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Scholars on Site

Deadline: Monday, April 9, 2018 11:59pm


Scholars engaged in the public humanities expand academic discourse beyond campus and promote active exchanges with community members. Publicly engaged scholarship can bring new depth and breadth to humanities research while enriching the perspectives of community partners. This competition recognizes that different types of knowledge reside in the academy and the community and that individuals in community organizations possess unique expertise that can enrich scholarly research.

The Scholars on Site program supports collaborative research projects that engage community partners and KU humanities scholars. Both the community partner and the humanities scholar should make intellectual contributions to the project. Grants are made to KU faculty members who wish to establish or sustain research-oriented collaborations with members of community organizations. Community partners may be located anywhere in the world, as long as the research component is within the humanities, humanities-oriented social sciences, or arts. Proposals that demonstrate a clear benefit to the public through collaboration with a community partner are especially encouraged.


A National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant provides $10,000 for Scholars on Site grants. Funds may be used to cover a course release, summer salary for KU faculty, consultant fees, travel expenses, supplies and materials, and other research expenses.

Scholars on Site 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.


The primary applicant for the project must be a tenure-track KU faculty member whose work is situated in the humanities, humanities-oriented social sciences, or arts; or a full-time, multi-year appointed lecturer whose work is situated in the above fields, who holds a terminal degree, and who will be at KU during the grant period. At least one project team member must be associated with a community organization.

Successful projects will synthesize each collaborator's intellectual contributions to the project. Proposals will describe the anticipated impacts of both academic and community knowledge and experience on the project outcome.

Proposals are welcome in any area of the humanities. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to work on their proposals in consultation with the Humanities Grant Development Office (HGDO). HGDO will help the team members develop individual work schedules and overall timelines for completing 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 should email hgdo@ku.edu or phone 785-864-7833.


Applicants must submit all application materials via the Hall Center's Competition Portal. One KU team member will be the primary applicant and is responsible for submitting the application in his/her name.  Awards will be made in April, to be used between June 1st an May 31st. Award winners must submit their final reports on the project to the Hall Center Director by 5 p.m. on June 1  following the end of the funding period. The report must describe the outcomes of the efforts, and, if a component of a larger project, the current stage of the overall project and plans for continuing the project beyond the funding period, including any external funding plans.  


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 5 separate PDF or Word files:

a. Curriculum Vitae, not to exceed two pages for each scholar group member (a community partner CV is not required but can be included). All participant CVs should be uploaded as a single document. CVs should include the following information, as applicable:

* 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 6 double-spaced pages, with one-inch margins and 11-point type. Do not assume specialized knowledge on the parts of reviewers. The description should address the following:

  1. Research, Context, and Contribution: Explain the main elements of the project. Discuss the necessity and value of collaboration with your community partner to this study. State the key idea that motivates the research and clearly explain the overall project, including the anticipated intellectual contributions of both partners.
  2. Collaborative Process and Research Team: Detail the collaborative process to be employed, including the role of each research project partner.
  3. Timeline and Work Plan: Detail the work the collaborators will accomplish during the 12 months of funding and, if this is a component of a larger project, how it will contribute to the larger project.
  4. Final Product(s) and Dissemination: Describe the expected short- and long-term outcomes of the project, including the value to both your own scholarship and the community partner's priorities, the likely vehicles for dissemination, and anticipated audiences.

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

d. Letter from KU faculty members' department chairs describing how the department evaluates collaborative and public scholarship in tenure and promotion decisions. If there is more than one letter, the letters should be uploaded as one document.

e. Letter from the community partner confirming the research collaboration as described in the proposal.

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 and Course Buy-Out Fees: Salary can be paid only to 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 student assistants throughout the calendar year. For each person receiving summer salary or wages provide: name, rank/title, amount of salary or wages, amount of fringe benefits, and a justification for the salary request. Calculate fringe benefits for faculty at 28% and for students at 7%. Calculate course buy-out at $5,000/course/person. Explain how each of these proposed expenditures will advance the 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 will review and recommend recipients according to the following criteria: 

  • Quality of the conception, definition, organization, and description of the proposed project.
  • Evidence that the collaborative engagement will lead to creative synergy that will produce results greater in sum than the individual contributions and significantly advance public humanities scholarship and community-based humanities research.
  • Evidence of each collaborator's commitment to the joint project.


Applicants should direct all questions about the Collaborative Research Seed Grant to Hall Center Interim Associate Director Sarah Bishop (4-7823; sarahbishop@ku.edu).

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