Call for Proposals for ACR-TCR Grants 2021

Nature and Mission of Transformative Consumer Research

Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) focuses first and foremost on matters of well- being. TCR projects involve almost exclusively a specific consumption problem or opportunity that is related to consumption and directly impacts well-being. Accordingly, such projects strive to develop insights that can be acted upon by consumers and/or their agents (e.g., family members, professional caregivers, NGOs, policy makers, social enterprises, corporates), for the purpose of upholding and improving well-being for individuals, subgroups, societies, other living entities, and/or the natural environment. Aside from having an immediate practical orientation, TCR strives to employ rigorous and responsible methodology and develop or apply consumer theory.

 

Examples of TCR-compatible consumption problems and/or opportunities include, but are not limited to: overconsumption; addictive consumption (e.g., drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, television, gaming, Internet); consumer safety; parenting and consumption; product labeling and advertising; social and ecological degradation; low income and other facets of impoverished living in developed and developing countries; vulnerable consumers (e.g., elderly, child, or adolescent), including those who are disadvantaged or challenged (e.g., low literacy or numeracy), or discriminated or empowered in/through the market due to social identities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, class); servicing vulnerable consumers; micro- and macro-level consumption behaviors in emerging economies; and behaviors/decisions that affect quality-of-life. Examples of topics with direct implications.

 

for well-being include, but are not limited to: the environment (pro-environmental consumption such as repurposing or recycling); health (e.g., organ donation; health- regimen compliance, access to/provision of services for physical and mental health), personal and social development (e.g., consumer activities related to the arts, spirituality, exercise); finances (money and credit management); and subsistence (food, water, shelter, clothing).

 

TCR’s success since its inception in 2006 has resulted in a global reach and a greatly expanded scope for its research, due, in part, to the generous research-focused support from the Association for Consumer Research, and an anonymous donor who supports the mission of TCR. In light of TCR’s mission, part of this funding is being made available to support research projects. Two tiers exist. Tier 1 funding generally retains the process we used in the past, encouraging new scholarly projects. Tier 2 funding aims to support high-potential projects that were already vetted through initial inquiry and are seeking to expand on insights already gained.

 

For 2021, TCR will again sponsor a two-tier research project-funding framework.
• Tier 1 funding generally retains the process we used in the past.
• Tier 2 funding aims to support high-potential projects that were already vetted through initial inquiry and are seeking to expand on insights already gained.

 

 Call for Proposals for 2021 ACR Research Grants on TCR.pdf

 

Available Funds

ACR and the anonymous donor have generously provided a total of $30,000 in potential funding. There are two tiers of funding as defined below.

 

Tier 1 Funding

Tier 1 funding seeks to (1) encourage innovative exploratory inquiry that is consistent with TCR’s mission (see above) and (2) provide seed or supplemental funding for already-conceptualized projects where early empirical confirmation is likely to facilitate larger grants from other agencies and organizations. Tier 1 funding is not to exceed $3,000 per grant, and most grants will be in the $2,000-$3,000 range.

 

Covered Research Expenses and Common Funding Levels

The research expenses covered by this funding program include compensation to research participants, costs of preparing research materials and executing studies, travel for the purpose of data collection, transcriptions, data set acquisition, the purchase of equipment and software, and other project-related expenses. TCR asks that Tier 1 funding not be used for researcher compensation purposes, or to fund thesis or dissertation projects.

 

Submitting Proposals

Tier 1 proposals should be well-crafted and aligned with TCR’s mission and priorities as described above. Connections between the proposed research project and TCR’s mission and goals must be made explicit in the narrative. An expert panel will review the proposals and funding notifications will be sent no later than September 15, 2021. If questions arise, researchers should contact the ACR/TCR representative listed below. The deadline for Tier 1 proposals is June 1, 2021.

 

The Tier 1 online proposal requires the following:

  • Address for correspondence to the principal investigator. List here the mailing address to which a check would mailed if the grant were funded.
  • The name, email, country/region, organization (e.g., university name) and (optionally) the web page of the principal investigator.
  • Title and abstract of the grant proposal. This information would be used on the TCR website to describe the proposal if selected for funding.
  • Keywords – specify at least 3 keywords
  • Cover letter as a text field in the submission form (content described in a subsequent section).
  • Short biographical note. Maximum 100 words, describing the principal investigator’s background, research accomplishments, etc.
  • List all co-investigators and their institutions associated with this proposal.
  • Indicate using a toggle button that the proposal is for Tier 1 funding.


