Grunig PRIME Research Fellowship

The award supports and encourages graduate student interest in applied public relations research as a career opportunity.

The Institute for Public Relations awards the Grunig PRIME Fellowship on an annual basis, sponsored by PRIME Research. The Fellowship is named for James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig, professors emeriti, University of Maryland.

Timeline for Entries

Applications are due by March 7, 2015.
Winner notification is March 31, 2015.

Award Content

  • The Fellow will work at PRIME Research’s Ann Arbor, MI, offices for six weeks in the summer following the end of the academic year to learn more about public relations research including data collection, data analysis, interpretation of research results and consultation.
  • The Fellow will be responsible for carrying out work as assigned by his or her supervisor along with other tasks to be determined in advance of the Fellowship.
  • In exchange for the above, the Fellow will be awarded a $5,000 stipend along with free walk-to-work lodging.
  • At the end of this experience, the Fellow will produce a research paper intended for practitioners. IPR recommends the following topics:
    • What drives choice and changes behavior?
    • Organizational communication.
    • A broader context for social networking and what it means.
    • Restoring reputation in an environment of extremely low trust.
    • Models to predict the probability of public relationship outcomes.
  • The Fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend for the research paper after it has been accepted for publication by IPR.
  • The Fellow will be recognized at IPR’s Annual Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner on November 17, 2015.

Who May Apply

  • Graduate students in public relations, communications or business who are studying in the United States.
  • Applicants must have completed at least one year of study toward a graduate degree, and at least one methodology course in research methods (e.g., survey, content analysis, experimental design, etc.).
  • Additional requirements include: basic knowledge of statistics, computer and internet proficiency, fluency in English (written and spoken), and appropriate legal status to work in the US in such a Fellowship position.

Required Application Materials

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research Prospectus that outlines the type of research project you contemplate designing and carrying out, should you be awarded the grant.
  • Personal statement explaining why the applicant is qualified for the Fellowship
  • A copy of official transcript
  • Recommendation letter sent directly from the applicant’s faculty advisor

Address for Submissions: Email to Jenn Moyer

Selection Process

  • Applications will be reviewed by an Advisory Council of distinguished public relations researchers and educators including:
    • Larissa A. Grunig
    • James E. Grunig
    • Patty Lin (PRIME Research)
    • Mark Weiner (PRIME Research)
    • Frank Ovaitt (Institute for Public Relations)
  • Telephone interviews will be conducted with the finalists
  • After the Advisory Council has made its recommendations, the final selection will be made by PRIME Research

Past Winners

2012 Grunig PRIME Research Fellowship Winner
The Relationship between CEO Media Coverage and Overall Organization Media Coverage (PDF)
This study examines the relationship between the tone and visibility of media coverage about a CEO and an organization’s overall media tone and visibility. This paper also examines how the topic of media coverage (strategy/vision, product, CSR, positioning, financial performance) impacts the relationship between CEO media tone and organization media tone. A content analysis was conducted of media coverage for 36 Fortune 100 companies and their CEOs within 53 opinion-leading U.S. media outlets between January 2010 and June 2012.

The findings show a positive relationship between CEO visibility and organization visibility, as well as CEO media tone and organization media tone. A negative relationship was found between CEO media tone and organization media visibility, as well as CEO visibility and organization media tone. The tone of media coverage related to organization strategy, CSR and positioning had the strongest relationship with CEO media tone. The results from this study can inform practitioners what organization stories benefit most from CEO involvement.


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