Annually on April 15.


The International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) serves to strengthen the writing center community through all of its activities. The organization offers The IWCA Dissertation Research Grant to support doctoral students as they work on writing center-related dissertations. The grant is intended to fund expenses incurred by doctoral student members who are working toward completion of a dissertation and a doctoral degree. The funds may be used for living expenses; supplies, materials, and software; travel to research sites, to present research, or to attend conferences or institutes relevant to the profession; and other purposes not covered here but supportive of a dissertating graduate student. Doctoral students who have an approved prospectus and are at any stage of research/writing beyond the prospectus are encouraged to apply.


Grant recipients will receive a $5000 check from IWCA upon selection as the award winner.

Application Process

The application should be submitted by the required deadline through the IWCA Membership Portal. Complete application packets will contain the following items in one pdf file:

  1. Cover letter addressed to current grants chair that sells the committee on the mutual benefits that will result from financial support. More specifically, the letter should do the following:
    • Request IWCA’s consideration of the application
    • Introduce the applicant and the project
    • Include evidence of Institutional Research Board (IRB) or other ethics board approval. If you are not affiliated with an institution with such as process, please reach out to the Grants and Awards Chair for guidance.
    • Outline plans for completion of the project
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Approved prospectus
  4. Two letters of reference: One from the dissertation director and one from a second member of the dissertation committee.

Expectations of Awardees

  1. Acknowledge IWCA support in any presentation or publication of the resulting research findings
  2. Forward to IWCA, in care of the Grants Committee Chair, copies of resulting publications or presentations
  3. File a progress report with the IWCA, in care of the Grants Committee Chair, due within twelve months of receipt of grant monies.
  4. Upon completion of the project, submit a final project report and a PDF of the completed dissertation to the IWCA Board, in care of the Grants Committee Chair
  5. Strongly consider submitting a manuscript based on the supported research to one of the IWCA affiliated publications: The Writing Center Journal, or to The Peer Review. Be willing to work with the editor(s) and reviewer(s) to revise the manuscript for possible publication


2022: Emily Bouza“Community Values Mapping as a Tool to Engage Departments in Social Justice-Centered WAC and Writing Center Partnerships”

2021: Yuka Matsutani, “Mediating the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Conversation Analytic Study of Guidelines for Interaction and Tutoring Practices at a University Writing Center”

2020: Jing Zhang, “Talking about Writing in China: How Do Writing Centers Serve Chinese Students’ Needs?”

2019: Lisa Bell, “Training Tutors to Scaffold with L2 Writers: An Action Research Writing Center Project”

2018: Lara Hauer, “Translingual Approaches to Tutoring Multilingual Writers in College Writing Centers” and Jessica Newman, “The Space Between: Listening with Difference in Community and University Writing Center Sessions”

2017 Katrina Bell, “Tutor, Teacher, Scholar, Administrator: Perceptions of Current and Alumni Graduate Consultants”