UCHRI Multi-Campus Graduate Working Groups, 2015-16

The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) is excited to invite graduate students to apply for a new funding opportunity for the 2015-16 academic year; the Multi-Campus Graduate Working Groups.

View Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Apply: UC Humanities PhD students in good standing, in conjunction with a faculty member who has agreed in advance to serve in the role of Principal Investigator (PI). The PI’s sole responsibility is to facilitate the administration of funding; the PI is not expected to take an active role in the working group’s research or programming. A graduate student Convener will serve as the group’s coordinator and to work in conjunction with the PI to manage the award.

The convener must be a doctoral student, advanced to candidacy,  attending the UC campus and working towards a degree in the humanities or humanistic social sciences. Other Working Group participants may be UC graduate students in good standing in any department or field, so long as they demonstrate commitment to the organization and execution of the proposed events and/or project(s) associated with their Multi-Campus Graduate Working Group at the time of application.

Level of Award: Up to $5,000

Funding Source: UCHRI

Deadline: February 11, 2015  (11:59 pm PST). Apply online via FastApps (opens on October 1, 2014).

Funding Decision: It is expected that awards will be announcced in Winter 2015. Final awards are contingent upon available funding.

Program Overview

UCHRI Working Groups awards provide financial resources for University of California graduate students to support research, collaboration, and communication within the extended range of humanities disciplines. Modeled after UCHRI’s faculty Working Groups, this program is designed to facilitate multi-campus intellectual exchanges, bringing graduate students from different campuses, disciplines, departments, and fields across and within the UC system into conversation around a defined thematic or research interest.

UCHRI Multi-Campus Graduate Working Groups seek to initiate multi-campus, interdisciplinary conversations, research, and scholarship among UC graduate students from at least two, and ideally three or more, UC campuses. A Working Group may consist of 5 to 10 individuals across the system who will collaborate over one academic year to address a clearly-defined and timely issue, or one the group is in the early stages of developing as an emergent topic. Together, doctoral students from different backgrounds, departments, and pedagogical training will work through a specific research question, theme, object or topic pertaining to the humanities.

Members of any UCHRI Multi-Campus Graduate Working Group will be expected to be connected regularly through virtual communication, and to meet as a group face-to-face at least three times (quarterly) throughout the academic year. To ensure full group participation in face-to-face meetings, groups are particularly encouraged to cluster around geographically adjacent campuses (i.e. Davis, Berkeley, Santa Cruz; Irvine, San Diego, Riverside; UCLA, Santa Barbara, Irvine), and to vary the locations of meetings so that each group member travels more or less the same distance over the year-long project. Multi-campus groups spanning campuses across the state are also encouraged to apply as long as their proposed budget takes the cost of airfare into consideration (for these applications, less than three face-to-face meetings may be considered, provided there are frequent virtual meetings attended by the majority of the working group participants).

Project Description

The project description should detail the Working Group’s research question, and the short-term and long-term significance of the topic or issue to the humanities.

The project description will also identify a group of five or more UC doctoral students (and any interested faculty or other university-affiliated parties) who may participate, and provide a brief comment as to each person’s relevance to the Working Group. UCHRI may consider funding a group that includes one non-UC graduate student, so long as their participation is justified in the project description. Commitments from each scholar named in the proposal should be secured prior to submission.

In order to support sustained engagement on a focused topic, Multi-Campus Working Groups meet regularly over the course of the academic year, both virtually (at intervals specified by the group) and in person (quarterly). The project description should address both types of meetings, and detail how the forms of both will support and sustain effective communication and collaboration among group members. As stated previously, demonstrated commitment to participation must be given by a majority of the group’s members at the time of application.

A calendar of proposed dates and locations for the required quarterly in-person meetings should be included in the project description, along with an agenda of any other specific group-sponsored events and/or activities planned for the academic year. Events or activities may take the form of faculty- or student-led seminars or discussion groups; pedagogical workshops; field trips, such as to a museum and/or archive; group-sponsored public and/or scholarly talks, micro- or 10-minute lectures, or panel discussions; journal article workshop; art openings, readings, film screenings or other performances with a Q&A; graduate-student symposia; a single-day conference; etc. UCHRI particularly encourages projects and events that engage broader and more diverse publics in the expressive or interpretive work of the humanities.

Lastly, the project description should also set explicit research goals to be met over the course of the funding period. While not required to apply, UCHRI encourages Working Group proposals to consider identifying and including possible Working Group outcomes such as:

  1. a well-curated and regular online record of the group’s conversations and activities in the form of a website, blog, and/or multi-media forum,
  2. a multi-authored publishable journal article


Proposed budgets may cover any necessary group-related research expenses or materials, and are primarily intended to offset expenses for working group members to attend in-person working group meetings, such as travel, lodging, meals and incidental expenses.

The convener will coordinate, organize and monitor the progress of the working group, and will be responsible for submitting a narrative research and budget report to UCHRI at the end of the grant period. Graduate working groups may also be asked to submit occasional blog-style updates on their work for publication on UCHRI’s webpage.

When preparing budgets, please keep in mind that no more than 10% of the grant be used towards catering.  Grant funds do not cover alcoholic beverages.

Budgets should include itemized estimates for the costs of administering the Working Group.  There is a 10% limit on administrative costs: a) if your dean’s office allows it, and b) costs would go to the administrative unit on your campus administering the grant. Examples of administrative expenses might include staff time required for travel arrangements, financial management, web support, and such or costs for photocopies or other research or support materials.  Please consult with your campus humanities center director, financial manager or MSO in developing reasonable estimates.

How to Apply

Applications from prospective organizers are accepted exclusively online through UCHRI’s FastApps system.

Required documents include:

  • Title of the Multi-Campus Graduate Working Group and Abstract detailing topic or research question. (150 words max).
  • Project Description. (2000 words max). Include brief biography on proposed participants, their UC affiliation, and their relevance to the group.
  • Proposed Budget. Explain how estimates were determined. You may view a sample budget template under FAQ.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Graduate Student convener. (2 pages max)
  • Letter of commitment from faculty or administrator PI, detailing commitment to assisting the working group with administering the grant.

For program related questions, including any challenges around obtaining PI support for running the grant, please contact Suedine Nakano, Program Officer at snakano@hri.uci.edu.

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

Please include the name of the program for which you need assistance.