White text reading "Health Communication Scholars Program" on top of a 3/4 burnt orange and yellow-orange background

Health Communication Scholars Program: Health Communication Scholars Program

What is the Health Communication Scholars Program?

Launched in 2013, the Health Communication Scholars Program (HCSP) seeks to support graduate student research in health communication. HCSP was created by Dr. Mike Mackert within the Moody College of Communication and initially funded by the Provost’s Teaching Fellows program. HCSP specifically aims to provide grant-writing experiences to graduate students interested in exploring topics related to health communication. 

The program hosts a grant-writing workshop every fall in which faculty from across campus who have secured external funding provide their insights on writing effective grant submissions, details on the review process, and how to navigate early-career grant seeking. Each year, the program also offers an opportunity for graduate students to submit proposals to receive funding (up to $2,000) for their research. Interdisciplinary teams of graduate students are invited to submit proposals that parallel NIH or NSF submissions. All teams, regardless of funding, receive feedback on their proposals from a faculty review panel.

HCSP welcomes proposals from graduate students from all departments or schools at UT Austin as well as proposals focusing on any dimension of health communication (e.g., biological/physiological studies, interpersonal factors, patient-provider interactions, organizational contexts, health campaigns, etc.).

2021-2022 HCSP Details

HCSP Awards

The HCSP will be awarding selected proposals up to $2,500 for the 2021-2022 academic year. Dates and application materials have been updated throughout the website for this funding cycle.


Friday, October 8, 2021: Grant writing workshop
Friday, December 17, 2021: Student teams interested in participating submit a 1-page letter of intent
Friday, February 4, 2022: Deadline for submission of proposals
February 2022: Panel of faculty reviewers scores proposals and awardees are announced
March 2022: Funded proposals begin their 1-year project

Download the HCSP application.

2021-2022 Hybrid Grant Writing Workshop

The 2021-2022 HCSP grant writing workshop is scheduled for October 8, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT. You can attend in person in CMA 5.136 or virtually via Zoom.

If you plan to attend in person, register here. If you plan to attend virtually, register here.


Welcome, Introductions, and Program Overview

René Dailey, Ph.D.
Department of Communication Studies
HCSP Coordinator


Insights on Health Communication Research and Funding from the Founding HCSP Coordinator

Mike Mackert, Ph.D.
Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations
Director, Center for Health Communication


Grant Writing Tips Session #1: TBD

Rachel Davis Mersey, Ph.D.
Jesse H. Jones Centennial Professor, Dept. of Journalism and Media
Associate Dean for Research, Moody College of Communication


Tips on your HCSP Proposal

René Dailey, Ph.D.


Break and Networking Session



Grant Writing Tips Session #2: TBD

Erin Donovan, Ph.D.
Department of Communication Studies
Director of Interdisciplinary Education, Center for Health Communication


Grant Writing Tips Session #3: TBD

Hiro Tanka, Ph.D.
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Director, Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory
Director, Exercise Physiology Program


2020-2021 Funded Proposals

The HCSP funded three proposals for the 2020-2021 academic year. Congratulations to these students on funding their exciting projects!

Disclosing Mental Illness: Effect of In-Group/Out-Group Identity on the Health Disclosure Decision-Making Model

PI: Cassidy Doucet (Communication Studies)
Co-PI: Carly Montagnolo (Communication Studies)
Co-PI: Cassandra Gearhart (Educational Psychology)
Faculty mentor: Erin Donovan (Communication Studies)

Understanding Dementia Caregiving During Covid-19 Through Research and Documentary Film

PI: Kristie Wood (Educational Psychology)
Co-PI: Robert Hope (Radio, Television, and Film)
Faculty mentors: Karen Fingerman (Human Development and Family Sciences), Paul Stekler (Radio, Television, and Film), Marie-Anne Suzzio (Educational Psychology)

COVID-19 Information Bombardment: Risk Information Management and Message Fatigue in the Pandemic

PI: Jiahua Yang (Advertising)
Co-PI: Yiwen Yang (Educational Psychology)
Faculty mentors: Lee Ann Kahlor (Public Relations & Advertising)