Proposal Development Funding

Proposal Development Funding

Applications for Proposal Development Funding are due in February each year (February 28 in 2024).  Project Applicant PIs will be notified of funding decisions by the end of March. Please submit all application materials to

Proposal Development grants provide significant funding during the spring and summer of each year for awarded teams to develop the research question(s) and proposals for internal and external support. Because we value the process of how innovative projects develop, we encourage applications that emphasize deep engagement with evolving research questions. The Collaboratory anticipates funding up to four proposals per funding cycle.

The Collaboratory is also able to provide grant writing support. Interested teams should email:

Funded teams will be required to submit a written report on their work by September 1 of the funded year.

The Proposal Development Grant application cycle opens in late fall with an application submission deadline in February (February 28 in 2024). The criteria for applications and submission requirements are listed below.

Each application package must consist of the Application Cover Sheet, Narrative Application (responses to questions 2-4 in a single PDF file created by the applying team), Budget Worksheet (opens in Excel), current CVs for each faculty member on the team, the Signature Form indicating support by each faculty member’s Chair/ Director/ Associate Dean/Dean as applicable.

 The information below is required to complete the application, word limits are indicated in parenthesis.

Project Description

  1. Identify the research team
    1. PI, title, affiliations, unique name
    2. Faculty team members, title, affiliations, unique name
    3. Anticipated graduate team members, title, affiliations, unique name
    4. Anticipated undergraduate team members (if applicable)
  2. Describe your research project, including the questions that motivate the research, your approach and the anticipated outcomes. (1000 words)
  3. Describe your collaborative process. What will you work out or hope to accomplish during the proposal development phase of your project? If you have previous experience with collaborative scholarship or if you have a model for collaborative work in mind, please explain.  What is the anticipated role of graduate student collaborators, and what is your mentoring plan for graduate students (and undergraduates, if relevant)? (1200 words)
  4. What contribution(s) will the project make to the humanities field(s) in which it intervenes, and to the humanities more broadly? How do you anticipate results will be communicated and to what audiences? (600 words)


The budget is completed through a self-calculating worksheet. Budget submissions may be no more than $60,000, the worksheet will not accept budget over this amount. Budget considerations include:

  1. PI Compensation of a summer ninth capped at $6,000.
  2. Up to a summer ninth, capped at $6,000, for each of the 2-4 faculty collaborators; it is suggested the stipend be adjusted based on contributions or role of each collaborator.  More collaborators may be compensated, but no more than $24,000 in total stipend compensation is allowed for the faculty team members
    **Note:  Due to the nature of their appointment, staff, librarians, and research scientists may or may not be eligible for additional compensation depending on the nature of their responsibilities for the project.  Approval of additional compensation is at the discretion of library administration, one’s supervisor and/or human resources based on the roles and responsibilities indicated in the proposal, budgets will be adjusted/reduced based on the final decision of pertinent personnel.
  3. Graduate and/or undergraduate students paid as hourly research associates
  4. Research expenses (team travel, supplies, materials, some hosting for meetings, etc.; no equipment can be purchased with Collaboratory funds) 
  5. Budget items may not include equipment or staff/admin support.

Further Documentation

  1. CV from each faculty member (short-form is preferred).
  2. Signature Form – All faculty collaborator team members are required to obtain signature support from their appointing unit(s) Chair/Director. If the team includes an LSA Chair/Director the appropriate Associate Dean will need to sign off on the proposal for that particular faculty member.  Other schools and colleges may or may not have Chair/Director appointments, in these cases either the Associate Dean or Dean’s signature of support is required (depending on the specific school’s procedures for applications of this nature).


Please submit all materials to

Selection Criteria
Proposals will be selected based on the criteria listed below (not in priority order).  The proposals will be reviewed by the Collaboratory Steering Committee members as well as two external reviewers based on a rating system utilizing the indicated criteria.

  1. Impact in the identified research field(s) and in the humanities more broadly, including degree of innovation
  2. Justification for collaborative work: processes and products
  3. Diversity of research teams and how UM/LSA’s DEI goals contribute to the research/scholarship
  4. Quality of collaboration
  5. Quality of mentoring
  6. Feasibility of plan for project development phase

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.