DORA Community Engagement Grants: Supporting Academic Assessment Reform


DORA is pleased to announce Community Engagement Grants: Supporting Academic Assessment Reform. More than 20,000 individuals and organizations in 148 countries have signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment since its release in 2013. Our goal for the community engagement grants program is to build on the momentum of the declaration and provide resources to advance fair and responsible academic assessment. It seeks to support a broad range of ideas that promote assessment reform, including raising awareness of the need for change, developing new policies or practices, providing training to evaluators on practical strategies for responsible academic assessment, offering practical guidance to job applicants, and more.

DORA is looking to fund ideas to advance assessment reform at academic institutions at any stage of readiness. Projects can be targeted to any level within an academic institution, including (but not limited to) reform efforts at the graduate program, department, library, or institution level. They should address one or more key aspects of education, planning, implementing, training, iteratively improving, and scaling policies and practices. Examples of projects that might be funded include, but are certainly not limited to:

  1. Organizing a symposium to raise awareness within the community about fair and responsible academic assessment.
  2. Organizing a workshop to align community members on institutional values and goals for research assessment.
  3. Developing resources to support new evaluation procedures, such as training materials for evaluators, guidance for applicants, modules, and rubrics.
  4. Organizing a workshop to review and iteratively improve existing evaluation procedures.

To help develop project ideas, applicants are encouraged to review our research  assessment reform resources, including the SPACE rubric and its accompanying worksheet, the biases brief, the ideas for action brief, the DORA educational slide deck and introductory video on research assessment, and Balanced, broad, responsible: A practical guide for research evaluators. More inspiration can be found in DORA’s resource library.

Support provided

Applicants may apply to receive up to $4,000 USD to pay for materials, supplies, marketing, and salaries to support projects that focus on research assessment reform. Please note, grant recipients will have six months to complete their projects, and funds must be spent by August 31, 2022.

Who can apply

Individual or collaborative team applications at all levels of academic professional development are welcome. This includes, but is not limited to: graduate students, postdocs, faculty, staff, and university administrators. For collaborative applications, only one person should serve as corresponding applicant for the purposes of selection.

While the grant is open to anyone in the academic community with an interest in and a plan for raising awareness about or implementing scholarly assessment reform at their institution, department, or program, DORA is especially keen for applications from community members from the following priority areas: Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Requirements to apply

If you are applying as an individual: To be eligible to apply, the applicant or the applicant’s organization must be a signatory of DORA.

If you are applying as a collaborative team:  To be eligible to apply, at least one member of the team or the team’s organization must be a signatory of DORA.

Applicants who have not signed DORA may sign as a part of the application process. Sign DORA here before submitting the application.

Conditions of the award

Funds must be expended by August 31, 2022. Grant recipients must be prepared to provide a final budget report. In addition to the final budget report, grant recipients must commit to:

  1. Write a blog post (1,000 – 1,500 words) for DORA’s website. Grant recipients will have the option to provide additional updates on their project progression over time.
  2. Give a presentation on their results and experiences at a special DORA webinar.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Application opens November 5, 2021.
  • Submissions due December 10, 2021, by 11:59PM EST (see here for time zone converter).
  • Grant notifications will be made by January 15, 2022, and funds will be distributed once we receive all of the required paperwork from the appropriate parties.

How will applications be evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated using a rubric by a selection committee composed of members of the DORA Steering Committee. We expect 7 to 10 projects will be selected for funding. Applications will be evaluated based on how well the project proposals meet each of the following three criteria:

  • Need: Does the project fulfill a need within the target community?
    • Applicants should describe 1) the community that their project will target and 2) the need within that community that will be addressed by their project.
    • Applications will be evaluated to determine whether the project will have a positive impact on its target community and the potential for lasting effects within that community.
  • Likelihood of success: Is the project likely to succeed within the parameters set by the applicant?
    • Applicants should provide the expected outcomes of the project and the project budget in their proposal.
    • Applications will be evaluated to determine the likelihood of project success based on the proposal, expected outcomes, and budget.
  • Engagement: Is the community involved in the project?
    • Applicants should specify in their proposals how their project will engage their target community.
    • Applications will be evaluated to determine whether and how well the proposed project incorporates the target community as active participants.
      Selection committee members will be asked to recuse themselves from evaluating proposals with which they may have conflicts of interest.

Code of Conduct

To ensure the best possible experience for all, grant recipients are expected to follow established guidelines for participation in all Community Engagement Grants-related activities set by DORA’s administrative entity, the American Society for Cell Biology. By becoming a grant recipient, recipients agree they have read and will follow these rules.

How are you applying?*
DORA signatory*

Identifying information

Names of additional team members, if applicable


Please provide a 100 word abstract that briefly describes 1) the project, 2) the community you plan to reach with the project, and 3) the need that is addressed by your project.

Project plan

Please provide a 250 word project plan that briefly describes 1) what the project is and how it will be implemented, 2) what the target community is that you plan to reach with the project, and 3) what is the project timeline, what goals and outcomes of the project will be used to evaluate the success of the project.

Note: This section can include how the project will be implemented in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This section can also include preliminary information from piloted elements of the project.

Budget and budget justification

Please provide a 250 word written description justifying the proposed budget. Applicants may apply to receive up to $4,000 USD to pay for materials, supplies, marketing, and salaries to support projects that focus on research assessment reform. Indirect costs are not allowed. The budget justification should provide an explanation of how finances will be handled (institutionally or individually). In the template table below, please provide a budget plan for how funds will be allocated.

Detailed budget

Please enter costs for each item in USD ($).



Other Faculty/Students/Staff

Administrative Staff

Fringe Benefits

Other direct expenses



This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

At a glance


The Community Engagement Grants Program aims to support academic career assessment reform at institutions.

Important dates

Application opens November 5, 2021.
Submissions due December 10, 2021.


Contact us at: [email protected]
Convocatoria – versión en español disponible

How to apply

Please complete the online form.