literature?  If so, does the proposed work add something substantive to the discussion?
·         Is the proposal well written?
·         Does the author seem to be targeting appropriate research sources?
·         Is the scope of the project realistic?
·         Is the work likely to be published?                     
·         Is the proposed work related to Legal Writing?
·         If not, why not?
·         Is the topic interesting, and likely to appeal to targeted readers?
·         Are the research methods (empirical research, multi-disciplinary research, statistical analysis, traditional legal research) chosen likely to result in a quality written product?

At the time that the three or more readers rank the submissions, they will not be privy to any of the identifying information available on the Application Form.  Once the readers have scored the anonymous applications and have made their recommendations, the Scholarship Committee will forward those recommendations to the ALWD Board.  The Board will then make the final grant recipient selections. The ALWD Board will, at the time it makes its  selections, have access to the information on the application forms in order to  balance substantive review of the projects with due consideration for need (as reflected by eligibility for research grants at one’s own institution).  Eligibility for or receipt of summer research grants from one’s own institution will not, per se, disqualify an applicant from eligibility, but preference will be given to those who have no other source of research funding.

6. Selection date and grant disbursement. Recipients of the research grants will be selected by April 1, 2007.  At the time of selection, 60% of the research-grant award will be paid to each grant recipient. The grant recipient will receive the remaining 40% of the award when the written manuscript is completed and submitted to ALWD.  “Completed,” for purposes of the grant, means that it has been accepted for publication.  The completed manuscript should be submitted to the ALWD Scholarship Committee along with a copy of the acceptance for publication.

7.  Mentors.  At the time that the awards are announced, each grant recipient may be assigned a “mentor” by the Scholarship Committee.  It is ALWD's hope that this mentor -- chosen based upon the topic of the proposed scholarly work or any other criteria mutually agreed upon by the applicant and the Committee -- will provide the recipient with guidance and assistance in developing the project through to completion and placing it for publication. 
8.  Presentation.  Papers supported by the ALWD Research Grant Program must be presented by the author at the next ALWD meeting following completion of the manuscript.  This will allow the author the opportunity to share his or her scholarly efforts with the legal research and writing community, and also allow ALWD members to benefit first-hand from the scholarship supported by ALWD funding.

9. Formalities.  Grant winners should thank ALWD for the grant in the footnotes of the article.

10.  Publication rights.  Grant winners should negotiate permission from the publisher to post the article on the ALWD website.  This requirement can be waived if it would prevent placing the article in a well-regarded publication.


Phone __________________                          Fax ____________________
E-mail __________________

How many years have you been teaching Legal Writing?_______________

Are you eligible for research grants at your school?   _______yes     ________no

If yes, please explain the grant process and your history of receiving grants at your institution, including the likely amount of grants.   Have you applied for a grant for this year?   If not, why not?

If you have applied for a grant from your institution, when are you likely to know whether you have received one?

Are you tenured or tenure-track? 

Topic of Proposed Scholarly Work (if not related to Legal Writing, please explain basis for choice of topic)____________________________________________________________

Where are you hoping to publish your work?_____________________________________

What, if any, assistance would you like from ALWD in completing your work?___________

Are you willing to present your work at the next ALWD meeting after completion of the work?  ________yes      ________no

Please attach the Synopsis/Abstract to this Application as required by the ALWD Grant Application Rules and Criteria.  Please be sure that there is no identifying information on any copy of your Synopsis/Abstract."


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