The 2020 LingComm Grant offered $500 (USD) to support a linguistics communication project that brings linguistics to new audiences in engaging ways. The grant also included a one-on-one mentoring meeting with Gretchen and Lauren to refine your idea, and promotion of your project to our lingthusiastic audience.

The grant was funded by Lingthusiasm, thanks to the kind support of our patrons, and judged by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne.

Applications for the 2020 LingComm Grant have closed. Below is archived information about this opportunity. Check out the Grantees page for updates on the four funded projects!


Fundraising deadline: 1st of May, 2020, midnight (if we reach 800 patrons by this date, we’ll give out three grants instead of one)

Applications close: 1st of June, 2020, midnight (i.e. as long as it is still June 1 anywhere in the world)

Winners announced: Winners and Lingthusiasm patrons will find out Friday July 3rd, 2020. We will publically announce the winner on Monday July 6th. All applicants will find out before these dates.

Update, 12 March 2020: We’ve added an additional sponsored LingComm Grant thanks to NSF Grant BCS-1423711 granted to Claire Bowern, which is targeted towards a project with a focus on one or more minoritized languages. (Please note that this project does not represent the views of the NSF.)

There will now be 2 or 4 LingComm Grants given out! (To sponsor a grant yourself, see below.)

Update, 22 April 2020: We’ve hit our fundraising goal with time to spare, so now we’re giving out a total of 4 LingComm Grants!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you looking for in a LingComm grant application? 

We’re looking for projects that bring linguistics to new audiences in engaging ways.

We’re open to any area of linguistics, but we encourage projects to pick a specific topic, theme, and/or audience rather than a general “what is linguistics” aimed at everyone. It may help to do some searches and look through the Resources page to see what already exists — what makes your project different? 

We’re also looking for projects that are specific enough in scope that $500 can make a significant difference and that they can reasonably be created by the end of 2020, even around other work and/or school commitments that you presumably have. (This is about 6 months from when we announce the winner.)

For example, if you want to make a multimedia project, don’t promise weekly episodes indefinitely. Rather, pick a smaller, defined number of episodes. If your narrowly-defined project is going really well, you always have the option of continuing to do it after the grant period, but we’re looking for concrete, realistic outcomes that can stand alone even if you get busy and Phase 2 doesn’t happen. You may wish to create for yourself some calculations of how many hours you think each part might take. You might also want to double that number of hours (we tell you this from hard-learned experience!). 

Why do you ask about new audiences?

We want communication about linguistics to reach as many people as possible, and thinking critically and creatively about projects to cater to a wide range of people makes that happen. We strongly encourage people from backgrounds that have been underrepresented in linguistics communication to apply, perhaps reaching new audiences that you yourself are a part of.

We also encourage you to use this section to talk about how your project will be accessible, such as with transcripts, captions, or alt-text. The application itself is in English for the time being, but we also welcome proposals for LingComm projects that aren’t in English. 

Do I have to have experience at doing LingComm?

No! You just have to have a good idea that you can realistically make happen. Everyone has to start their lingcomm career somewhere, so maybe this will be your start!

Can I apply for an existing project?

Yes! Just make clear how the money will help you to make the project better. (One idea is to use the money for an accessibility upgrade for a current project, such as by creating transcripts or translations.) 

How many grants are you giving out?

We will give out at least one $500 (USD) grant in 2020. If we reach our Patreon funding goal of 800 patrons by May 1st, we will fund three $500 grants for 2020. (For every person who pledges at the phil-ling-thropist level, we will drop this number by 10 patrons.)

This is an experiment and we have not yet decided whether grant(s) will also happen in future years. It depends on how this year goes! To stay in the loop when we announce the winners and find out about other future LingComm Grant updates, sign up for the Lingthusiasm monthly email list

What can I spend the money on? Can I pay myself?

There are no specific rules, restrictions, or reporting requirements about how you spend the money. (No keeping track of receipts!) We will simply send you $500 in early July, and you can spend it however you see fit, whether that’s on equipment, tools, website hosting, paying yourself or someone else for time, something else, or some combination. 

You will, however, have a collection of linguistics fans online who are following the LingComm results and excited to see what you make! No pressure 🙂 

Do I need to be based in a particular place? 

