Ends on

PMI is pleased to announce its Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2021 research funding (up to US$50,000) on topics related to project, program, or portfolio management. 

We invite proposals from scholars both within and outside the field of project management, and/or it’s sub-fields, whose themes and perspectives have direct application to some aspect of the project management body of knowledge or its practice. 

Research proposals submitted for consideration must:

  1. Address the extent to which the outcomes of the project are “practitioner-ready.” The research needs to demonstrate the direct contribution to practice, not simply a discussion of implications. 
  2. Have a theoretical framework which must be explicitly identified in the proposal. 


1 February – 25 April     Call for Preliminary Proposals

19 June                            1st Round Notification

31 July                              2nd Round Due

15 November                   Final Decision

1 January                          Project initiation

Eligibility Requirements 

Principal Investigators: 

  • Academic researchers at accredited colleges/universities and non-profit research institutes. Independent consultants or consulting firms and other for-profit enterprises are not eligible. No grants are made to individuals.
  • Consultants and practitioners may be members of the research team, but cannot be principal investigators unless they have an academic appointment at an eligible organization. Consultants and/or practitioners on the research team who do not hold a university appointment may be paid as independent contractors by the university receiving the grant.
  • Students may be members of the research team but cannot be principal investigators. Graduate students may wish to apply for the Thesis Research Grant- see more information on the Thesis Research Grant (PMI.org/Research). Students who receive a Thesis Research Grant are not eligible to participate in a PMI Sponsored Research project on the same topic.


  • Investigators may submit no more than three proposals in a grant cycle. This rule holds irrespective of the author’s role on the project (i.e., principal investigator, co-investigator, researcher, consultant, etc.).  A single principal investigator and/or an academic department within a university is eligible for only one grant in a funding cycle. 
  • Applicants who are principal investigators in a current PMI Sponsored Research Grant are eligible for a new award only if the final deliverables have been received. 
  • Grants are limited to study periods of no more than two years, with rare exception.
  • PMI will not fund the development of software simulations.
  • Historical research will not be considered.
  • Methodology must be properly matched to the research question. Quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods approaches are given equal consideration provided that the selected methodology produces the data to achieve the project aims and that it is sufficiently elaborated in the proposal. Single and multiple case studies will also be given consideration for funding. Decisions for funding are solely based on the quality of the work, and awards are not restricted to a quota of the types of proposals submitted.

* PMI Academic Resources reserves the right to omit from consideration proposals from the institution in question based on the track record of its current and past investigators on previously funded PMI projects. 

Submission Guidelines for the Preliminary Research Proposal 

Proposal Body (limit to 3 pages) should be uploaded as a separate PDF file through the online submission system.  The entire application process is double-blind peer review. Please do not include any investigator names, institutions, or identifying content in the 3-page proposal; including file names, headers/footers. Proposals which divulge the names of the investigators, or institutions will not be considered for peer review. 

Sections of the proposal must include: 

  1. Statement of Research Question
  2. Specific Aims of the Project
  3. Anticipated and specific application(s) to the practice of project management
  4. Brief Literature Summary 
  5. Overview of the Research Design and General Methodological Approach
  6. Preliminary Analysis Plan
  7. Expected Deliverables
  8. Schedule of Activities
  9. Timeframe and estimated Completion Date (Timeframe for proposed research should be no more than two years.)

Please note:

·  A detailed project budget is not required at this stage in the review process. 

·  The total funding requested may not include indirect costs or overhead. These costs may not be charged to a grant from the PMI Sponsored Research Program.

Proposal Body Formatting Guidelines

  • Include project title as header on each page of proposal.
  • Number pages consecutively in lower right corner.
  • Bold and underline all major sections of proposal (See Proposal Body above).
  • Single-space, with one-inch margins on all sides of page. 
  • Use no smaller than Times New Roman 11 pt. typeface.
  • Use the system of grammar, usage and documentation outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Seventh Edition). 
  • Do not exceed three (3) single-spaced pages.

Review Process 

The PMI Sponsored Research Program uses a two-stage review process. In the first stage, applicants submit a three-page preliminary proposal which is subject to double-blind review. Preliminary proposals are reviewed by a peer review committee. Proposals focused on theory-building are reviewed by a committee of faculty/academic researchers; translational research proposals are reviewed by a committee consisting of both academics and practitioners. 

Those advancing to the second round will be invited to submit a ten-page proposal, and the project team’s qualifications are assessed. Second round proposals are reviewed and scored by the PMI Academic Insight Team with the Manager of PMI Academic Programs, based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the research question(s) and its significance to the field of project management; research must address a recognized and justified managerial problem
  • Proper theoretical grounding of the research question
  • Adequacy of literature review
  • The methodological approach and its “fit” to the research question
  • Clarity and importance of the knowledge gaps that the research will fill and how the results will build on existing work
  • “Readiness for application” of the eventual research findings (translational research proposals).
  • Future implications of the research findings for both theory and the originally identified managerial problem (theory building proposals).
  • Adequacy of financial resources.
  • Relevance of the topic to advance the profession of project management. 

Research Agreement

  • The Research Agreement will be sent to the grant administrator at the university/institution following notification of the award.
  • Parties to the Agreement are PMI and the university/institution with which the principal investigator is affiliated. No grants are paid to individuals.
  • When the project involves multiple investigators from different universities/institutions, the parties to the Research Agreement will be PMI and the university/institution with which the lead investigator is affiliated. The lead investigator’s university/institution will be responsible for executing sub-contracts with the universities/institutions of co-investigators on the research grant. 
  • PMI funding cannot be used by the university/research institute for indirect costs. 
  • Research agreements between PMI and the university should be reviewed and signed by 31 December 2020.
  • Grants begin on 1 January of 2021, provided the Research Agreement is executed in accordance with the timeline.


Required Deliverables

  • Final Report, in English, describing all aspects of the Investigation, prepared according to the Final Report Guidelines, which will be provided by PMI and suitable for online publication as a white paper. 
  • Evidence of submission of a Journal article to an academic journal, preferably the Project Management Journal. 
  • A live one-hour webinar presentation of the final product for posting on ProjectManagement.com, using the template and instructions provided by PMI.
  • One, or more, of the optional deliverables listed below.

Optional Deliverables

  • Presentation at a peer-reviewed academic or practitioner conference
  • Submission of the appropriate case format:
  • A teaching case (designed as a teaching resource to guide critical thinking and analysis about a real-life situation, complete with an instructor guide), or
  • A research case (an evidence-based case that supports the research findings and adds to the professional body of knowledge)
  • Article for online publication on ProjectManagement.com


Should you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact PMI Academic Programs at AcademicPrograms@pmi.org.  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.