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SHRM Foundation Research Grants 

Type of Research Funded
The SHRM Foundation seeks to fund high impact research on all aspects of HR management with a focus on addressing current challenges or understanding emerging trends. Any topic may be funded however the research must be aimed at an academic audience while also having direct, actionable implications for HR practice. It is crucial that there is continuity between the research questions proposed and the methods used.  The research should also be able to reasonably generalize across people and settings. 

Research topics should contribute to evidence-based management by yielding actionable implications for enhancing the effectiveness of (a) HR professionals, (b) specific HR practices, functions, or systems, or (c) organizations through HR practices. Projects are more likely to receive funding if the findings will result in new evidence that contributes to both the science and practice of HR. Specifically, to receive serious consideration for funding, proposals must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. The proposed research should advance the HR academic literature (i.e., likely to result in a top-tier HR academic journal publication).

  2. The proposed research should yield practical, actionable implications for HR professionals (i.e., help inform HR practice such that a summary of the research findings would be of interest to outlets such as HRMagazine, Business Week, Fortune, Financial Times, or Wall Street Journal).

Any type of research methodology may be used as long as it is sound and appropriate for the proposed research question(s). Those research questions typically (but not solely) take the form of theoretically derived hypotheses.

How Proposals are Reviewed
The SHRM Foundation has a limited amount of funding to award in each review cycle, so the funding process is competitive. The SHRM Foundation Research Committee--a subset of Foundation Board members--leads the proposal review process with assistance from outside volunteers. Each grant proposal is reviewed by at least three individuals including both academics and HR practitioners. Reviewers include both SHRM Foundation Board members and additional volunteers with relevant expertise. Reviewers evaluate each proposal using a standard rating sheet. View the rating sheet.

Projects will initially be 'blind' reviewed, meaning reviewers will not know which researchers submitted the proposal nor how much funding was requested. This will allow them to judge the project solely on the merits of the proposed research study. A final review of the top proposals in each round will include all information such as researcher vitas and requested funding amounts.

After all the proposal ratings are collected, the Research Committee meets via conference call to decide on their final funding recommendations. Over the past few years, approximately 12% of proposals have received funding, though there is no set number or percentage of proposals that will be funded. 

All applicants will be notified via e-mail of the Foundation's final funding decision approximately 3 months after submitting a proposal. Applicants who are not funded will receive a high-level summary of reviewer feedback- generally 1-2 paragraphs. Note: the feedback will not be extensive like a journal review and applicants will not receive detailed comments from individual reviewers.

Before submitting a proposal to the SHRM Foundation, researchers are strongly encouraged to submit a formal letter of inquiry through our online form. This will allow the Foundation to provide feedback on your proposed study before you prepare the full proposal and it will help to facilitate the match between submitted proposals and the SHRM Foundation's funding objectives and criteria.

Submit a Letter of Inquiry.

How to Submit Your Proposal
Researchers should submit the entire completed proposal in two Word files (one complete version and one Blind Review version), following the guidelines outlined on this website. An optional third pdf file containing endorsement letters, survey instruments, etc. may also be submitted. To submit your proposal, please click on the link below, upload your files and complete the online form:

Submit Your Proposal

After completing the online process, you will receive an e-mail acknowledgment from the SHRM Foundation confirming receipt of your grant application.

Important: If you do not receive confirmation from the SHRM Foundation after submitting your proposal, please contact Dorothy Mebane at (703) 535-6219 or dorothy.mebane@shrm.org to verify that your proposal was received.

All applicants will be notified via e-mail of the Board's final funding decision approximately 3 months after application. Please notify the Foundation if your e-mail address changes during this time.

Contact Us
For questions on the content/design of your research or the fit with SHRM Foundation funding objectives, contact:

Research Coordinator
Lynn McFarland, Ph.D.
Chapin, South Carolina; USA
Phone: 803-767-6992
E-mail: lynnmcfarland@bellsouth.net

To find out if your proposal was received by the Foundation, or for questions relating to grant administration, contact:

Manager, Foundation Programs
Dorothy Mebane, Ph.D.
Alexandria, VA; USA
Phone: 703-535-6219
E-mail: dorothy.mebane@shrm.org