Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

CLASS Fund Research Grant

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

CLASS Fund Research Grant



This Call for Proposal aims to encourage innovative research ideas related to landscape architecture, horticulture, or landscape contracting in the following subject areas: Sustainability; resilience; water quality, conservation or use; air quality; climate adaptation or global warming; green infrastructure; community capacity building or development; urban land use; sustainable or alternative transportation; urban heat island or greenhouse gas emission impacts; social, cultural and environmental capital. Research with interdisciplinary nature or potentials to create resilient solutions that address social, economic or environmental sustainability is welcome.

To accomplish its mission, CLASS Fund supports scholarship and research among academic units in landscape architecture, horticulture and related fields, both in California and in other states, provinces or jurisdictions in which CELA institutions are located. Calls for Proposals for the Bob Cardoza CLASS Fund Research Grant are issued bi-annually. They are reviewed by a selection committee assembled to select the most appropriate proposal. The fund amount is approximately $25,000 or as otherwise determined by the CLASS Fund Board of Directors. CELA’s indirect cost policy limits overhead to 12%; it is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to work this out with their respective universities.

Faculty from all CELA member schools in good standing within the continental USA are eligible to submit proposals. Faculty in landscape industry fields from other colleges and universities within the continental USA may also submit proposals.

Payment of the fund will occur in quarterly increments upon successful completion of the relevant work for that period. A timeline will be provided for all funded parties to develop deliverables and utilize the funding. No extensions for utilizing the funding outside of this timeline will be provided, and recipients of the CELA/CLASS Fund will be subject to all reporting and fund release dates specified within the timeline and contract.

Proposals must include

The cover page should be on a separate sheet that can be easily removed fora blind review. In addition, there must be no identifying information on the main proposalexcept for the researchers' CVs.
(see example worksheet)

Abstract (50-word maximum)

Research Problem Statement (100-word maximum)

Background and Significance (two-page maximum - single line, 12 font)

Objectives of Study (one-page maximum - single line, 12 font)

Work Plan including schedule of activities (three - page maximum)


List of deliverables.

CV (three-page maximum) for listed researchers, including current position,education, background, research experience, selected publications, and so on.

All proposals are to be submitted digitally as PDFs. Proposal cover pages and summary CVs must be detachable for Selection Committee review. Each page must include page numbers and the title of the research proposal in the footer. Submittals are due to CELA ( no later than midnight, CST, Monday, November 30th, 2020.

Submission Process

CELA will issue the Call for Proposals through its email list-serve and via its home page at (

A selection committee chaired by the CELA Vice President for Research & Creative Scholarship shall submit for review and approval to the Bob Cardoza/CLASS Fund Board of Directors, or its designated representatives, its recommendation of the successful proposal(s). Awardees will be notified by the selection committee.

The five voting selection committee members include:

CELA Vice President for Research & Creative Scholarship, Chair

One (1) other representative from CELA (from the Standing Committee on Research or appropriate alternative identified by CELA)

One (1) from CLASS Fund or a designated representative as otherwise selected by the CLASS Fund Board of Directors

Two (2) other CLASS Fund representatives

The CELA Executive Director (non-voting)

Fund and CELA reserve the right to modify membership of the selection committee.) (CLASS Selection Criteria (which may guide the selection committee in its deliberations)

Does the proposal meet all the requirements in the Call, including format, grammar, page limit, budget, and so on?

Is the proposed study innovative? Does it represent anew or significantly expanded area of knowledge in terms of breadth and depth?

Are the methods appropriate to the work proposed?

Does the proposal demonstrate adequate preparation on the part of the researcher?

Is the project feasible? Can the question(s) be answered by the methods andtimeframe proposed?

Does the researcher(s) have the capacity and resources necessary to successfullycomplete the proposed work?

Does the proposed study have the potential to provide solutions to real-worldproblems?

Does the proposal include undergraduate/graduate students as research assistants tofoster future professionals?

Does the proposed study support collaboration across disciplines or support social,economic or environmental sustainability?

Does the proposal have potential to enhance on-going or future research?

