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Collaborative Research Seed Grant

Deadline: Monday, March 27, 2017 11:59pm


The Hall Center for the Humanities' Collaborative Research Seed Grants (CRSG) are intended to encourage KU humanities scholars to establish partnerships and conduct preliminary work that will lay the foundation for original expanded collaborative research projects capable of attracting external funding.

Collaborative research-the joint conceptualization, execution, and dissemination of research by teams of two or more scholars-has the potential to bring a new depth and breadth to humanities scholarship. Research teams can ask more complex questions than single researchers can address alone. Scholars who combine their individual expertise to address the important issues of our time can together alter existing paradigms of scholarship and open new doors of inquiry and presentation.

The CRSG program is part of a broader Hall Center initiative to promote and facilitate collaborative research in the humanities and humanities-oriented social sciences. The goal is to encourage KU faculty members conducting humanities-oriented research to stretch beyond the traditional single investigator model and fully engage with at least one partner in a collaborative research endeavor. Teams should propose original research projects designed to produce results neither investigator could easily accomplish alone. The immediate aim of this program is to fund the early stages of collaborative research projects and enhance their competitiveness for extramural grants.

For an example of a previously awarded grant, please click here.



Seed grants will fund humanities research teams of two or more investigators, to begin no earlier than July 1 following the notification of award.  The Hall Center will provide up to $15,000 to support intensive collaboration on a substantive original humanities research project. Applicants may request the full $15,000 but may be awarded a smaller amount.

CRSG awards may NOT be used for:

1. New editions of previously published works;

2. Inventories of collections;

3. Preparation of textbooks intended for classroom use;

4. Policy studies or educational impact assessments; or

5. Research in educational methods or tests.



To be eligible for the seed grant, teams:

1. Must be comprised of at least one KU humanities or social science tenure track faculty member, including tenured faculty in phased retirement, and one or more partners.

Partners may include other faculty (including faculty from disciplines outside of the humanities and social sciences), library faculty, or professionals with specialized, technical knowledge necessary to the success of the proposed humanities project.

Partners need not be KU faculty or staff. However, in cases of collaborations between KU and non-KU partners, the KU partner must be the lead investigator. KU graduate students whose dissertations or Master's work is related to the project may form part of a team consisting of at least two senior partners. Teams may be intra-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary.

2. Are strongly encouraged to work on their CRSG applications in consultation with the Humanities Grant Development Office (HGDO).  Because this seed grant is essentially a pre-proposal for external applications, HGDO staff will work closely with the team members to develop individual work schedules and an overall timeline for completing the components of the application, offer preliminary reviews in advance of the application deadline, and provide information on potential external funding sources.

Applicants wishing to take advantage of this service must contact HGDO via email (hgdo@ku.edu) or phone (785-864-7887) at least eight weeks in advance of the deadline.



Grant recipients are required to:

1. Utilize all funds within twelve months, commencing in July following the award notification.  Recipients should consult with the Hall Center Accountant at the start of the grant period to discuss accounting rules and procedures as they pertain to the disbursement of funds;

2. Submit a brief report to the Hall Center Director within 60 days of the completion of the project and no later than August 31 of the calendar year following award notification. The report should describe the outcomes of the efforts, the current stage of the project, and plans for continuing the project beyond the collaborative seed grant period, including external funding plans;

3. Submit any receipts for reimbursable expenses within 90 days after the expense has been incurred, and no later than September 30 of the calendar year following the award notification; and

4. Submit at least one major external grant application, e.g., a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant proposal, during the seed grant tenure or within the 12-month period following the seed grant period and agree to work with and submit external applications related to the project through the Humanities Grant Development Office.  HGDO will submit copies of external applications for the project to the Hall Center Director immediately following their submission.



