© photo by Jeff Day

Digital Humanities Seed Grants

Please note that the deadline for 2021-22 awards has now passed. The following is provided for information only.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Research Technology Faculty Advisory Board (FAB), in partnership with the Center for the Humanities and NYU Libraries, invites applications for a second series of Digital Humanities Seed Grants. These grants are intended to fund the initial development of new research projects that will analyze digital sources, apply algorithmic methods to humanities data, or create digital publications, exhibits, or websites. The program will fund the initial steps of projects that may go on to receive greater funding from other sources or otherwise build NYU’s institutional capacity in Digital Humanities work.

Grants may range in size between $5,000 and $20,000. Collaborative projects are encouraged, but must include at least one NYU faculty member in the humanities.

ELIGIBILITY: Proposals must include at least one full-time NYU faculty member working in the humanities; collaborative projects are highly welcome. There are no restrictions on school, department, or rank, but proposals from faculty in interdisciplinary departments may wish to identify how their research identifies with the humanities. Graduate students seeking funding should apply under the summer fellowship program.

Equal Opportunity Statement: NYU-funded programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For more information, please visit https://www.nyu.edu/about/policies-guidelines-compliance/equal-opportunity.html.

REVIEW PROCESS: Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee with experience in Digital Humanities projects. Projects will be judged on scholarly potential, technical feasibility, sustainability of any scholarly outputs produced, and their potential to serve as the foundation of some longer-term research project. The review committee will meet in Spring 2021 and awards will be announced in April 2021.

The application period for this grant closes on March 7, 2021; we anticipate a third series will be solicited next year.


January, 2021: CFP Circulated

March 7, 2021: Applications due.

March, 2021: Review panel meets for evaluation period.

April, 2021: Decisions announced, funds available for summer work.

May 20 2021: Funds available.

August 31, 2021: Funds must be transferred to the receiving department.

August 31, 2022: Project end date, funds must be spent down.

OBLIGATIONS: Prior to availability of funding, project members will consult with appropriate staff at Research Technology or NYU Libraries about their plans for creating and sustaining any digital resources.

Grantees will give two short presentations to the NYU committee, either as part of a panel at the Center for the Humanities or in some other agreed-upon setting. The first will be a work-in-progress talk after the grant period is underway; the second is after its completion and will be accompanied by a short white paper outlining the project’s successes, failures, and future potential.

DEADLINE: Applications must be received by March 7, 2021, 11:59 pm, EST.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Proposals should not exceed three pages, plus a single-page budget summary, and any necessary letters of commitment. Successful projects will generally address the following elements:

Abstract summarizing the project in 200 words; this may be used in funding announcements.

Research agenda, including an intellectual justification of the project and its significance to humanities research.

Environmental scan describing similar or model projects to the one proposed here.

Work plan giving a timeline of the agenda to be pursued, including key dates and milestones.

Human subjects plan if the work would require IRB (note that most humanities research will not).

List of participants, clearly spelling out their names, roles, and qualifications. In cases where a role is defined but no individual has yet been identified (e.g., ‘web developer’ or ‘undergraduate research assistant’, please provide a one-paragraph description of the person’s role.)

Sustainability plan, where relevant, explaining how digital assets created by this project will be managed and preserved. For a sense of full sustainability plans, see statements from NEH and IMLS. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Digital Scholarship Services about the feasibility of any plans. A preference will be given to projects that make any resources (scholarship, code, or data) openly available unless they give a justification here of the ways such openness would be detrimental to individuals or communities.

Future agenda describing the goals for this project beyond the granting period. This may include relevant granting programs for a larger version, a description of the impact or future use of resources created in the grant period. Projects will be given preference that hold promise to expand NYU’s institutional capacity to support and create high-quality Digital Humanities research. How do you plan to sustain the results of the project beyond the funding period?

Single page budget. Grants may range in size between $5,000 and $20,000. Permissible expenses include course buy-outs, partial summer salary, student stipends, and specific equipment, server time, or hosting. Personal computer purchases are not permitted. Funding for professional development and skill-building may be included (including travel*), but should be conceived with justification to a particular project. Final award amount is given at the discretion of the evaluation committee. [*Because of the ongoing pandemic, applicants are discouraged from requesting travel funds for calendar year 2021.]

LETTERS OF COMMITMENT: Faculty requesting a course release must include a letter from their department chair (or, for Gallatin applicants, dean) indicating the department’s willingness to free the grantee from teaching assignments. It should specify the proposed course release and resulting course assignment and describe how the department will address the impact, if any, on the department’s undergraduate program.

MORE INFORMATION: Please address any questions or requests for consultations are available to dh.help@nyu.edu.