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Working Group Grants

DEADLINE: Applications for new Working Groups will be accepted after September 1, 2023.

OVERVIEW: 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 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 Groups will generate new curricular offerings, publications, conferences, or collaborative faculty projects.

Designed to enhance the quality of research at NYU, and to promote collaboration and exchange across disciplinary lines, the Center offers these grants for faculty to lead regularly scheduled meetings on topics of broad humanistic concern for a period of one or two years. Emphasis is placed on allowing NYU faculty and graduate students to explore a topic of mutual concern.

ELIGIBILITY: All full-time faculty in all schools of the University on continuing contracts 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 Group. Co-directors of each working group must be appointed in at least two separate departments or schools in the humanities. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact the Center directly.

The Center requests that each Working 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 Group are expected to be members of the NYU community, participants from other area institutions are also welcome. Working 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 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 Group and contribute at least a quarter of the Working Group’s presentations.

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

FUNDING AND DURATION: For each group, funding is available for up to $5,000 per year, with a maximum of $10,000 over the two-year period. The proposal must include a preliminary budget.

The Center recognizes the benefit of sustained work over an extended period of time. While proposals for one-year Working Groups will be considered, those committed to two-year projects will be given priority.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: All application components must be submitted electronically via the online application (link below if applications are currently being accepted).

1. Co-Director Information
Applicants will be asked to include information regarding each co-director, including their full titles, departments, and schools. Co-directors must be from two or more distinct disciplinary areas, departments, or schools.

Abbreviated Curricula Vitae (Word Document 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.

Core Participants
Applications must also include a list of core NYU participants, including graduate students, and their affiliations. Where applicable, list participants from other institutions and indicate their affiliations.

2. Project Information
Applicants will be asked to include the title of the project and its intended length (i.e., one or two years) in addition to the documents listed below.

Project Description (Word Document or PDF)
The Center encourages concise descriptions (1500 words or less) addressing the following:
Leading ideas and questions unifying the Working Group
Statement of how the topic will bring together a broad community of scholars at NYU

Activities (Word Document or PDF)
Outline of proposed activities of the Working Group over the course of its proposed duration.

Budget (Word Document, Excel, 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.

3. Letters of Support
Applicants must request a letter of support from their respective deans. Please note that letters are due the same day as the application deadline. Please communicate with your dean to be sure that a) they received the invitation to submit a reference, and b) they have submitted their reference in a timely manner. 

SELECTION CRITERIA AND REVIEW PROCESS: We consider the following when reviewing applications.

  • Is the proposed topic presented in a clear, detailed, well-organized way, and does it adhere to the Working 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 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?

QUERIES: Please address questions to: info@nyuhumanities.org