Digital Humanities Grant, 2020–21

The Digital Humanities Grant supports innovative and collaborative digital humanities projects at an advanced stage of development. The grant provides financial resources to support robust digital projects that are firmly rooted in the humanities. UCHRI is particularly interested in supporting digital work that, by its very nature, transforms research practices and troubles taken-for-granted conceptual frameworks in the humanities, rather than simply employing digital tools to enhance traditional research. Building upon UCHRI’s strong tradition of supporting collaborative, multicampus work, preference will be given to projects drawing upon the varied and considerable knowledge of UC faculty, librarians, staff, and/or students, with the goal of creating lasting networks of scholars that can strengthen digital skills and generate sustained inquiry into the future directions of digital humanities.

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

Topic Details

UCHRI looks forward to receiving project proposals that push the boundaries of innovation and collaboration, while developing or building upon exciting digital methods that are rooted in humanistic research and inquiry. Projects can take many forms, but applicants are especially encouraged to consider:

  • Projects that demonstrate new applications of innovative digital methods or tools
  • Work that tackles analytical questions in addition to practical applications of digital tools
  • Scholarship that offers new approaches to critical questions on the role of digital culture and its impact
  • Original projects that foster increased collaboration and dialogue within and across UC campuses

Please note that UCHRI will NOT fund:

  • Website development or sustainability not central to research project development or public dissemination and/or websites for departments, centers, institutes, or programs
  • Projects that would replicate existing tools, or tools for which there is no clearly-demonstrable need among humanists
  • Projects that focus solely on digitization of archives, or mapping of existing data sets

Examples of how digital projects might push the existing boundaries of the humanities:

Visualization. A project that involves visualizing humanistic data would not just consist of mapping data onto a pretty picture. Rather, the work should employ digital mediation in pursuit of a different entree into a particular set of problems. How can something like dynamic visualization help transform a researcher’s emphasis, rethink relational structures, or upend conventions of time and space, rather than just visualizing or preserving information?

Mapping. Moving beyond plotting data on maps, projects could take a more expansive view to consider how digital tools might provide opportunities for rethinking the entire conception of geography, or for generating different concepts of spatiality that shape humanistic inquiry.

Creativity. Can AI produce art? Do databases have poetics? Can digital humanities offer opportunities for immersive or interactive experiences of humanistic data or ideas? Creative projects that offer unconventional ideas and unexpected outcomes are especially encouraged.


Application Details

Faculty organizers must be UC ladder rank faculty members and are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the digital humanities project. 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 Submittable

Required documents include:

  • Project Title and Abstract (200 words max)
  • Project Description (2,000 words max, see details below)
  • Proposed Budget (see details below)
  • Curriculum Vitae of the 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. All project activities must take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Project Description

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

  • Problem Statement, including a brief overview of the project, its significance to the humanities, and the innovative nature of its digital components.
  • List of Participants, including each participant’s name, campus, department, brief biography, and relevance/contribution to the collaborative project and its stated objectives.
  • Research Plan, including a proposed development timeline, and any relevant milestones. The grant activities must take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
  • Proposed Objectives, including any final deliverables and concrete plans to sustain the project beyond the grant period.

If the digital humanities project is associated with an already-funded research project, the project description should include a brief overview of the original humanities research project as well. The faculty organizer should also explicitly state how the digital humanities element will provide substantial benefit to the principal research project as a whole, but also stand alone on its academic merits.

Proposed Budget

The proposed budget is made up of two elements:

Proposed budgets should provide realistic estimates for development, ongoing management, and long-term sustainability. Budgets should also include any other funding sources that will support the project.

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

For technical assistance, please contact Submittable at or (855) 467-8264, ext. 2.