October 15th: CLASS Fund notifies CELA of the award amount for the year.

October 15th: Call for Proposals is reviewed and edited by CLASS Fund Board and CELA.Vice-President of Research & Creative Scholarship (plus Executive Director & President).

October 30th: Call for proposals is announced. November 30th: All proposals are due in digital form to CELA, (

December 4th: CELA forwards all proposals to selection jury. Note: CELA pre-screensproposals to make sure the submittals meet certain minimum requirements.

December 18th: Following two weeks for proposal review, members of the Selection Committee meet via Zoom call to discuss, rank, and decide on the 1st and 2nd choices. (The 2nd choice will not be notified unless the 1st choice withdraws.) The CLASS Fund is then notified of the top ranked proposal. If no objections are raised, the candidate(s) are notified by CELA (CLASS Fund copied) no later than December 21st.

January 2021: Contracts are initiated and signed; funds are released.

At the subsequent meetings of all the organizations (CLASS Fund and CELA) and in the next issue of a trade magazine and / or other appropriate outlet, the winner will be announced. If the winner is present at any of the meetings, they will be recognized.

No later than 12 months after the award the draft products must be delivered to CELA which will distribute them to the expert panel for review. Revisions may be requested. Quarterly updates will be due to CLASS Fund and CELA prior to interim payments being released.

No later than 12 months after the award, the final products must be delivered to CELA for distribution to the participating groups: CLASS Fund and CELA. This is to include final products or summary items of final products that can be posted on CELA and CLASS Fund home pages. The authors are encouraged to publish findings in appropriate venues or to present findings to appropriate professional or scholarly outlets. When so doing authors are required to give appropriate credit to CLASS Fund and to CELA. Specifically, The California Landscape Architectural Student Scholarship Fund (CLASS Fund) is to be acknowledged as the funding source in all materials.

Selected results may be used by CLASS Fund or CELA in promotional materials to highlight past award winners and their projects.

The time line will be for 12 months from the date that the grant is awarded, beginning in March of the first year, and ending in March the following year. No extensions will be provided outside of this timeline.

Bob Cardoza/CLASS Fund will award the sum of $25,000 to the successful proposal for research during 2020 and 2021: Payment of the fund will occur in quarterly increments upon successful completion of work, and submission of quarterly reports to the Chair of the CLASS Fund Research Grant covering the relevant work for that period.

Payments may be adjusted according to specific requirements of recipient’s institution. CELA's indirect cost policy limits overhead and indirect to 12%. It is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to work this out with their respective universities.

The study is to be conducted within one calendar from the start date. The start date should be no later than March 1, 2021, unless special circumstances arise. Approval of the Selection Committee is required for any exceptions.

Faculty members from member institutions in good standing in the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) are eligible. Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible.

Proposal Format

Cover Page Including:

Project title: Researchers:

(PI): Name, Title, Affiliation, Email, Phone # (co-PI): Name, Title, Affiliation, Email, Phone # (Research Staff): Name, Title, Affiliation, Email, Phone

Main Proposal Text (See page 4 of this PDF)
Budget Summary 2020-21 CLASS Fund Research Award Budget Worksheet*

Report Submission Format

  1. Cover page with identifying information, including project title, investigators and date
  2. Table of Contents including a list of tables, images, figures and page numbers
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Introduction to the issue/problem under study including:
    1. brief summary of relevant past research on the topic(s)
    2. problem statement or issues under study
  5. Description of data collection and analysis methods
  6. Description of results
  7. Discussion of implications of results in light of the question, past research, and currentsituation
  8. Application to practice in landscape architecture, contracting, horticulture and/orrelated fields
  9. Recommendations for future research (optional)
  10. Conclusion
  11. References
  12. Appendices (as needed)
Submission Deadline: Monday, November 30th, 2020, questions: contact

Questions about proposal preparation may be submitted to Dr. Taner R. Ozdil, Chair of CELA’s Standing Committee on Research & Creative Scholarship, (

Click Here to Download Information about the CLASS Fund Research Award