Conference Grant, 2021-22

Conference Grants provide matching funds to support events that convene scholars (primarily UC faculty) to explore significant and innovative ideas around a particular research topic, being particularly responsive to those intellectual activities that cannot readily occur within existing departmental and programmatic structures. Although the conference model is one such means of engaging in these activities, UCHRI invites interested applicants to consider alternative forms of scholarly gatherings, especially those that result in conversations and projects that have scholarly outcomes beyond the event*. This grant is not intended to support annual meetings of professional organizations and groups or ongoing scholarly gatherings.

This year, UCHRI is particularly interested in conferences that approach humanistic problems broadly related to the theme of “Living Through Upheaval.” As you fashion your proposal, we invite you to consider how your lines of inquiry are shaped or informed by conditions of upheaval, instability, or turbulence. These forces could be external, bearing on the lives of the researchers involved, or they might be internal to the lived context(s) or sociological landscapes of the research subjects. UCHRI welcomes collaborative projects that put humanistic scholars in conversation with those from disciplines that are methodologically distinct in order to widen perspectives on the phenomena under investigation, thereby enhancing humanistic inquiry into the contours of lived chaos.

*Applicants should be prepared to present conference plans aligned with COVID-19-related restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings. As long as University-wide restrictions remain in place, UCHRI funds cannot support travel or other expenses for in-person meetings.

Applicants must seek funding from outside granting agencies or organizations to secure a match of at least 50% of UCHRI-awarded funds. For example, if you request $5000 from UCHRI, you must secure a match of at least $2500. 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 the announcement of the UCHRI award.

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


Application Details

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

Applications are accepted exclusively online through Submittable

Required documents include:

  • Project Title and Abstract (200 words max)
  • Project Description (2000 words max, see details below)
  • Proposed Budget (see details below)
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Faculty Organizer(s) (2 pages max)

Successful applications should clearly demonstrate how the theme and activities will contribute to research excellence in the humanities and include faculty participants from at least two UC campuses. Preference will be given to projects that engage three or more UC campuses and those that incorporate broader and more diverse publics in the expressive or interpretive work of the humanities.

Project Description

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

  • Problem Statement, including the important historical and theoretical context of the proposed topic, its short- and long-term significance to the humanities, and the faculty organizer’s personal commitment to the project
  • List of Participants, including campus, discipline, career rank, affiliations, and relevance/contribution to the collaborative project and its stated objectives. A commitment from the proposed keynote speaker or other prominent scholars should be evident.
  • Event Details, including specific plans for where the event will be held, how it will be structured, and any proposed session topics. Please provide an approximate date for the conference. The conference must take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
  • Proposed Objectives, broadly defined, including the event’s expected contribution to the proposed topic. If the conference is part of a longer-term program or series, please discuss its contribution to the overall project.

Wherever possible, the project description should also address the way the event will engage multiple campuses, disciplines, and publics.

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, lodging expenses, conference publicity, facilities rental costs related to the event, as well as necessary group-related research expenses. Catered and group meals may not exceed 10% of the total budget. Grant funds do not cover alcoholic beverages.

Please note that restrictions on UCHRI funding do not allow honoraria to be paid to UC faculty. Compensation should be in the form of a direct contribution to the faculty member’s research fund, and is limited to a maximum of $300 for UC-faculty presenters/panelists. Honoraria may be paid to non-UC presenters/panelists, and should also be capped at $300.

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, research grants manager, at smelnysyn@hri.uci.edu. Please include the name of the grant you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

For technical assistance, contact Submittable at support@submittable.com.