2021 Call for Proposals

The Center for Positive Sexuality is pleased to announce our second year of research awards supporting research on race and sexuality. This year we will offer at least two awards of $1,000. The call for submissions is open until August 15th. You can read about our first round of recipients here!

Research proposals should center the voices and experiences of people of color. We welcome  projects from varied research approaches, disciplines, and methodologies that connect facets of sexuality to Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other POC communities. Projects can be in any stage of the process to qualify.

In the wake of the recent shootings at Atlanta spas, we would especially welcome proposals that speak to related issues of anti-Asian hate, Asian fetishization, sex-negativity, and hatred and violence against sex workers. We are also particularly interested in proposals that connect race and sexuality to other pressing social issues, such as tightening abortion restrictions, anti-trans sports legislation, police brutality and incarceration, immigration issues, and disparate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are proud to offer this research award program for a second year thanks to a generous individual anonymous donation. This gift creates the opportunity for us to offer at least two awards of $1,000

To support equity in positive sexuality research, award funds can be used for anything that makes the research possible, including research and living expenses, travel, and/or other necessary expenses. We welcome proposals from academic researchers, community members, and individuals without an institutional affiliation!

Application deadline is August 15, 2021. Please read below for Submission Criteria.

If you would like to support this program to expand the number and size of awards available, your donation would be welcome. 100% of donations received will go directly to recipients of the award, as CPS volunteers the administration time and overhead to run this program. CPS also offers award recipients additional support in conducting and promoting their work.

2021 CFP-Race-Sexuality Award photo

Intersection of Identities

We recognize that sexual identity and racial identity are intersectional, and that research on sexuality must attend to issues of race. We recognize that racial disparities affect issues like access to sexual health resources and the impact of social stigma about sexuality. We recognize that sexuality research must push back against a history of marginalizing rather than uplifting communities of color. We recognize that people of different races have diverse, unique, joyful, and humanizing experiences with sexuality that deserve scholarship and recognition.

Positive Sexuality Framework

The Center for Positive Sexuality approaches our work through a framework called the 8 Dimensions of Positive Sexuality. You can read more about this model in our article, Introducing a Multidisciplinary Framework of Positive Sexuality (Williams et al., 2015). The key components of this model are that:

  1. “positive” refers to strengths, wellbeing, and happiness;
  2. multiple disciplines and methods to understand sexuality are welcomed;
  3. individual sexuality is unique and multi-faceted;
  4. application of professional ethics is necessary;
  5. open and honest communication is necessary;
  6. positive sexuality is humanizing and inclusive;
  7. positive sexuality encourages peacemaking; and
  8. it has applications across multiple levels of social structure.

A brief (3 page maximum) proposal is required explaining the proposed research, a time-frame for its completion, and how it relates to one or more of the 8 Dimensions of Positive Sexuality. Applicants must also submit a proposed budget and a resume or curriculum vitae.

Proposals will be evaluated by the Board of Directors based on the following criteria: 1) quality and feasibility of work proposed 2) centrality of research on communities of color 3) connection of research to one or more of the Dimensions of Positive Sexuality and 4) potential for impact on communities of color.

Who Can Apply?

Proposals are welcomed from researchers at any level, including community members unaffiliated with academic institutions, and anyone can apply. We welcome submissions from new researchers without a publication record. Researchers from marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply; please feel free to comment on your identities and how they relate to the work you are proposing.

What CPS Will Provide

    • Research funding
    • Timely and clear communication
    • Research support from one or more of our volunteer Research Assistants (as available)
    • Promotion of your work via our website and social media
    • For projects that require IRB approval, assistance is available via our collaboration with the CARAS IRB
    • Option to submit for publication in the Journal of Positive Sexuality

Responsibilities of Awardees

Recipients of awards will be expected to:

    • Use funding in a manner congruent with what was proposed in the budget
    • Provide photos and biographies to help us promote your work
    • Check in with CPS about progress of your research, and how we can help
    • Public acknowledgment of funding from the Center for Positive Sexuality


Proposal submissions are due by August 15, 2021. Please email the following to amanda@positivesexuality.org in a single collated PDF:

    • A brief (3 page maximum; single-spaced) proposal, including:
      • Explanation of proposed research
      • Time-frame for project completion
      • Explanation of how proposed work relates to one or more of the 8 Dimensions of Positive Sexuality (see above)
    • Proposed budget
    • Applicant’s resume or curriculum vitae