Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop, 2020–21

The Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop Grant is intended for faculty interested in addressing gaps in the training that graduate students receive for career pathways outside the tenure track, and who want to propose innovative models for providing professional training not currently included in most departmental curricula. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), roughly 52% of humanities PhDs have tenure track job commitments at the time of graduation. This grant represents a learning opportunity for faculty and graduate students alike, moving departmental cultures toward better understandings of career pathways that nearly half of humanities PhDs might rewardingly pursue. Proposals must involve collaborative partnerships between humanistic units of at least three UC campuses.

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

Topic Details

Proposals for the Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop Grant should include a well-developed plan for creative training activities in a specific area of professionalization. Successful workshops will bring together graduate students from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences from at least three UC campuses (though more are strongly preferred). Priority will be given to projects that clearly demonstrate how a workshop or online materials will address crucial skills that graduate students need in order to succeed in future careers in diverse roles beyond the tenure track.

The funds are intended to support the development and execution of new workshops, though they may also support the augmentation of existing programs, provided they demonstrate a building out or scaling up of those programs (in addition to the multicampus aspect). This grant represents a unique opportunity to consider cross-campus collaborations that involve entities like career centers, graduate divisions, humanities centers, etc. Proposals that show plans for such innovative collaborations will receive priority for funding. All project activities must take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Based on five years of success with UCHRI’s Humanists@Work program, we have found that involving graduate students at all stages of program development and evaluation leads to more productive outcomes and maximizes the professional benefits they gain from workshops and trainings. At least one graduate student should be a co-collaborator in the conceptualization and planning of the proposed activities; a plan for this should be indicated clearly in the proposal. Graduate students should be fairly compensated for their labor and must be paid an hourly rate equivalent to a Graduate Student Researcher Step III or higher, according to the UC salary scale. No funds may be used to pay graduate tuition or fees. When determining appropriate remuneration, applicants should keep in mind that they are paying graduate students for their research expertise.

Application Details

Faculty organizers must be UC ladder rank faculty members who will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the training workshop. 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 Faculty Organizer(s) (2 pages max)
  • List of Graduate Students Involved in Project Planning (including campuses and departments)

Successful applications should clearly demonstrate how the theme and activities will contribute to research excellence in the humanities and include participants from at least three UC campuses.

Project Description

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

  • Problem Statement, including a description of the topic or issue that the training seeks to address and its significance to graduate professionalization in the humanities.
  • Proposed Objectives, broadly defined, with an emphasis on how the activities will address a skill set or area of knowledge that is crucial for graduate students’ success in a specific professional area.
  • Statement on Graduate Student Involvement, describing in detail how graduate student(s) were involved in developing the proposal, how they will be involved in shaping the proposed activities, and how the project will benefit graduate students across the UC.

Proposed Budget

The proposed budget is made up of two elements:

Budgets may cover travel and lodging expenses for workshop meetings. Catered and group meals may not exceed 25% of the total budget. Grant funds do not cover alcoholic beverages.

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 for which you need assistance.

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