Submit an Idea for Funding

Do you have the next great idea?

Call for Project Ideas

Revised: September 2021

Support Areas: As a University Center, we support student and faculty projects from all departments and disciplines on campus. Our mission is to help better understand the role of free enterprise in a flourishing society. Therefore, we assign preference to projects that relate in some way to issues of free enterprise, well-being, economic development, public policy, and other areas of applied research that have positive community impacts. We welcome proposals that engage issues in North Carolina, the WNC region, and our local communities, while also establishing national and global relevance.

Invitation: WCU’s Center for the Study of Free Enterprise invites Faculty Affiliates and Student Affiliates for 2021-22. This program is a hub of researchers from different disciplines and a platform that connects their work with academic, policy, and community audiences in the WNC region and beyond.

Background: To learn more about CSFE Faculty and Student Affiliates, see this news release and this roster of 2020-21 CSFE Affiliates, and also sample their accomplishments on the Center’s blog and our 2021 COVID-19 impact and recovery townhall site. Further background is in this post about how the Center defines free enterprise principles.

Areas of Support: CSFE’s formal mission is “to conduct scholarly inquiry, policy analysis, educational activities, and community outreach on the role of free enterprise in a flourishing society.” To that end, our support areas include research, education, and policy analysis that informs community development, economic progress, and human well-being. For 2021-22, specific areas of interest include regional economic progress, housing, infrastructure, broadband, transportation, jobs, manufacturing, health care, substance use, mental health, and long-term Covid studies. An area of focus for 2021-22 is cross-disciplinary perspectives on what counts as human progress in WNC and beyond.

Types of Support: CSFE Faculty and Student Affiliates receive a base-level financial support for the academic year and additional support for contributions including publications (e.g. CSFE Issue Briefs, blog entries, op-eds, more), presentations, and other contributions made during the year. Support may also be available for hiring student or non-student research assistance and to defray research costs that are not otherwise supported. CSFE support is designed to supplement WCU’s other institutional opportunities.

Generating Impact: The Center provides promotional support, marketing, storytelling, visualizations, and other distributions that distill and disseminate the faculty member’s work to public audiences. The Center organizes panel discussions and hands-on events that connect Affiliates with other academics in the southeast working on similar topics. Affiliates’ work is distributed through blog entries, social media, news interviews, editorials, and more. Faculty are encouraged to submit their work to Hunter Library’s Institutional Repository.

Timeline: The program duration is fall ’21 and spring ’22 semesters. Faculty Affiliates will be invited to share their work as opportunities arise throughout the year, as well as at CSFE events in the spring.

To Apply: Faculty and Students from any discipline are encouraged to apply. Interested faculty are invited to email us at to receive a brief application form. The application will ask for 250-500 words describing the Affiliate’s work plans and goals for the coming academic year, emphasizing its relations to the above Support Areas. We will also request a current CV and DCRD. Work that includes WCU students is especially encouraged! WCU students who work with CSFE Faculty Affiliates are automatically invited to CSFE’s Student Affiliates program.

Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Friday September 21, 2021.