Call for proposals: Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships and Seed Grants 2021-2022


Call for proposals: Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships and Seed Grants 2021-2022

Faculty who are interested in being nominated for the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship or Seed Grant may submit proposals to the Willson Center by March 26. Faculty are encouraged to review previously funded fellowships and seed grants on the Whiting website and to submit drafts to the Willson Center by March 5th for feedback in advance of the deadline.

The Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship and Seed Grant programs are  intended to  celebrate  and  empower early-career faculty  who  embrace  public  engagement  as  part  of  the  scholarly  vocation. Both  programs  support  ambitious  projects infusing into  public  life  the  richness,  profundity,  and  nuance  that  give  the  humanities  their  lasting  value.  The stage of a project will determine the relevant program.

The  Public  Engagement  Fellowship ($50,000) is  for  projects  far  enough  into development or  execution to  present  specific,  compelling  evidence  that  they will  successfully  engage  the intended  public.  For  the  strongest  Fellowship  proposals,  both  the  overall  strategy  and  the  practical  plan  to  implement  the  project  will  be  deeply developed,  relationships  with  key  collaborators  will  be  in  place,  and  connections  with  the  intended  public  will  have  been  cultivated.

The Public Engagement Seed Grant (up to $10,000) supports projects at a somewhat earlier stage of development than the Fellowship, before the nominee has been able to establish a specific track record of success for the proposed public-facing work. It is not, however, designed for projects starting entirely from scratch: nominees should have fleshed out a compelling vision, including a clear sense of whose collaboration will be required and the ultimate scope and outcomes.

Nomination and Guidelines: Partner schools are invited to nominate one humanities faculty for each of the two programs. See the guidelines for further details about both programs and eligibility.

Eligibility: To be eligible for either program, nominees must  be  full-time  humanities  faculty at  an  accredited  US  institution of  higher  learning  as  of  September  2020;  they  must  be  early-career,  defined  as  pre-tenure,  untenured,  or  have  received  tenure  in  the  last  five  years. Full-time adjunct faculty at an equivalent career stage are eligible.

Submission and deadline: Interested faculty who meet the conditions above should submit a proposal (1-2 pages) that briefly addresses:

  • Project overview:
    • Identify the program (Fellowship or Seed Grant) relevant to your proposal and provide a summary of your public-facing project.
  • Logistics:
    • Speak to the complexities of public-facing work including realistic assessments of time and effort required of different participants.
  • Public engagement:
    • Address how the project will reach the public and encourage participation.
  • Collaborators:
    • Describe others who will participate in your public facing project (teachers, community leaders, designers, museums and historical sites, technologists, nonprofit organizations, curators, scholars in other disciplines, filmmakers, etc.).
  • Context and landscape:
    • Address the context of your project in terms of how much the public is likely to know about your topic and where within that topic its interests likely lie, and how that affects your starting point.
  • Skills required:
    • Specify the technical skills required for success and indicate how you either have mastered them or will collaborate with someone who has.

Faculty should submit their proposal and CV to Dr. Lloyd Winstead, Senior Associate Director at the Willson Center, at by March 26. Please submit drafts by March 5. Faculty will be notified regarding selection in April.