Engaging Humanities Grant, 2018–19

The Engaging Humanities grant provides matching funds for UC faculty as they engage with publics alongside and beyond the academy. Engaging Humanities offers a grant opportunity that supports innovative projects combining humanities research and/or pedagogy with community engagement, building ties between UC campuses and California communities through research engagements and/or partnerships with community organizations, museums, NGOs or other public-facing groups. These grants may support the initiation of new projects or advance the work (or completion) of projects and efforts already in progress. Applicants to the Engaging Humanities grant must have support from a community partner and are required to seek funding from external granting agencies, organizations, or UC campuses or departments to secure a match of at least 50% of UCHRI-awarded funds.

Eligible Applicants
UC Ladder Rank Faculty
Maximum Award
$15,000 (at least 50% of awarded funds must be matched)
Application Opens
Monday, September 25, 2017
Application Deadlines
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Award Announced
May 2018
Funding Source

Note: This award is eligible for up to $15,000 of supplemental graduate student funding to engage UC graduate students in substantive, research-oriented aspects of the grant (see below).

Final awards for all of our grants are contingent upon available funding. Funding must be spent in accordance with all applicable UC rules and regulations.

Applications must be submitted online via FastApps by 11:59 PM (Pacific time) on the deadline date.

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Topic Details

In the spirit of the award title, Engaging Humanities grants seek to engage: to produce original scholarship and programming that is interested in, inflected by, and interesting to, a variety of publics. Preferred projects should address one or more of these approaches/topics:

  • Collaborative and mutually-beneficial knowledge creation that involves faculty and students alongside community partners around a topic of public concern
  • The translation of California-centered humanities scholarship for broader publics (local, regional, or statewide)
  • Innovative curriculum development that fosters community access to, and engagement with, humanistic inquiry
  • Digital and multimedia publication, exhibitions, performance, and other innovative modes of disseminating scholarship
  • Campus-community partnerships across all sectors of higher education


Ideally, projects will engage a diverse group of UC humanities faculty and students with individuals or groups outside the academy in both the production and dissemination of the project’s research. Further, although projects might include some panel discussions or lectures, they should not be limited to these forms of engagement.

Application Details

Faculty organizers must be UC ladder rank faculty members and will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the grant. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their respective campus representative on the UCHRI Advisory Committee for guidance in the application process.

Prospective faculty organizers must apply online via UCHRI’s FastApps system. Required documents include:

  • Project Title and Abstract (200 words max)
  • Project Description (2,000 words max, see details below)
  • Proposed Budget (see details below)
  • Memorandum of Agreement or Community Letter from the partner organization
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Faculty Organizer(s) (2 pages max)
  • Supplemental Graduate Student Funding Request (optional, see details below)

Interdisciplinary and multi-campus collaborations are strongly encouraged, though proposed initiatives may involve scholars from a single or multiple UC campuses, depending on the needs of the project. Preference is given to projects that engage with populations not traditionally well represented at the university, or those that address innovative topics.

It is strongly recommended that faculty organizers make requests for matching funds before submitting the application as it may not be possible for home campuses or granting agencies to appropriate funds if the request comes after announcement of the UCHRI award.

Project Description

The project description should be a maximum of  2,000 words and include the following elements:

  • Intellectual Agenda, including the relevance and importance of the project for the campus(es) and the broader communities.
  • List of Participants, including each participant’s name, brief biography, and relevance/contribution to the collaborative project and its stated objectives. Commitments from non-UC participants should be evident.
  • Proposed Objectives, including expected outcomes, how the project will potentially impact various communities, and how this impact might be evaluated or measured.
  • Partnership Statement, describing the project’s relationship with its partner organizations and participants and a description of the target audiences.
  • Outreach Strategies for involving broader communities, including an explanation of why the chosen strategy is particularly suited for the target audience.

Proposed Budget

The proposed budget is made up of two elements:

  • The Applicant PROPOSED Budget Template
  • A Budget Narrative (500 words max) that describes how estimates were determined and lists secured or potential sources for matching funds.

Proposed budgets may cover travel and lodging expenses for workshop meetings of working group members as well as necessary group and project-related research expenses, including programming and web support. Catered and group meals may not exceed 25% of the total budget. Grant funds do not cover alcoholic beverages. Please note that the majority of the budget should support research and engagement.

