SEF/Rackham Grants 2016


Sales Education Foundation/Neil Rackham Annual Research Grant Program; Deadline 30 Apr 2016

Announcing the 2016 Call for Proposals

SEF/Neil Rackham Annual Research Grant Program Submission Deadline – April 30, 2016

The Sales Education Foundation (SEF), in partnership with Neil Rackham, supports the funding of high-quality research that deals with topics of importance to sales practitioners and researchers.


The SEF/Neil Rackham Research Grant Program strongly encourages research with the potential for application by sales executives, sales managers, and/or the salesforce. However more basic or exploratory work may be considered as well. No one approach or method is favored over another; proposed research may be conceptual or empirical and may involve field surveys, field or laboratory experiments, model building, or theory development. However, SEF strongly endorses using actual salespeople, sales managers and executives, and customers rather than students as participants in research projects.

Eligibility and Amount of Financial Support

Faculty members, or doctoral students working collaboratively with faculty advisors, can apply for financial support for this program. Practitioners may apply, but must meet the standards for academic research. SEF grants are made to cover researchers’ out-of-pocket expenses for data collection, respondent fees, research assistants, and similar expenses. These grants are $5,000, though funding may be adjusted. Note that SEF does not provide salary supplements for the principal researcher(s), funds for the purchase of equipment or software, university/organization overhead, tuition, or funds for travel to conferences.

Grant Recipient Responsibilities

The grant recipient will be expected to provide the results of their research in the form of a report to the SEF as well as a presentation at a conference of relevance to the academic community. Details on these points will be provided as needed.

Proposal Evaluation

The proposals will be evaluated on the bases of three criteria:

  1. Innovation – Is the research addressing an innovative solution to a business challenge? Does it offer new concepts or methods for studying and understanding problems facing salespeople and sales executives? Does it develop new approaches and /or methods for enhancing sales productivity?
  2. Practicality – What is the potential application and utility of the research? Will the results of the proposed research be of interest and useful to sales executives as well as researchers? Does the research provide solutions and insights into common challenges faced by industry?
  3. Dissemination – Will the results of the research likely be widely disseminated in a variety of outlets (e.g., articles in refereed journals, scholarly monographs, working papers posted on web sites, practitioner publications, university sales centers, and conference presentations)? Will the research have the potential for viral messaging?

Proposal Submission

For consideration, the proposals should include the following information:

  • One page summary of the research.
  • A statement of expected contributions, such as a better understanding of how key variables affect the sales process, new information to assist mangers in improving sales productivity, or new frameworks and methods for studying the sales process.
  • A very brief section that reviews the literature that is directly relevant to the research.
  • A description of the research questions, hypotheses, and/or model to be tested.
  • A detailed description of the research design and methodology.
  • A timetable, including key process completion dates as well as a completion date, and a report deliverable date.
  • Vita(e) of the researcher(s).
  • Research support special needs, if any.

Please note that SEF is not responsible for either overhead taken for university processing or tracking for individual tax purposes. Please keep records for your accounting purposes and factor in any costs for processing.

The proposal should not exceed 15 double spaced pages of text (Times Roman 12 font). However the proposal may include greater detail in appendices, such as questionnaires, pretest results, description of data bases, and/or detailed explanation of statistical analyses and/or modeling (an additional 5 pages maximum). The proposal should not exceed 20 pages including all references, figures, appendices, and tables.

Proposal Deadline: April 30, 2016

Proposals should be emailed to:

Any questions concerning the program may be directed to the email address above.

Proposal Evaluation and Decisions

The research proposals will be evaluated and ranked by the Research Grant Selection Committee consisting of a balance of respected academic researchers and accomplished practitioners. Recipients will be notified and decisions will be announced in June 2016 at the Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI). Initial funds (50%) will be distributed in August 2016.

Expenditure Requirements

NOTE: Grant recipients must arrange for the deposit of funds to a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, into a specified account dedicated for “the research purposes of the recipient.”

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