Willson Center Grants and Awards

The Willson Center awards grants through competitions. Aside from the Graduate Research Award, grants and fellowships are awarded primarily to University of Georgia tenured or tenure-track faculty. For grants that have an “Apply Online” option, applicants will need to create an account. The system will not automatically recognize UGA MyID login credentials. Once an account has been created, all current and future Willson grants will be accessible through the system.

For questions regarding grant applications, please email wcha@uga.edu or call (706) 542-3966.

  • Applications for grants open approximately six weeks before the deadline and are accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the date due.
  • Unless otherwise noted, funding is for the following academic year (July 1 – June 30).
Willson Center Distinguished Artist or Lecturer

The Willson Center Distinguished Artist or Lecturer program supports individual faculty or interdisciplinary groups in bringing leading thinkers and practitioners to campus in support of ongoing and innovative research projects. The program provides a $1,500 honorarium out of which the artist or lecturer pays his or her travel expenses. Distinguished artists and lecturers are nominated by the faculty and are selected by the Willson Center’s Academic Advisory Board. Faculty are encouraged to conceive of this program as an opportunity to create broader impacts that include engagement with the student body, the public, the locality and state.

Applicants are encouraged to involve more than one department; applications may include partnership with relevant departments, centers and institutes other than the Willson Center. A primary criterion is the academic excellence of the nominee and the interdisciplinary impact they will have on the UGA research community in the arts and humanities.

Lectures and locations should be coordinated through the Willson Center. In accepting the award, the faculty sponsor agrees to communicate all relevant information regarding the visitor’s activities while at UGA and to credit the Willson Center in all publicity about the visitor.


  • August 31 (current academic year)
  • February 15 (following academic year)

Notification dates:

  • August 31 deadline: Early October
  • February 15 deadline: Early April
Willson Center Department-Invited Artist or Lecturer

The Willson Center Department-Invited Artist or Lecturer program supports speakers during the current academic year who would not fall into the distinguished artist or lecturer category, but whose expertise can nonetheless contribute significantly to illuminating current discussions in the field as well as enhance student learning.

The award of $500 requires a commitment of matching funds from the department and/or another funding source. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and considered at the first of each month. Funding is contingent on overall merit of the proposal and the availability of funds with a limit of two awards per department per year. In addition to giving a public lecture, the speaker should visit at least one class to share his/her research or otherwise formally interact with undergraduate and/or graduate students.

Faculty should submit a one page proposal by email to the Willson Center (wcha@uga.edu). Please describe the speaker’s major accomplishments and how the speaker will contribute significantly to current discussions in the field. Please also indicate the proposed date of the public lecture, the specific plans for class interaction or other formal engagement with undergraduate and/or graduate students, and the source and amount of matching funds or other commitments.


  • Rolling and contingent on available funds.

Notification dates:

  • First of each month
Willson Center Graduate Research Award

The Willson Center Graduate Research Award provides support of up to $1,250 toward researchrelated expenses for arts and humanities projects that are essential components of a graduate degree program. Applicants should explain the importance of their proposed activity and justify it within their field(s) of study in a context of research excellence. The Willson Center is particularly interested in fostering interdisciplinary research at the graduate level.

Application is open to any humanities and arts graduate student registered for an advanced degree. Previous graduate student research award recipients are ineligible. Graduate students may be supported in travel to archives, installations and performances, and other sites related to their research projects. Applicants who give a lecture or presentation of their work at another institution during the award of this grant must recognize the Willson Center as a source of support.

Both deadlines (August and January) provide support for the current academic year.

Travel to Conferences and Professional Meetings

Applicants who are applying for travel support to present a paper at a domestic or international conference are encouraged to direct their request to either the Graduate School or the Office of Research.

Domestic Travel Funding– Graduate students invited to present a paper at a professional meeting within the continental United States should submit a travel request through their department to the Graduate School.


International Travel Funding– Graduate Students invited to present a paper or participate at a professional meeting in a foreign destination should work with their graduate coordinator to submit a travel request for round-trip airfare support through the Office of Research.



  • August 31 (current academic year)
  • January 23 (current academic year)

Notification dates:

  • August 31 deadline: Early October
  • January 23 deadline: February
Willson Center Public Impact Grant

The Willson Center Public Impact Grant supports faculty in the organization on campus of conferences, exhibitions, and performances that showcase humanities and arts research in broad context. The Public Impact Grant is designed to offer interaction between national and international scholars and UGA faculty and students. The award provides support of up to $10,000. Faculty may apply for the Public Impact Grant in partnership with graduate students. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.

Applicants are encouraged to consider other external and internal sources of funds. Award is for the following academic year.

In accepting the award, the faculty organizer agrees to communicate to the Willson Center all relevant information regarding the program activities and to credit the Willson Center in all publicity.

Deadline: October 26
Notification date: Early December

Willson Center Fellowship

The Willson Center Research Fellowship supports excellence in arts and humanities research. Applicants must hold doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply. Fellowships can be held every five years. The Willson Center Research Fellowships are intended to support humanities and arts scholars. Interdisciplinary research is encouraged, including with the sciences, social sciences and other domains. Fellowships provide course release from two normally assigned courses in one academic year. Award is for the following academic year.


The Willson Center Research Fellowship guidelines (and deadline) align similarly with the National Humanities Center (NHC) Fellowship Program and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship program. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications to the NHC and the ACLS. The NHC deadline is in October. The ACLS deadline is in late September. Faculty are also encouraged to apply for the NEH Fellowship in the spring. Links are provided below.




Deadline: October 5

Notification date: Early December

Willson Center Faculty Research Grant

The goal of the Junior and Senior Faculty Research Grants in Humanities and Arts Program is to support and encourage the development of a strong program of research or scholarship by faculty in the humanities and arts.  Grants are considered “seed money” for research, in that they should lead to the growth and development of continuing research programs. The Faculty Research Grant (FRG) program is funded by the Office of Research through the University of Georgia Research Foundation.

In general, grants are funded up to $15,000.


Ranks: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor

Submission limited to one proposal per eligible individual per year

Deadline: February 15

Notification date: April

Willson Center Research Seminar

The Willson Center Research Seminar Program provides $2,000 to faculty organizing year-long interdisciplinary discussion groups on particular research topics. The funds are to be used to bring to campus scholars from other institutions. Award is for the following academic year.

A one page proposal should be submitted by email to the Willson Center (wcha@uga.edu).

Deadline: February 15

Notification date: Early April

Willson Center Short-Term Visiting Fellowships

The Willson Center Short-Term Visiting Fellowships bring distinguished scholars, artists and performers to the arts and humanities community at the University of Georgia. Individual Faculty or interdisciplinary groups may nominate Visiting Fellows who contribute to intellectual life on campus by engaging with current research in a public context. Fellows are funded for five-day ($5,000) programs. The amount of the award includes honorarium and travel expenses. Award is for the following academic year.

Each Fellow is expected to conduct workshops for faculty and graduate students, and to give public presentations of their work. Interdisciplinary engagement is encouraged. In accepting the award, the faculty sponsor agrees to communicate to the Willson Center all relevant information regarding the visitor’s activities while at UGA and to credit the Willson Center in all publicity about the visitor.

Deadline: October 26

Notification date: Early December

Willson Center Special Funding Request

The Willson Center will consider special funding requests outside of established grant programs throughout the academic year, subject to availability of funds. These can include book subvention requests. Assistant professors in the Franklin College seeking subvention for their first book should direct their requests to the Franklin College’s First-Book Subvention Program. To submit a special funding request, faculty should download and complete the PDF form, then return it to wcha@uga.edu.