The Waterhouse Family Institute is founded on the principle that scholars, activists and practitioners of communication have an important role to play in the creation of a socially just world. Each year, the WFI Research Grant Program supports the work of Communication scholars across the world.

Reporting Process for Successful Grantees

Successful grant recipients will be required to submit two separate reports. Each report consists of a narrative summarizing the grantee’s progress (or final results) and an accounting of the expenditure of grant funds. First is a brief progress report to the WFI Director, provided by email at the midpoint of the grant timeline, indicating progress toward the project's goals. Second, following the completion of the project, grantees will be required to complete a final report, summarizing the outcome of the research project supported by the grant. This report should be completed within one month of the project’s completion. Recipients are required to submit this report before requesting additional grants from WFI. Failure to submit a report may result in ineligibility for consideration for future grants from WFI.

This description should be taken as an indication of the kinds of items that should be included in the interim progress report, rather than a rigid format that must be followed in all cases. Simply provide the information that is necessary to give the director and committee a clear picture of what has taken place to this point regarding the project supported by the WFI.

The report should include:

  • Discussion of the researcher’s progress toward realization of the project’s goals. Include discussion of particularly important intermediate steps that have already been completed on the project. If project goals have significantly changed since the proposal was submitted, please provide the rationale for the alteration or substitution of goals. Further, discuss to what extent these changes affect the projected date for completion of the project.
  • Discussion of any significant alteration to the methodologies employed for completion of the project.
  • Discussion of the role and activities of those involved in the project, in comparison to the project outlined in the initial grant proposal. If more than one person is involved in the project, discuss any significant changes that have occurred in the roles played by members of the research team.
  • Discussion of challenges that have emerged—in terms of personnel, equipment or other issues—that have required alteration of aspects of the project. Discuss steps taken to adapt to these challenges in the pursuit of the project’s stated goals.
  • Discussion of any specific, tangible outcomes or consequences of the researcher’s efforts to this point in the project.
  • An interim budget. Provide an accounting of money spent at this point in the project using the budget categories established in the initial proposal. To the extent that these categories have shifted or have been subdivided, indicate that as part of the accounting of funds spent to this point. There is no need to provide receipts to support this interim budget statement.

This progress report is not designed to be onerous; it should usually comprise (without counting the interim budget) roughly 1-3 pages in length. Again, this progress report is due at the midpoint of the timeline proposed in the original grant application.

As with the interim progress report, this description should be taken as an indication of the kinds of items that should be included in the final project report, rather than a rigid format that must be followed in all cases. Simply provide the information that is necessary to give the director and committee a clear picture of what was accomplished and the role of WFI funding in the project’s successful completion.

The report should include:

  • Discussion of the project and its goals. This should entail a complete description of the major steps toward the completion of the project as a whole, including description of significant alterations (of goals, personnel, methodologies, etc.) that were necessitated over the course of the project and discussion of the rationale for those changes.
  • Discussion of the project’s primary accomplishment(s). This should entail as complete a discussion as possible of the specific, tangible outcomes, impact, or consequences of the project, in comparison to those projected in the submitted proposal and interim progress report. However, this section might also include discussion of outcomes, impact, and/or consequences that unexpectedly emerged over the course of the project. The researcher(s) should include discussion of any evidence (qualitative or quantitative) that would concretely indicate the nature and extent of the project’s impact upon particular audiences, contexts, and/or organizations and institutions. Finally, there should be some reflection upon the longterm impact of the project. Are there additional programs or projects that might result from this project? Additional audiences or institutions that might, over time, be affected by the results of this project?
  • Discussion (if applicable) of the possibility for continuation or extension of the project. This would entail discussion of plans to continue, extend, or duplicate the project (e.g., in another context or with another institutional partner). If applicable, discuss the emergence of new partnerships, programs, or collaborative efforts resulting from the current project—and which point toward future directions for research. Will these efforts be something that the WFI might be interested in funding?
  • Evaluation of the project, formal and/or informal. This should entail the researcher’s reflection upon the project as a whole. If there were formal evaluation processes conducted, discuss them and the results of such analysis. If no formal evaluation processes were conducted, reflect upon the specific strengths and weaknesses of the project, including discussion of challenges faced and how they were addressed (“lessons learned”).
  • Dissemination of project results. This should entail a discussion of the efforts made by the researcher(s) and any partner or affiliated institutions to promote the project and its results. This might include traditional academic writing projects (books, articles, conference papers), as well as nontraditional forms of dissemination including communication campaigns, press releases, media outreach, web or social media efforts, or the like. If such efforts are not yet underway, or are not yet completed, discuss, as specifically as possible, the plans for such dissemination, including a timeline for completion of these efforts.
  • A final budget. This should entail a complete accounting of money spent over the course of the project, including funds from the WFI and other sources, using the budget categories presented in the interim progress report. To the extent that these categories have shifted or have been subdivided, indicate that as part of the accounting of funds spent to support the project’s completion. Please note that there is no requirement that this final budget be supplemented by receipts documenting expenditures, unless the researcher(s) deem it important for the purposes of the final reporting. 
  • Appendices. Although not part of the report itself, please provide for the WFI Director and committee any supporting material that fleshes out the material covered in the report, and helps provide concrete illustrations of the work emerging from the project. Such material might include (a sample, not exhaustive list): preliminary research reports (conference or workshop papers) summarizing the project and its results; articles submitted to academic or professional publications based upon the project; white papers or policy recommendations prompted by the project; promotional and/or campaign material generated as part of the project; course materials generated as a result of or as part of the project; news coverage, press releases, website materials, etc. generated as a result of the project; etc. 

This final report is typically a document that does not exceed 10 pages in length (not including appendices). Again, this final project report is due approximately one month after the completion of the project.

All scholars whose WFI-supported research is published (whether online or in print), or who make public presentation of this WFI-supported research, are required to include an acknowledgement of the support of Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society—and to provide a copy to the WFI’s director. The WFI Director specifically requests that copies of any published work resulting from the project be provided (electronic or hard copies) as soon as they are available.

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society
Villanova University, Garey Hall
800 E. Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085-1699, USA

Thomas Ksiazek, PhD, director

Wendy Eisenberg, administrative and program specialist