Scholars on Site – Application Instructions

Deadline: Monday, March 18, 2024 11:59pm


The Scholars on Site program supports partnerships between KU Humanities Scholars and community organizations that bring humanities research to the public. These partnerships expand academic discourse beyond campus and promote dialogue with community members. They enrich the perspectives of community partners, general audiences, and humanities scholars. The Scholars on Site program provides grants of up to $15,000 for collaborative public humanities projects that engage KU humanities scholars and community partners. Community partners may be located anywhere in the world, as long as the project focus is humanities-oriented. Proposals that demonstrate a clear benefit to the public are especially encouraged.

DEADLINE: Monday, March 18, 2024 at 11:59PM.


Successful project models may include but are not limited to:

1. A one-day symposium, involving scholars, graduate students, community organizations, and professionals in workshops, discussions, and activities, that uses humanities frameworks to illuminate a community issue.

2. A non-standard publication-e.g., an app, website, film, podcast-designed to engage the public on a humanities topic.

3. A non-standard presentation-e.g., a Ted-Style Talk, Speed-dating Panel Event, Touring Performance or Film Screening with Humanities Scholar-led Q & A-designed to engage the public on a humanities topic.

4. Collaboration with community partner(s) on a humanities-oriented project.

5. Planning and development for a larger public humanities grant ($25,000 or more), such as the NEH's "Public Humanities Projects" or "Digital Projects for the Public" grants.

Funds may be used to cover:

1. A course release or summer salary for KU faculty;

2. Consultant or artist fees;

3. Hourly wages for KU student assistants;

4. Travel expenses;

5. Supplies and materials; and

6. Other relevant 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 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. Proposals are welcome in any area of the humanities. Individuals who have been awarded a Hall Center Scholars on Site Grant any time during the previous three academic years (22-23, 21-22, 20-21) preceding the application deadline and not eligible to apply.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to work on their proposals in consultation with the Hall Center's Research and Grant Development Office staff, who 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 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 their name.  

Successful applicants will be notified in April. The award period will be July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025.

Award winners must submit their final reports on the project to the Hall Center Director by July 31, 2025. 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. Failure to comply with this requirement will make the fellow ineligible for future funding from the Hall Center. 


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.

NOTE: The demographic questions in the application form are optional. We would appreciate your responses as they allow us to chart demographic data and better comprehend the communities we reach and serve through this competition and award program. This information will not be used for determining awards. 

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 files:

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

* Project Summary: Explain the main elements of the project and how it will engage the general public. Discuss the necessity and value of collaboration with your community partner to this project. State the key idea that motivates the project and makes it an important investment for the Hall Center for the Humanities.

* Collaborative Process and Research Team: Detail the collaborative process to be employed, including the role of each research project partner.

* Timeline and Work Plan: Detail the work the collaborators will accomplish and, if this is a component of a larger project, how it will contribute to the larger project.

* 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. Letter from community partners confirming the research collaboration as described in the proposal.

Please note: 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/or Course Buy-Out Fees: Salary to KU faculty can only be paid during the summer. The amount of summer salary requested is not to exceed the equivalent of eight weeks 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 $2,500/course/person. Explain how each of these proposed expenditures will advance the project.

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

4. 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 programming and community-based humanities initiatives.
  • Evidence of each collaborator's commitment to the joint project.
  • Feasibility of the proposed project, as evidenced by a clear and reasonable work plan.


Applicants should direct questions about the Scholars on Site Competition to Hall Center Assistant Director (