All application materials must be submitted through the Hall Center Competitions Portal.  Paper submissions will not be accepted.  For an application to be verified as complete, and thus forwarded for committee review, applicants must:

1. Create an account or log in to an existing account.

2. Select the Apply Now button next to this competition. 

3. Complete the Applicant Information form in the Portal.

4. Complete the Budget and Justification form in the Portal.  Please see Budget Notes at the end of this section.

5. Upload the following materials as 3 separate PDF or Word files:

a. Curriculum Vitae, not to exceed two pages for each group member, including:

* Record of applicant's education, including the dates when degrees were awarded

* Record of applicant's employment

* List of applicant's most relevant publications;

* List of applicant's awards and grants received during the last five years.

b. Project description, not to exceed 8 double-spaced pages, with one-inch margins and 12-point type.  The description should address the following:

  • Research and Contribution: Discuss the necessity and value of collaboration to this research project. Provide a clear and concise explanation of the overall proposed research project and its value to the humanities. Give the key idea that motivates the work. Explain the main elements of the project, such as: the core question or questions that the project seeks to address, the possible source materials or evidence to be analyzed, and the potential methodologies and theories underlying the team's approach to the question(s).
  • Collaborative Process and Research Team: Describe the qualifications, roles, and responsibilities of all research project team members. Detail the collaborative process you will employ in conducting the research.
  • Seed Grant Timeline: Clearly describe what work you expect to be accomplished during the 12-months of seed grant funding. Discuss how the work planned for the seed grant period contributes to the larger project.
  • Sustainability Plan: Describe plans for advancing the project following the seed grant period, including specifics about applications to external funding agencies for further support of the project.
  • Final Product and Dissemination: Describe the anticipated long-term outcome of the larger project of which the seed grant work is a part, including likely vehicles for dissemination of the final product to both public and academic audiences.

c. Two-page bibliography (can be single-spaced).

Budget Notes: The Portal's Budget and Justification form will require that you provide specific details of the planned expenditures and justifications for how the requested funding will be used to advance the project.  The budget categories are as follows:

1. Summer Salary and Wages: Intended for KU faculty and only during the summer.  The amount of summer salary requested is not to exceed the equivalent of two months of academic year salary per KU investigator.  Hourly wages can be paid to KU graduate student assistants throughout the calendar year.  Calculate fringe for faculty at 28% and for graduate students at 7%.  In the Justification, be prepared to explain how each of these proposed expenditures will advance the collaborative research project.

2. Consultant Fees: If proposing seed grant funds to pay consultants, be prepared to summarize what each consultant will do and how that work will advance the collaborative project.

3. Travel: Travel expenses may be paid for both KU and non-KU collaborators.  In the Justification, be prepared to explain how the proposed travel will advance the collaborative research project.

4. Supplies and Materials: Applicants will be required to itemize all supplies and materials for which funding is being requested.  In the Justification, be prepared to explain why these supplies and materials are needed to advance the collaborative research project.

5. Other Costs: In the Justification, be prepared to explain why these items are needed to advance the collaborative research project.



An interdisciplinary committee appointed by the Hall Center Director will review and recommend recipients according to the following criteria:

1. Contribution of the project to the Hall Center's collaborative research initiative, including its potential to serve as a model for collaboration in humanities scholarship;

2. Evidence that collaboration will strengthen the research and outcome of the project;

3. Evidence of each collaborator's strong commitment to the continued development of the joint project beyond the end of the seed grant funding period, including external funding plans;

4. Quality of the conception, definition, and organization of the project;

5. Significance of the contribution the collaborative project will make to knowledge in the pertinent discipline or disciplines and to the humanities generally; and

6. The likelihood that the collaborative project will produce significant long-term outcomes.



An interdisciplinary panel of KU faculty with successful grant and publishing track records select awardees.  The Hall Center Director brings together a unique panel for each competition.  Reviewers are asked to read the applications and enter their comments and rankings for each applicant in the online portal. Reviewers then meet to discuss individual applications and determine awardees. All applicants can view reviewer comments in the online portal. While these reflect only an individual reviewer's comments and not the final consensus of the group, they are offered to applicants as input that may help improve their applications for future competitions.  


Applicants should direct all questions about the Collaborative Research Seed Grant to Hall Center Acting Director Sally Utech (4-7823; sutech@ku.edu).


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