Inside the Grant Program

Journal of IA

Journal of Information Architecture

Experience the Journal of Information Architecture, an international peer-reviewed scholarly journal whose aim is to facilitate the systematic development of the scientific body of knowledge in the field of information architecture.
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Progress Grant Details

About the Award

The Information Architecture Institute has historically offered two USD $1,000 IA Progress Grants each year to advance the field of Information Architecture. Beginning in 2012, we now offer a single, USD $3000 Research Grant. The IA Institute Research Grant award consists of a Certificate for the winning author (or co-authors) and a check for USD $3000 issued directly to the primary applicant.

Please read on for updated schedule and eligibility requirements of our new grant program.


  • 15th of April 2012: Submission deadline
  • 15th of May 2012: Grant recipient to be announced
  • 15th of May 2012: First half of grant awarded
  • 14th of September 2012: First board progress review
  • 15th of January 2013: Second board progress review
  • 15th of February 2013: Submission of final research paper and last half of grant award

Submission Guidelines

Topic & Content

Applications should propose work that will forward the theory and practice of information architecture. This can include original research, a helpful synthesis of existing research, the development of a new technique, method or tool, or something that could otherwise support the IA community of practice.

A successful grant project could:

  • help solve a particular problem or challenge for IA practice or theory
  • illuminate or explain an otherwise unclear or overlooked issue
  • improve an existing approach, with verified results
  • create helpful connections and syntheses between IA and one or more other disciplines

The IA Institute is looking for Journal-ready research papers as an output. Our aim is to use the grant to directly contribute to the body of scholarly knowledge we are creating for our community of practice and the development of the discipline.

Proposal content should address the points explained below, under "Selection Criteria & Process." Previous grants have been awarded to students, academic researchers and practitioners. Topics have included IA in higher education, a new card sorting technique, the use of internet cafes in developing contexts, and an intranet review toolkit.

Please note: The quality of the proposal is considered to be an indicator of the quality of the potentially funded project's outcome. Therefore, the IA Institute jury will be looking for more than a cursory summary, or loosely defined approach. While we recognize many details will not materialize until work is underway, the applicant's concept, general approach and plan of execution should be detailed as thoroughly and clearly as possible.


The proposal should provide:

  • Description of the problem or hypothesis
  • Methodology to be used
  • Explanation of how the resulting work will benefit the theory or practice of IA
  • Conditions under which others can use the results (e.g. Creative Commons license)

The application package should include:

a) a cover letter, stating:

  • the primary (and associated) author's name(s), address, email, and affiliation;
  • and that the attached proposal is being submitted for the IA Institute Award;

b) the proposal itself:

  • no author identification (applications will be forwarded to jury without author identity)
  • should be 2000 words or fewer

c) a preliminary budget showing how the project funds would be spent.

Next Steps

  • Grant applications should be emailed by April 15, 2012 to
  • Questions can be directed to the jury chair, Jason Hobbs (

Selection Criteria & Process

The IA Institute Research Grant Jury will review and evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

  • potential benefit to the field of information architecture
  • effectiveness of how project's budget will use granted funds
  • viability to be successfully completed in the allotted time frame
  • overall quality and thoroughness of the proposal

Each voting juror will assign points to each eligible proposal, based on the evaluation criteria, and will transmit the scores for each proposal to the Jury Chair.

The Jury Chair will total the points from all jurors; the grant recipients will be those with the highest-scoring proposals. In cases of a tie, the tying nominees will be re-evaluated.

The Jury Chair will communicate the jury's decision to the IA Institute board of directors, and notify the grant recipients.

Note: In the absence of qualified proposals, the Jury may refrain from granting awards for that year.

Award Process

Half of the grant amount will be awarded when the grant recipients are announced and half when the work is completed. Progress grants will only be awarded to proposals of sufficient quality, clarity, and originality.

Distribution & Publication

While copyright (if applicable) of the resulting work is owned by the work's author(s), the IA Institute reserves non-exclusive rights over the awarded research paper and may use the paper in any capacity in the future. The resulting work will be published on the IA Institute website to provide a continuing resource for Information Architects and as a general benefit for the IA community at large, as well as available as reference for future IA Institute learning & research initiatives. The Journal of Information Architecture will be provided with the first right to publish completed papers

Authors are also encouraged to publish their results in any format they choose, such as presenting at professional conferences, or on their own website, blog, or as part of a larger work.

Award Jury for 2012

The IA Institute Awards Jury is composed of six members, including the Jury Chair, and are appointed by the Chair of IA Institute Grant Jury for a one year term. The 2012 Jury members will be announced shortly.

  • Jason Hobbs, Human Experience Design, South Africa, Jury Chair
  • Thomas Haller, Info.Design, USA
  • Keith Instone, NW Ohio Brand Council/Tech Toledo, USA
  • Kathryn La Barre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Nils Pharo, Oslo University College, Norway

Eligibility & Conditions

The Information Architecture Institute Grant Jury is the sole jury for this award. Grant jury members are not eligible to apply for the award themselves.

In the case of no acceptable applicants or ineligible applicants, the awards may not be granted.

No more than one application may be submitted per person (including multi-authored submissions).

The proposal must fall within the scope of information architecture and result in a piece of work that is either original research or product that is of general use to the information architecture community.

The proposal must describe work that will be completed within the guidelines described above, after receiving notice of proposal acceptance.

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This page was last modified on May 16, 2012 07:08 AM.