UCSD Center for the Humanities Research Groups

 The UCSD Center for the Humanities supports annual research groups that bring together faculty and graduate students participating in interdisciplinary conversations and research agendas on humanities-related topics. Research groups should clearly address topics that cannot be covered in an existing department or program. We invite applications for new research groups and for the renewal of existing groups at two levels of support, explained below.

Successful applications for all levels of funding will do the following:

  • Have two or more conveners from different departments, one or more of which is based in the humanities or humanistic-oriented social sciences;
  • Include both faculty and graduate student members from at least two departments and/or programs;
  • Open up new avenues of research centered with the humanities;
  • Creates intriguing connections that do not normally occur within the campus structure.

Small-Scale Research Groups: Creating Conversations (up to $1,000 in funding)

This level will support the sustained conversations necessary foster local intellectual communities crucial to the production of excellent individual scholarship or collaborative work. Such groups will meet at least two times a quarter to exchange ideas, read and discuss texts, and/or plan and implement common research projects.

Large-Scale Research Groups: Growing the Dialogue (up to $4,000 in funding)

This level will allow existing or potentially vibrant conversations extra support to grow the conversation into a larger project or initiative. Additional funding may be used to bring in outside collaborators or speakers, facilitate community partnerships, host workshops, advance collaborative projects, or other activities that further the research agenda. Such groups will meet at least once a month. Groups are encouraged to discuss the scope of the project and any opportunities for growth. Requests over $2,000 will be expected to find new sources of funding for the future and/or engage in a significant collaboration that clearly merits additional resources.
Support and Expectations
The Center for the Humanities will undertake the administrative, financial, and clerical work needed to keep the groups running smoothly. Research groups are encouraged to use the Center’s Seminar Room for meetings. The Center for the Humanities will also assist groups in identifying external funding opportunities to grow projects in the future.

Successful research groups will maintain a blog that is either on or linked to the Center website and submit a final report. Reports are required for consideration for renewed support. The final report should demonstrate group happenings and accomplishments. This includes a list of the following: grants applied for, grants received (individual or group), publications (including individual papers and dissertations that benefited from group feedback), new courses, public events, conferences, other new initiatives, etc.
Application Process
Proposals should be submitted via email by May 1, 2014 to Victoria Gerginis-Mellos (vgerginismellos@ucsd.edu). All applications must include a detailed description of proposed activities (1-2 pages single-spaced), including the following.

  • The research question of the group. Applicants must specify: (1) the central question that the group will address, and (2) why this activity cannot occur within existing structures;
  • The names of the conveners of the group, as well as the names of faculty and graduate students who have agreed to participate in the group;
  • The activities planned for the year, specifying themes, topics, and materials that are likely to be covered;
  • A proposed budget for the year’s activities (see “allowable expenses” below);
  • (For renewing groups) An explanation of how the group will build on and move beyond the previous years’ work and an interim report for the previous year (as a separate document).

Allowable expenses: At both levels, research group budgets may be used for the reimbursement for travel costs associated with bringing collaborators to UCSD and expenses related to the costs of meeting. Large-scale research groups may use funds for research assistance provided by UCSD graduate or undergraduate students. Funds may not be used to pay honoraria to speakers, or to sponsor departmental/program speakers and events.

Proposals will be reviewed on the following criteria:

  • Importance and/or potential of the research question, including its contribution to the broader discourse of humanities research;
  • Level of interdepartmental collaboration of the group and inclusion of both faculty and graduate students;
  • Clarity and feasibility of the proposal;
  • (For large-scale research group proposals) Potential for growth and external funding.

For further information, please contact Sarah McCullough (smcc@ucsd.edu, 858-822-0131).