UCHRI may also consider administrative costs (up to 15% of the total requested amount), provided justification is detailed in both the budget template and the budget narrative Amounts should be determined in advance and in writing with the administrative unit (e.g., the faculty organizer’s department or campus humanities center). Campuses are prohibited from charging indirect costs on funding from the Office of the President.

For program related questions, please contact Shana Melnysyn, competitive grants officer at smelnysyn@hri.uci.edu.

For technical assistance with FastApps, contact techsupport@hri.uci.edu.

Please include the name of the grant you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

Supplemental Graduate Student Funding

This award is eligible for up to $15,000 of Supplemental Graduate Student funding. This funding provides financial resources to create or augment support of research-driven, graduate student engagement in certain UCHRI-sponsored projects. Supplemental funding is intended to allow UC graduate students to participate significantly in large-scale research projects, to receive sustained mentorship from the professors involved in the project, and to help graduate students gain research and project management skills. Full integration means that faculty organizers and project members share the full scope of the project with graduate students, how it was conceived, and what its future will be. UC graduate students should be both collaborators and mentees and their participation in the project should be carefully considered and diligently managed.

UCHRI has historically funded integrated graduate student participation in many research-based projects. Graduate students have helped to set the research agenda, used data from research projects to write scholarly articles, engaged with community members around research issues, and shared pedagogical and methodological resources through studio-built websites and workshops. Already demonstrating success in graduate student integration, these provide models for the Supplemental Graduate Student Funding grant.

Funding Details

Integrated graduate student collaboration can take many forms, but grantees are especially encouraged to consider:

  • Co-authorship of published materials based on the project
  • Management or leadership of a smaller subset of the larger project (serving a particular community or dealing with a particular issue)
  • Creation and maintenance of a website/blog/podcast or other multi-modal, public-facing tool to bring attention to the project and share methods and findings
  • Participation in planning large seminars, workshops, and conferences and moderating or presenting on panels
  • Assisting in grant preparation if the participants decide to extend the project and seek additional funding from other sources

Because proposers must apply for supplemental graduate funding at the same time they apply for their primary project grant, there may be cause for revised scopes of work. UCHRI will accept these revisions provided they are necessary to running the project based upon UCHRI’s Advisory Committee decisions.

Required Documents

Faculty organizers will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring the progress of graduate student involvement. Applications for supplemental funding must be submitted concurrently with the primary UCHRI grant application via UCHRI’s FastApps system. Required documents include:

  • Scope and Narrative (1,000 words max, see details below)
  • Proposed Budget (see details below)

While there might be a need for some administrative tasks (organizing materials, helping to set up events, etc), successful applications will describe not just how graduate student labor is necessary to the project, but how working on the project will benefit a graduate student in terms of research and professionalization.

Narrative and Scope of Work

The narrative and scope of work should be a maximum of 1,000 words and include the following elements:

    • Narrative of Graduate Student Involvement, including the impact of the of the project on the students(s) research and professionalization and the manner in which they will participate in the scholarly work of the project and its deliverable. 
    • Scope of Graduate Student Work, including a description of the day-to-day activities of the graduate student, any additional tasks they will conduct, and the activities or events in which the graduate student will participate.
    • List of Graduate Student Participants, including each student’s name, campus, department, brief biography, and relevance/contribution to the collaborative project and its stated objectives. If you have not confirmed potential graduate students, please detail thoroughly how you intend to identify interested participants.

Proposed Budget

The Supplemental Graduate Student Proposed budget is made up of two elements:

Funds will support programmatic activities for up one year. No funds may be used to pay graduate tuition or fees, and graduate students must be paid equivalent as Graduate Student Researcher Step III or higher according to the UC salary scale. When determining appropriate remuneration, applicants should keep in mind that they are paying graduate students for their research expertise.

Proposed budgets should describe when graduate students will be working on the project, how many hours, and when payments will arrive. Funds will be transferred directly from UCHRI to the appropriate campus PI administrative unit, and payments can only be made between quarters or semesters (Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break). Please be sure to indicate in your budget how funds will be disbursed as well as campus-by-campus expenditures (this is especially critical if the graduate student(s) do not share the same campus as the project PI).

For program related questions, please contact Shana Melnysyn, competitive grants officer, at smelnysyn@hri.uci.edu.

For technical assistance with FastApps, contact techsupport@hri.uci.edu.

Please include the name of the grant you are applying for in the subject line of your email.