Upload the proposal as a 5-6 page PDF file with the following elements:

  • 2-3 page single-spaced proposal narrative that addresses the following:
    • The consumption problem or opportunity being addressed and its seriousness or importance.
    • A short overview of prior research on the topic, focused on how and why prior research has not sufficiently produced insights that can be communicated to and acted upon for improved well-being.
    • A description of the proposed project, including (a) theoretical frameworks to be used a priori or to be inducted from this work; (b) research hypotheses (if any); and (c) the research design and methodology.
    • An overview of the most pragmatic insights related to TCR’s mission and goals, and how the researcher intends to disseminate them and their implications, plus any other knowledge advances related to theory, substantive topics, practice or methodology.
  • A project timetable, including major mileposts and expected completion dates.
  • An item-specific budget that can be verified by reviewers.
  • When applicable, a detailed explanation of how this project will lead to additional funding from other organizations, and the names of those possible sources of funding (organizations, agencies, etc.).
  • Evidence of IRB approval is desirable though not required at the application stage, but it is required before any funds will be dispersed.

 

 

Tier 2 Funding

Tier 2 funding seeks to advance projects already vetted and found consistent with TCR’s mission where (1) initial inquiry by the researchers found interesting results with discernible TCR implications and (2) a case can be made that additional funding is needed for the project to maximize its impact potential. Tier 2 funding is not to exceed $7,500, and most grants will be in the $4,000-$6,000 range.

 

Covered Research Expenses and Common Funding Levels

The research expenses covered by this funding program include compensation to research participants, costs of preparing research materials and executing studies, data transcription, coding, and analysis, travel for the purpose of data collection or solicitation of additional substantial funding from government agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH), large data set acquisition, and the purchase of specialized equipment and software. TCR asks that Tier 2 funding not be used for exploratory research projects, researcher compensation purposes, or to fund thesis or dissertation projects.

 

Submitting Proposals

Tier 2 proposals must be well-crafted and aligned with TCR’s mission and priorities as described above. They must also be supported by empirical findings from the researchers’ own prior research that affirm the underlying theory and well-being enhancing potential of the research. Connections between the proposed project, TCR’s mission and goals, and the already conducted TCR-focused research must be made explicit. An expert panel will review proposals and funding notifications will be sent no later than September 15, 2021. If questions arise, researchers should contact the ACR/TCR representative listed below. The deadline for Tier 2 proposals is June 1, 2021.

The typical format for a Tier 2 proposal is as follows:

  • Address for correspondence to the principal investigator. List here the mailing address to which a check would mailed if the grant were funded.
  • The name, email, country/region, organization (e.g., university name) and (optionally) the web page of the principal investigator.
  • Title and abstract of the grant proposal. This information would be used on the TCR website to describe the proposal if selected for funding.
  • Keywords – specify at least 3 keywords
  • Cover letter as a text field in the submission form (content described in a subsequent section).
  • Short biographical note. Maximum 100 words, describing the principal investigator’s background, research accomplishments, etc.
  • List all co-investigators and their institutions associated with this proposal.
  • Indicate using a toggle button that the proposal is for Tier 2 funding.

 

Upload the proposal as an 8-9 page PDF file with the following elements:

  • A 5-6 page single-spaced proposal narrative that addresses the following:  The consumption problem or opportunity being addressed and its seriousness or importance.
    • A thorough overview of prior research on the topic, including the empirical results from initial research by the researchers that make the case for the extended and expanded project being proposed.
    • A summary of why prior research has not sufficiently produced insights that can be communicated to and acted upon for improved well-being.
    • A detailed description of the proposed project, including (a) theoretical frameworks to be used a priori or to be inducted from this work; (b) research hypotheses (if any); (c) the research design and methodology including details about sample size, sample recruitment, measures, manipulations if applicable, and other data collection efforts, (d) analysis plan, and (e) letters from collaborators (e.g., research sites) if applicable.
    • An overview of expected additional insights related to TCR’s mission and goals, contributions related to theory, substantive topics, or methodology, and how the researcher intends to disseminate findings, practice and their implications.
  • A project timetable, including major mileposts and expected completion dates.
  • An item-specific budget that can be verified by reviewers.
  • When applicable, detailed explanation of how this project will lead to additional funding from other organizations, and the names of those possible sources of funding (organizations, agencies, etc.).
  • Evidence of IRB approval is desirable though not required at the application stage, but it is required before any funds will be dispersed.

 

Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals, due by June 1, 2021, should be submitted via the TCR Research Grant Submission siteNote that you will be required to create a login with username and password. You can update your submission(s) there any time before the June 1, 2021 deadline. Creating more than one proposal submission is permissible.

Engage with Us

TCR creates opportunities for engagements between practitioners, funders and researchers, and supports efforts of scholars and practitioners to disseminate and publicize their research and work, and obtain mentoring and advice on grant applications.

While many of these opportunities are freely available, we encourage scholars and practitioners to become a member of the Association of Consumer Research to help continue funding our work and to obtain additional benefits.