Humanities Initiative Programming Fund

COVID-19 Update: At present we can only accept proposals for online programming and only for spring 2021. Please be sure to account for media services costs in your budget. Honoraria are limited to $500. Please check back for updates.

The Programming Fund, overseen by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities as part of Brown University's Humanities Initiative, supports collaborative scholarly projects proposed by Brown University faculty. All projects must have humanistic objectives and humanities faculty at their core, but collaborations that reach beyond the humanities to the arts, social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, public policy, and other fields are encouraged. Awards will not normally exceed $5,000. Requests for collaborative projects of larger scope will also be considered, although available funding will limit the number of such awards.

Specific examples of collaborative activities that these funds could support include:

  • Collaborative projects involving two or more Brown faculty members or Brown faculty and scholars at other institutions that would be advanced by sustained meeting or a period in residence at Brown and that would enhance academic life on campus. While the humanities and humanistic concerns should be central to these projects, collaborations with experts in other fields are also strongly encouraged.
  • Collaborative teaching, including both Brown colleagues and visitors from other institutions, which explores critical questions from a diverse set of perspectives across the humanities or between the humanities and other disciplinary fields. Some preference will be given for undergraduate courses designed to address a question of broad social and intellectual import. A limited amount of course relief funds will be provided, when necessary, to the departments of participating faculty members.

Examples of projects might include: joint or allied research activities; conferences; creation of digital resources; exhibitions or other forms of public humanities; new ways of using Brown’s special collections, centers, and other special scholarly resources. The kinds of activities supported could include long- and short-term visits by outside collaborators; postdoctoral fellows; specialized technical support; training opportunities for graduate students; and experimental teaching formats and approaches. See the list of projects awarded funds since 2013.


All Brown University faculty are eligible to apply. As noted above, proposals must be collaborative in nature and typically involve more than one faculty member on campus. Proposed activities can involve working with colleagues from Brown University or from other institutions, but the benefit to the Brown community must be clearly demonstrated.


Review and selection of proposals take place twice a year, with proposal deadlines on April 1 and October 15. Proposals submitted on or by October 15, 2020 are limited to online programming for Spring 2021. Applicants will be notified if anything changes. 

The Governing Board of the Cogut Institute for the Humanities will review the applications and select those most aligned with the goals of the Humanities Initiative. Applications should include the following materials and be submitted using this online form (you must be logged into your Brown University email account):

  1. A 150-word project abstract. This abstract, should you receive an award, will be made publicly available on our website.
  2. A one- to two-page proposal to include a) an explanation of the scholarly significance and innovative qualities of the project, and b) information on key participants and a description of how they will contribute to the project.
  3. A project budget listing all estimated expenses and all sources of confirmed and requested funding, including contributions from the hosting and participating units (i.e. centers, departments, institutes, programs).

Questions? Please email [email protected].