Submissions for the Visionary Circle Grant Letter of Intent are CLOSED.

What would you do if you had $100,000 to shape the future of work? This is the second round of the SIOP and the SIOP Foundation $100,000 grant to support I-O research and practice addressing visionary opportunities in the world of work.

Nearly 100 people have become Visionary Circle donors in support of this exciting new venture. These Visionary Circle Donors, each of whom has donated at least $1,000, will ultimately select the winning proposal.

The $100,000 Visionary Grant offers funding to I-O professionals and colleagues, enabling them to conduct Visionary projects. By Visionary, we mean that the project looks to the future of work, brings I-O Psychology into another realm, asks new questions, and/or engages with other disciplines to create something new in terms of I-O praxis – the synthesis of knowledge and application without privileging either. We are open to the form and topic of the project. All methods, from sophisticated and updated big data analyses to carefully conducted case studies, and from lab studies to the development of new tests and employee surveys and their validation, are all welcome. Below are examples of potential topics. Examples of potential topics are as follows, but any topic which advances our field will be considered:

  • Implementing strategies and measuring progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Team effectiveness across virtual and distributed environments.
  • The changing nature of work.
  • The role that networks play in the selection and advancement of BIPOC and women in organizations. 
  • Creating sustained commitment at every level in the organization where all embrace the value D, E &I can bring to an organization.
  • Building cultures of agility and adaptability.
  • Examining human and technology workplace interactions (e.g., role of sensors and A/I)
  • Demonstrating new methodology (e.g., deciding what to automate in a job).
  • Creating a new assessment technique.


All topics will be considered. For other ideas see the Horizons Forum DEI Report ( and the SIOP Top 10 Workplace Trends list (

The expected size of the Visionary Grant is $100,000. Donations will be accepted until January 31, 2022.


Criteria for Evaluation of Projects

The principal investigator of the project must be a SIOP Fellow, Member, Associate, or Student Affiliate. Proposals submitted with a Student Affiliate as the principal investigator must include an endorsement from a SIOP voting member, preferably the student’s academic advisor.

To encourage wide participation by individuals, organizations, and institutions involved in the program, an individual can only be involved in one Visionary Grant proposal per year. In addition, individuals who received a Visionary Grant within the last 2 years are ineligible.

The Visionary Circle Donors and members of the Visionary Grants Subcommittee of the SIOP Awards Committee will consider five criteria when evaluating proposed projects. The criteria are the extent to which the project:

  • is Visionary, i.e., it looks to the future of work, brings I-O Psychology into another realm, asks new questions, and/or engages with other disciplines.
  • integrates the science and practice of I-O Psychology.
  • addresses a problem critical to the future of work or workplaces (for example, maximize organizational effectiveness or individual productivity or well-being).
  • has clear metrics for success, indicating how the project will change or advance praxis in I-O Psychology. In other words, what metrics will be used to indicate that the project makes significant contributions?
  • has the potential for facilitating subsequent work and/or additional funding.


Submission Process

Winning this grant has three stages: 1. Submitting a letter of intent, 2. If invited, submitting a full proposal, and 3. If selected as a finalist, presenting the project plan very briefly during the 2022 SIOP Conference in Seattle, WA.

A videoconference about the Visionary Grant competition will be held on Tuesday, June 1, at 12:00 pm EDT. Its purposes will be to present an overview of the Visionary Circle and to respond to questions that arise in preparing proposals. The URL for this Zoom meeting is

STAGE 1: Letter of Intent

  • Briefly outline what you are planning to do, what resources you need, and why this work is Visionary, using the PDF form found on the website.
  • Include an acknowledgement that intellectual property resulting from the project will be owned by the SIOP Foundation and be available through a Creative Commons ShareAlike 4.0 license. If the proposed project is funded from additional sources, then the letter of intent must specify expectations for final disposition and rights of any resulting intellectual property.
  • Letters of Intent must be submitted online by July 1, 2021 at, using an editable PDF form available there for your download and use. Submitted letters will be evaluated by the Visionary Grant Subcommittee of the SIOP Awards Committee, who will abide by all SIOP Awards Committee policies and procedures including freedom from conflicts of interest. Authors whose project descriptions best fulfill the criteria for this grant will be invited by August 1, 2021 to proceed to stage 2.


STAGE 2: Full Proposal

Upon invitation, principal investigators prepare and submit a full proposal.

  • Full proposals should include the following sections and follow APA formatting guidelines:
  • Title and 100-word abstract
  • The problem: What problem does this project address? Why is it significant?
  • Project design: What will the project entail? What specific steps will be taken?
  • How does it integrate science and practice?
  • Anticipated project outcomes: What does the project aim to accomplish? How will success be measured?
  • Fit for this grant: What makes this project visionary?
  • Key staff bios (100 words each)
  • Project timeline – start date, milestones, end date
  • Budget – with details/categories and justification for expenditures of the award
  • Signature


