Project Grant Funding

Funding applications for one to two-year collaborative research projects are due in early July of each year (July 1 in 2020).  Late applications are not accepted.  Decisions will be communicated by early August each year. Project funding applications require sign-off support from the PIs appointing unit(s) Chair/Director.

Each project is required to publicly disseminate results of their projects towards the end of year two or, at most, six months following the end of the grant period.  Some teams may choose the route of an exhibition or display, others programming, perhaps a performance, or film/documentary. Other ideas include presentation of the work on a digital platform, gaming, community engagement, editorials, engagement with K-12 educators, virtual reality, etc.

Funded teams will be required to present an “in-progress” report of their project each year of funding support. The presentation/report should consist of goals, plans, what has been accomplished to date, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and the collaborative process. The discussion is aimed at those who are interested in the research project itself and/or collaboration in humanities research, especially those who may be contemplating applying for funding at some point in the future. All team members will also be required to attend workshops, programs or meetings organized by the Collaboratory (no more than 4 in total per year).

Application for Project Grants – Final guidelines for the funding cycle will be available in early 2020.

We suggest you use Word to write the narrative (questions 2 – 8) and ensure the word count is correct and then save as a PDF.  The Project Grant Application Cover Sheet is required to be completed and includes space for the project title, abstract, other information requested in question #1, and a section for sign-off support of the PI’s involvement in the project (due to the annual course release). If there are different PIs in Years 1 and 2, indicate the names next to each other on the PI line and the signers sign next to each other on the signatory lines. The Budget Worksheet is required as well as a short CV for each faculty member involved in the project. Combine the two forms, the narrative, and the CVs in  one PDF submission (application cover, signature page, narrative, budget worksheet, CVs). Submit all materials in ONE email to by July 1, 2020 at midnight. Late applications will not be accepted.

Reviewers will be interested not only in the value of your project, but especially in what collaboration adds to your project. The bullet points below each question reflect the kind of information the reviewers will be looking for and are meant to serve as a guide for answering the questions.

Bear in mind the review is conducted by a broad, interdisciplinary committee. It is advantageous to ensure that your language is clear to those who may not be familiar with the field.

Provide a project title and 250 word abstract of the project.

1.  Identify the research team (on cover sheet/form).

  • PI, title, affiliations, uniqname
  • Faculty team members, title, affiliations, uniqname
  • Graduate team members, title, affiliations, uniqname
  • Undergraduates (if applicable), uniqname (if known)

2.  Describe your research project. (Tell us why you want to pursue the project.) (1000 words)

  • What original contribution(s) will the project make to the humanities field(s) in which it intervenes? Account for its relationship to earlier or existing projects, both individual and collaborative.
  • What original contribution(s) does your project make to the humanities broadly conceived? In other words, how does the project advance the role of the humanities in the academy and in the world?

3.  Describe the centrality of collaborative activity to your project and explain how you will pursue the project collaboratively. (1000 words)

  • What is your team’s vision of collaboration?
  • Why is collaborative research appropriate for and necessary to the project? What does the collaborative/team-based/intergenerational model allow you to accomplish that can’t be accomplished otherwise?
  • What collaborative research methods will your project employ (e.g. research together on-site, research trips, collaborative learning, etc.).
  • How will the collaboration work, on a weekly and monthly basis?
  • What collaborative relationships do you anticipate will emerge? What issues might arise in working collaboratively?

4.  Describe the members of the research team. (500 words)

  • Diversity is known to increase creativity and to enrich research results. Describe the diverse perspectives represented by each member of your research team (including students, at least for the first year) and what scholarly expertise each team member contributes to your project.
  • If you anticipate changes to the research team over the two years of the project, please explain. (Please note that faculty members cannot serve as PIs while on leave.)
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of graduate student collaborators. What skills will the students learn? How will working on project-specific activities contribute to the students’ intellectual development and to their profile on the job market? What outcomes of the project will be credited to the students?
  • Describe the roles of undergraduate students, if relevant. What skills will the students learn? What will they contribute to the project and what responsibilities will they have?

5.  Describe the anticipated outcomes of your project. (500 words)

  • What will your collaboration produce? Describe the collaborative nature of the project outcomes (e.g. collaborative writing, collaborative production of a performance, curricular collaboration, etc.).
  • How do you plan to communicate the results of your research and to what audiences? We are particularly interested in innovative approaches to scholarly communication and in plans to address the wider public.
  • What platforms will you use to communicate your results and why? What technological support will you require and where will you get it?
  • What are your ideas for using the dissemination funding available at the end of the grant period?  **Grant recipients will be asked to submit a dissemination plan and budget request for these funds at the end of the first year of the project.  It is anticipated that ideas included in this application will be provisional.

6.  Describe your project management plans. (500 words)

  • The PI is expected to serve as project manager–that is, to organize the group’s work, convene research group meetings, supervise student mentoring, and track budgets. If you anticipate other project management responsibilities to be shared by team members, please explain.
  • Describe specific plans for mentoring graduate students (and undergraduates, if relevant). How will you know if you are mentoring effectively?

7.  Describe documentation and assessment plans for your project. (500 words)

  • What are your plans for data management, the preservation of digital assets and materials, or the storage of archives?
  • How do you plan to evaluate your project, and at what stages? How will you know if your project is successful?

8.  Provide a timeline for your project.

  • Please give us a description of the anticipated workflow of your project.  Feel free to format the timeline however you wish and please address (if relevant):
    • PI in each year of project (do you anticipate changes?)
    • Graduate student partners for each year of project (as known)
    • Team meeting schedule
    • Planned events, travel, or meetings with consultants/allied researchers
    • Milestones for the project (what will you finish by what date?)
    • Anticipated incremental outcomes

9.  Complete the Project Grant Budget Worksheet for your project.


The budget is completed through a self-calculating form.  There is one worksheet for Year 1 of the proposal and one worksheet for Year 2 of the proposal embedded within the Project Grant Budget Worksheet.  Sample budgets are included for Years 1 and 2 within the workbook; one sample includes funding support external to the Collaboratory.  Budget line items may include:

  • 20% effort for PI per year (one course release per year which cannot be banked; must be in winter term for year 1).  For PIs with a joint appointment, indicate the unit for which the course release will be taken in the notes section of the budget
  • PI Summer ninth (value may be taken as research funds)
  • Project faculty/curators/staff (non students) compensation up to a cap of $13,500 per team member based on 2-4 collaborators. (Summer ninth calculation up to the cap will be later elected as compensation or research funds)
  • GSRA appointment for fall/winter term (stipend equal to GSI equivalent fraction, candidacy tuition and GradCare; no more than two per term, per year anticipated) and/or hourly graduate student assistance
  • Graduate student summer support (up to $10,000 total per year)
  • Undergraduate research assistance, preference for coordination with UROP
  • Research expenses (team travel, materials, bringing specialists to campus, consultants, technical support if not otherwise provided through other UM resources, etc.; no equipment can be purchased with project funds, it is anticipated Hatcher Library or the Collaboratory will have standard equipment or technical resources available as needed).