Working Research Groups

In an effort to build community and foster interdisciplinary exchange on topics with a humanistic focus at New York University, the NYU Center for the Humanities sponsors Working Research Group grants. The Center envisions these grants as bringing together NYU faculty and graduate students in a carefully planned series of meetings on a focused topic in the humanities where interdisciplinary approaches are likely to be particularly fruitful. The Center expects that the work achieved by the Working Research Groups will generate new curricular offerings, publications, conferences, or collaborative faculty projects.

Deadline: January 29, 2018

Applications will be available in September 2017. Notifications begin on or about March 19, 2018.

For the 2016-2017 year, priority for Working Research Groups will be given to proposals that explore and contemplate topics that relate to three main thematic tracks: Arts and Humanities, Diversity and Inclusion, and Public History.  For all proposal submissions, we are especially interested in proposals that collaborate with external cultural institutions within NYC.


All full-time faculty in all schools of the University are eligible to apply, and are encouraged to involve colleagues and graduate students in their own and other disciplines in the planning and implementation of the proposed Working Research Group.


The Center requests that each Working Research Group have co-directors drawn from at least two distinct disciplinary areas, departments, or schools at NYU, which may include the sciences and the professional schools, but at least one co-director must be from the humanities. Although the core participants of the Working Research Group are expected to be members of the NYU community, participants from other area institutions are also welcome. Working Research Groups are not intended to be lecture series. While meetings may be timed to take advantage of visits to NYU by distinguished scholars, reliance on invited outside speakers should be limited. The Center believes that active participation in a successful Working Research Group will have many educational benefits for graduate students. Consequently, graduate students, including those from the professional schools, should be actively involved in each Working Research Group and contribute at least a quarter of the Working Research Group’s presentations.

Term of funding

The Center recognizes the benefit of sustained work over an extended period of time. While proposals for one-year Working Research Groups will be considered, those committed to two-year projects will be given priority. The maximum level of funding is $5,000 per year. The Center may, however, exceed these guidelines for projects that are deemed to have exceptional merit and a specific need for resources.


The co-directors of each Working Research Group are expected to send a brief written report to the NYU Center for the Humanities at the end of each of the two years of the grant period, including a summary of activities and outcomes, and an accounting of all expenditures.

Criteria for selection

  • Is the proposed topic presented in a clear, detailed, well-organized way, and does it adhere to the Working Research Groups guidelines?
  • If you are working with a cultural institution in New York City, how does this proposal incorporate this institution? How will NYU faculty and students collaborate with this institution?
  • To what extent does the proposal demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to the topic? Does it draw effectively on the expertise within NYU on the selected topic?
  • To what degree and in what capacity will graduate students participate in the proposed Working Research Group?
  • How will the work of the group advance faculty and graduate student research in the humanities?
  • Does the work of the group have the potential for making a significant impact within a department, school, or the humanities in general (for example, through curricular development, a conference, a publication, etc.)?
  • Is the budget solid and reflective of real needs?
  • Is the group likely to sustain a certain level of activity when it no longer receives funding?

Application format

Applications should contain the following materials:

1. Applicant information Each application must contain the following information:

  • Name of proposed Working Research Group
  • Co-directors from two or more distinct disciplinary areas, departments, or schools
  • Co-directors’ contact information, including:
    • Full faculty titles (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, etc.)
    • School(s)
    • Departments
    • Office addresses and telephone
    • E-mail addresses
  • Number of years for which funding is requested (one or two)

2. Description of the topic of the proposed Working Research Group The Center encourages concise descriptions (1500 words or less) addressing the following:

  • Leading ideas and questions unifying the Working Research Group
  • Statement of how the topic will bring together a broad community of scholars at NYU

3. Outline of proposed activities of the Working Research Group over the course of its proposed duration

4. A list of core NYU participants, including graduate students, and their affiliations Where applicable, list participants from other institutions and indicate their affiliations.

5. Abbreviated curricula vitae (upload as .DOC or .PDF) In no more than five pages, each co-director should indicate his or her education and positions held, publications and major presentations, honors and awards.

6. Budget (upload as .XLS, .DOC, or .PDF) Itemize costs on one page. The budget may include some support for a work-study undergraduate to help with administrative/clerical tasks. For assistance with preparing the budget, consult your departmental budget administrator, your dean’s office, your school’s office of funded research or cultural institutions if applicable.

7. Letters of support from the co-directors’ dean(s) Please submit your request for a statement of support to the dean(s) of your school(s) well in advance of the application deadline.

Application Deadline and Submission

Working Research Group proposals are due no later than January 30, 2017.


Applicants will be notified of the Center’s decision on or around March 20, 2017.

Further Information

Questions regarding applications should be addressed to