  • A budget template will be included in the invitation to submit a full proposal. Visionary Grants can be used in conjunction with other funding for a larger scale project. If this is the case, the proposal should describe the scope of the entire project, the entire budget, and the portion of the budget for which SIOP Foundation award money will be spent. The SIOP Foundation may also help the winner to seek additional funding if necessary.
  • Effort should be made to reduce using Visionary Circle funds for salary recovery. For non-student recipients, salary recovery will be limited to $20,000 or two months of regular salary, whichever is less. Strong justification needs to be provided for salary requests in excess of this amount.  Funds may be used to provide graduate student stipends commensurate with the time they spend on the project. Funds may not be used to cover tuition costs. 
  • It is the explicit policy of the SIOP Research Grant Program that grant funds may not be used for overhead or indirect costs. Most universities will waive overhead and indirect costs under two circumstances: (a) the grant is relatively modest in size, and/or (b) the awarding institution (i.e., SIOP) does not allow it. If the above statement disallowing funds to be used for overhead is insufficient, the chair of the subcommittee will provide additional documentation and evidence explicitly recognizing this policy.
  • All awarded authors will need to certify, by signature or other means (e.g., institutional review board or signed statement), that the project will be carried out in compliance with accepted professional and ethical standards concerning the treatment of human participants.
  • Full proposals are due by September 6, 2021 at They will be evaluated by the Visionary Grant Subcommittee of the SIOP Awards Committee.
  • The Visionary Grant Subcommittee, at its discretion, may request written answers from proposers to questions about details of the proposal.


STAGE 3: 2022 SIOP Presentations by Finalists and Announcement of Winning Project

The Visionary Grant Subcommittee of the SIOP Awards Committee will select Finalists from among the submitted full proposals. Selected Finalists will be notified of advancing to Stage 3 in January, 2022.

If chosen as a Finalist, the principal investigator(s) agree to provide a brief presentation and respond to questions about the proposed project during a public session following the opening plenary at the 2022 SIOP Conference in Seattle, WA. Following these presentations, which may be viewed in person or via video stream, SIOP Visionary Donors will vote to select the winning proposal. The winning project will be announced at the Closing Plenary.

We will work with grant recipients to communicate with donors and the public about winning projects. Grant recipients will be required to deliver progress reports to the SIOP Foundation on a quarterly basis until the project is complete. Awardees should be aware that a synopsis of their project will be placed on the SIOP web site. This synopsis will be of such a nature so as not to preclude subsequent publication of the work. The Awardee may be required to make a short presentation about the project at the 2022 SIOP Conference.


Summary of Schedule

Videoconference (optional) meeting for potential proposers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 12PM EDT, available here:

Letter of Intent due on Thursday, July 1, 2021

Semi-finalists notified by Monday, August 1, 2021

Full proposals due on Friday, September 6, 2021

Finalists notified in January, 2022

Finalist presentations given in Seattle at 2022 SIOP Conference.

Visionaries finish voting by noon PDT on Saturday, April 30, 2022

Winning proposal announced at Closing Plenary on Saturday, April 30, 2022

Awardee may be required to make a short presentation about the project at the 2022 SIOP Conference



Questions about the Visionary Circle and this grant competition should be emailed to Answers will be posted at In addition, any additional questions and answers arising during the videoconference meeting that will be held at 12:00 pm EDT on June 1, 2021, will be summarized and posted on the website.



  Letter of Intent Form                  Upload Letter of Intent



Networking to Find Additional Funding

The Foundation Trustees need your help.  We are seeking potential funding sources, especially corporate and private foundations, to which we can refer interesting and worthy projects (with the PDs consent, of course).  All four of the finalists’ projects are worth doing.  Indeed, that is true as well for the six semi-finalist proposals that did not make the cut.  Let us know at of people and institutions we might contact.

Questions and Answers: 
Letters of Intent

Miss the videoconference about the Visionary Grant competition? Its purposes was to present an overview of the Visionary Circle and to respond to questions that arise in preparing proposals. Have questions? Check out the Q&A session that came from the meeting.

Read the Q&A

Introducing the second round of the Visionary Circle, a venture to build a renewable and continuing source of funding for I-O research and development.

  • High-Level Overview – How We Do It:
  • Collect venture philanthropic capital by recruiting Visionary Donors
  • Call for Visionary Grant proposals
  • Visionary Donors Select Visionary Grant Awardee(s)
  • Implement findings
  • Repeat Every Other Year

Rapid advancement in I-O psychology and the organizational sciences now is surely needed.  The mania about artificial intelligence systems and big data is at flood tide, with no shortage of need for critical and clear thinking about creating smarter workplaces.  We face great challenges in the workplace from the changing nature of work to sexual harassment in the workplace to a multi-generational workforce to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments. These issues stretch beyond companies and cultures and demand the best thinking, collaboration, and collective attention. The first Visionary Circle Grant was awarded in 2020 to Susan Ashford, Brianna Barker Caza, and Brittany Lambert, for their project “Working Off the Grid: Building Resilience in the GIG Economy.” This project proved to be particularly visionary given the hardships that GIG workers have faced during the COVID pandemic. 

I-O Psychologists have long supported each other’s work. The Visionary Circle is one means by which that can happen. Its purpose is to serve as a dependable and renewable source of grant funding for I-O research and development. The Visionaries are donors who want to improve the world of work dramatically by collectively supporting significant I-O psychology research and practice, projects that will have lasting impact in the workplace.

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