UC California Studies Consortium (UCCSC)

The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) and the UC California Studies Consortium invite proposals for California-focused, research-based public humanities projects during the 2013-14 academic year.

Who Can Apply: UC Ladder Rank Faculty
Level of Award: Up to $20,000. Awards are contingent upon available funding.
Funding Source: UC California Studies Consortium (UCHRI)
Deadline: Closed


On behalf of the UC California Studies Consortium, UCHRI invites proposals for public humanities projects with particular relevance to California and/or Critical California Studies as a field. 

Funding is intended to support innovative projects combining humanities research and community engagement. Preferred projects will contribute to the translation of California-centered humanities scholarship for broader publics (local, regional or statewide); articulate the impact of academic work on California’s civic life and society; and build ties between UC campuses and California communities through research engagements and/or partnerships with community organizations, museums, NGOs or other public-facing groups. 

The scholarly and public components of each project should be integrated in organic and innovative ways. Ideally, projects should engage a diverse group of UC humanities faculty and students with individuals or groups outside the academy in both the production and dissemination of publicly engaged projects with a strong humanities research component.

These grants may support the initiation of new projects or advance the work (or completion) of projects and efforts already in progress. The California Studies Consortium encourages interdisciplinary and multicampus collaborations, but public humanities projects may involve scholars from a single or multiple UC campuses, depending on the needs of the project.  

Preferred projects should address one or more of these approaches:

  • campus-community partnerships across all sectors of higher education
  • digital and multimedia publication, exhibitions, performance, and other innovative modes of disseminating scholarship
  • community-engaged research, teaching, and service
  • professional development for careers inside or outside of higher education

Preferred projects also will include a public “translation” component suitable for digital dissemination. Examples might include an oral history project, community-engaged multi media/video project, performances, exhibits, or other kinds of public events. Projects may include, but should not be limited to, panel discussions or lectures. Proposals should include a clear and well thought-out statement on the project’s relationship to the public, explaining who the primary audience of the project will be and why the approach taken by the project will be effective in reaching that audience.


  • A museum exhibition, organized in conjunction with a senior or graduate seminar on public humanities, in which students play a hands-on role in the collection and curation of exhibit materials, the writing and production of exhibit labels, tour content, programs, and other outreach materials. 
  • A performance, supplemented by a website or blog with a screening of the performance as well as embedded links to interviews with performers, humanities scholars and community partners or audience members discussing context, process, challenges and possibilities for connecting research to performance and public engagement, etc.
  • A digital mapping project, developed in collaboration with community organizations and individuals, in which the social/political/cultural/economic, etc. history of a neighborhood, city or region is charted through oral histories, photographs, and archival materials.
Projects should focus substantially on California and the critical historical and contemporary issues facing the state and its denizens. Issues of particular interest include: migration, immigration, and transnational flows; the environment, agriculture, foodways; changing notions of community and/or citizenship; medicine and health; issues of gender, class, race, sexuality; work, labor, and the economy; California in global contexts or relationships; cross-border collaborations and conflicts; technological innovation; the culture industries, visual media and other media/cultural approaches; regional artistic and literary movements; among others.


The proposal narrative should state the aims of the project, demonstrate the significance of the project to California studies, and clearly convey how the aims of the project will be achieved over the 2013-14 academic year.  The narrative should provide sufficient detail to convey the nature and significance of the proposed collaboration, the relevance of research questions and project structure to critical California studies, and a substantive description and justification of the expected outcomes of the project.  Proposals should include a clear and well thought-out statement on the project’s relationship to the public, including a description of the target audience and why the approach taken by the project is particularly suited toward reaching out to that audience, as well as planned outreach strategies. The role of each participant - academic or other - should be outlined, demonstrating how the skills of all the individuals in the group will together form an effective project team.


A very limited number of grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded. 

Awards are contingent upon available funding. UCHRI funds must be spent in accordance with all applicable UC rules and regulations. Please contact the Office of Research at your campus with general UC policy.

Proposed budgets may cover travel and lodging expenses for workshop meetings of working group members as well as necessary group and project-related research expenses, including programming and web support. No more than 10% of total funding requested may be spent on food or catering. Please note that the majority of the budget should support research and engagement rather than materials or equipment. 

Budgets should include itemized estimates for the costs of administering the  Public Humanities Project grant by your campus department or humanities center. There is a 10% limit on administrative costs: a) if your dean’s office allows it, and b) costs would go to the administrative unit on your campus administering the grant. Examples of administrative expenses might include hours of work-study student time, staff time required for travel arrangements, financial management, web support, and such; costs for photocopies or other research or support materials.  Please consult with your campus humanities center director, financial manager or MSO in developing reasonable estimates.

RA and GSR costs should be limited to within 25% of the total budget; larger allocations to that category require special justification that directly and demonstrably contributes to completing the work proposed in ways not otherwise possible, and will be funded only in rare cases. Note: Up to 25% of your budget may support RA and GSR costs UNLESS your budget also claims 10% in administrative costs; in the case that you chose to budget for administrative costs, your RA and GSR costs cannot exceed 15% of the total budget.

Grants will be awarded with the expectation that UCCSC money will be matched by additional funding from outside granting agencies and/or from organizers’ home campuses in a ratio of one to two. Organizers will secure from some other source at least one additional dollar for every two dollars of UCHRI funds. (For example, UCHRI expects that a $5,000 grant will be matched by at least $2,500.) Proposers are reminded that requests for matching funds need to be made by the faculty member before the submission of the proposal; it may not be possible for granting agencies and/or organizer’s home campuses to appropriate funds if the request comes after announcement of the UCCSC award.

Decisions are based upon the quality of the collaborative project, the coherence of the work plan and budget, the innovativeness of the proposed project and likelihood in reaching a diverse public audience, and the applicant’s and participants’ track record of experience or engagement with public humanities projects. 

The PI will coordinate, organize and monitor the progress of the working group, and will be responsible for submitting a research and budget report to UCHRI at the end of the grant period.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact UCHRI or their campus humanities center in developing proposals and budgets for this funding. 


Applications from prospective organizers are accepted exclusively online via UCHRI’s FastApps system. Awards are contingent upon available funding.

Required documents include:

  • Program Abstract (150 words max.
  • Project Narrative (2000 words max.)
  • Audience Statement
  • Proposed Itemized Budget. Explain how estimates were arrived at.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the organizer (and co-organizer, if applicable). (2 pages max.)

For program related questions, please contact Suedine Nakano, Program Officer at snakano@hri.uci.edu.
For technical assistance with FastApps, contact techsupport@hri.uci.edu.
Please include the name of the program that you need assistance with.