Nope! Anywhere that we’re able to electronically transfer money is fine. Since we’re based in Canada and Australia already, the mentoring meeting will happen electronically anyway, via videochat, audio call, text chat, as you prefer. 

Does it need to be an internet-based project? 

Not necessarily! If you want to do linguistics with a physical group of people in your local community, that’s also great! In this case, we encourage you to post any activities you did or write up a blog post about it, to help anyone who wants to do something similar. 

Does it matter if I’m a Patron of Lingthusiasm when applying to the LingComm Grant? 

It doesn’t matter one way or the other. We will not be looking at whether applicants are patrons or not. 

How can I support the LingComm Grant?

The LingComm Grant is funded through the kind support of the Lingthusiasm patrons on Patreon. If you’d like to help us offer a second and third LingComm Grant for 2020, you can become a patron too! We will be offering two additional grants if we make it to 800 patrons by May 1st 2020. 

Lingthusiam patrons get other fun perks at various levels, like access to over 30 bonus episodes and a Lingthusiast sticker! All current patrons in early July will get to find out about the successful grantee(s) before the general public (all applicants will also be informed of the success of their application before this). 

No but seriously, I have a well-paying job, how can I support the LingComm Grant a LOT?  

If you’re especially excited about lingcomm and have cash to spare, we’ve added a new Phil-ling-thropist tier at $50/month, where we’ll also list your name and/or a worthy linguistics-related cause that you’d like to highlight on the LingComm website, and send you a Lingthusiast mug after three months! (For every person who joins at the Phil-ling-thropist tier, we’ll reduce the target number of patrons that we need to hit by 10, so if two people become Phil-ling-thropists, then we only need to get to 780 patrons overall in order to fund three grants, and so on.) 

Actually, I have a grant or other source of funding, can I just sponsor a whole additional LingComm Grant?

Yes, please contact us at to discuss possibilities! We’re open to additional LingComm Grants for the 2020 application cycle until May 1, 2020 — after that date, we’re happy to discuss options for potential future years. Because of international transfer fees, potential currency fluctuations, and general admin, a $500 grant costs $600 to sponsor. We may be able to accommodate sponsored grants targeted towards specific themes or topics, although overall the more general, the better. We’re happy to acknowledge sponsors on the LingComm website and social media.

The first of the additional sponsored LingComm Grants is from an NSF grant granted to Claire Bowern and is targeted towards a project with a focus on one or more minoritized languages.

I’d like to support the LingComm Grant, but I’m unsure about signing up for a monthly thing

We’re running the LingComm Grant through Patreon because recurring monthly contributions make it way easier to plan cool lingcomm projects for the future. (If this is successful, then we might be able to start with more or larger grants for a future year, for example.) We’ve also set the new patron target below the amount that we actually need to fund two additional grants, but that’s because we’re expecting that most people will stick around for a bit, which will make up for it. It’s also way easier from an administrative overhead perspective to only be maintaining one funding platform. 

However, you can cancel your Patreon support at any time, and if you’d like to give a one-time contribution, you can do this by joining the Lingthusiasm Patreon at any amount and then cancelling a few minutes later — we’ll understand that’s what you’re doing! (Though you won’t get the additional Lingthusiasm Patreon perks.) 

I’d like to support the LingComm Grant, but I don’t have money to spare

The LingComm Grant only works if we also get applications, so it’s also a big help to share it with anyone you think might be interested in lingcomm! 

We’ll also be posting about the grantee(s) once decided, so we encourage you to support them as well by checking out their projects, following them on social media, etc.

What if I want to know more about lingcomm? 

Check out our Resources page for pointers to other lingcomm projects for inspiration, meta resources for doing lingcomm, and other resources on scicomm and indie web projects, such as Creative Commons. We’ll also be updating our public lingcomm resources as we find out other questions that people have about lingcomm, through the mentorship part of the program. 

How can I stay in the loop about the LingComm Grant? 

To find out when we announce the winners and other LingComm Grant updates, sign up for the Lingthusiasm monthly email list

Text LingComm Resources in blue surrounded by blue confetti and a small white Lingthusiasm logo in the bottom right corner
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