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Seed Funding for Innovative Team Projects

The Humanities Center invites faculty to apply for up to $10,000 to support innovative scholarly collaboration.

Awards support teams of two or more faculty members interested in collaborating for mutual or community benefit. Applicants may request any sum up to $10,000 to support their proposed activities. The Humanities Center steering committee will select one or more teams for awards totaling $10,000 per year. Winners will be encouraged to solicit additional funds from their departments and other internal and external sources.  

The Research Collaborative aims to stimulate creative ideas about how faculty may help one another accomplish individual or collective scholarly goals. Teams may propose any kind of collaborative activity centered on any topic or method of inquiry. The call for applications is deliberately open-ended to encourage applicants to identify the forms of collaboration of maximum benefit to their research. The forms of activity supported may concern any subject, may be "basic" research or public scholarship, and may be undertaken with an eye toward any form of communication, traditional or innovative.  We especially seek new models for teamwork, and we aim to support forms of collegial interaction and problem-solving not adequately supported by other programs of the center or the university. Collaborations can be across institutions so long as resources substantially benefit Miami University faculty and/or partner institutions share costs, appropriate to their resources. Existing Humanities Center Research Clusters are encouraged to apply for this fund as a way to expand or transform their ongoing work together. Regardless of the research topics and the collaborative methods proposed, all Research Collaboratives are expected to result in clear, significant scholarly outcomes or public humanities projects. The committee is unlikely to support collaboration that is already possible, such as co-authoring a piece over the summer.  The award does not support proposals to advance one individual's scholarship by funding support by members or employees of an organization or institution such as a learned society or library.

Models of collaboration supported by this program include the following:

  • a symposium or conference resulting in an edited collection or other tangible product
  • a yearlong faculty seminar or a "mini-Altman program" on a specific topic with clear outcomes for participants
  • visits of a week or longer by outside scholars who would work collaboratively with groups of faculty and students
  • an team project for public engagement or outreach, possibly involving a school, art institution, or community group
  • a small conference that brings visiting scholars to campus to collaborate on an issue of interest to the wider  community
  • collaborative construction of a substantial digital or media project

This list is not meant to be prescriptive or exhaustive.

In judging applications, the Steering Committee will consider:

  • the quality of the project and proposal
  • clear, achievable outcomes, contributions and benefits for all participants
  • potential contributionto knowledge in the relevant discipline(s)
  • participants' experience and readiness to undertake the project
  • the importance of collaboration in strengthening the project
  • relationship of project cost to institutional or scholarly benefit
  • the project's potential to serve as a future model of productive collaboration

Securing partner funding from departments or other internal or external sources is desirable but not required. Projects that might easily be supported by other funding sources will be ranked lower. Applicants may be asked to provide additional information or to meet with the committee. The committee may in some years decide not to fund any proposals; it may also request adjustments to funding levels based on project review, overall requests, project timing, or other factors.  The award

Applicants may propose to use funding for any reasonable purpose, including, but not limited to:

  • professional expense allocations
  • summer salary
  • workload adjustment (with the support all supervising chairs and deans)
  • campus visits by artists, scholars, workshop coordinators, or consultants
  • hosting public lectures, symposia, conferences, or other events
  • student assistance
  • equipment or technical support

Projects may be ongoing or new. Funding will be available shortly after awards are announced and should be used within three years of the award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for an NEH Collaborative Research Grant to support or continue their work. Projects involving public programs may request additional support for such events, provided they meet the criteria for the center's Humanities Grants program.

Interested faculty should submit a description of their proposed collaboration in no more than four single-spaced pages, along with the c.v. of each applicant. Proposals should contain: a description of the project; its relationship to the scholarship of the applicants; its benefit to the applicants, the institution, and/or the public; a brief timeline of proposed activity; and a budget and brief explanation of proposed expenditures. Those seeking a teaching release must supply a brief letter of approval from their chairs. Chairs must also approve any plans involving department staff or resources. Applicants proposing a digital project are strongly encouraged to consult with the Center for Digital Scholarship to obtain an assessment of their projects' feasibility, timeline, cost, and institutional sustainability. Relevant information from this meeting should be included in the proposal.  

Please consult the Faculty Opportunities page for deadline information and direct questions to the director of the Humanities Center.  Submit applications to

Our Projects

A banner for the podcast Phantom Power
A black and white photo of the Phantom Power host Mack Hagood.A banner for the Metal Road Navajo Railroad Documentary that is black and white with nothing descript in the backgroundA black and white photo of a title card for Metal Road Navajo Railroad Documentary.A flyer for the symposium for Approaching Extinction Contesting Extinction with a water buffalo at the bottom