Humanities Center Director: Thomas Wilson

The grant writer’s dilemma. A grant proposal submitted to most Humanities foundations poses at least two challenges. It must convince the lone specialist on the panel that the proposal is significant and based on solid research. It must also convince the non-specialists on the panel–probably a voting majority–that the project will be valuable to the Humanities more generally. Two kinds of readers evaluate a single proposal.

To address this dilemma and other concerns, the Humanities Center will host a series workshops on grant writing beginning this Fall. One type of workshop will function as a cooperative exchange of draft proposals to be submitted to outside foundations in the near future. Participants will meet over a series of luncheons to discuss one or two drafts at each session. We will most likely host a few of these workshop series over the course of the year as interest arises. The first one begins soon in order to meet the ACLS and other early deadlines in the next month or so. The interdisciplinary nature of the faculty in these workshops will reproduce a fairly typical grant review panel and thus will constitute an ideal audience for your drafts. If you have questions about this program, please respond to directly rather than to the entire listserv.

A second type of workshop will focus on grant-writing strategies for faculty who, in the next year or two, plan to apply for grants from foundations such as the ACLS, the National Humanities Center, or the NEH.

This year’s sessions are largely pilot programs to explore the level of interest in this kind of endeavor. Amy Lindner of C&D will provide insights into institutional logistics and Jennifer Ambrose, the new director of the Writing Center, will also attend when her schedule permits. A member of HCAC will facilitate each session.

Feedback Workshop (time and location TBA)

limit: 8 faculty per workshop
Price of admission: a draft proposal and a willingness to read and discuss the work of your colleagues
What you get: lunch and priceless comments and suggestions from fellow humanists
What you give: a careful reading of other proposals and constructive comments
Salutary effects: sharing one’s research interests with colleagues across the humanities and a more intellectually interesting life on the Hill
Please send expressions of interest to by noon, September 7. Include the foundation or foundations to which you intend to apply, a very brief description of the nature of your proposed project and a working title.

Workshop on Writing a Grant Proposal (time and location TBA)

The Humanities Center will host this workshop with Amy Lindner, who has organized many such events. Recent recipients of grants and faculty who have served on review panels will summarize their experiences and suggest useful strategies for writing a grant proposal.

Please direct inquiries to directly rather than to the entire listserv.