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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Digital Humanities Grants

Request for Proposals: Seed grants in Digital Humanities

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts (CHFA) is offering seed grants to help faculty develop and launch new research projects in the Digital Humanities. Proposals for these grants will reflect the contemporary use of technology for research and scholarly activity in the Humanities and Fine Arts. Applications that propose to use grant funds in one’s own teaching will not be considered; however, research projects on pedagogy are welcome. Successful proposals will describe innovative projects that show promise of eventually gaining external funding. For example, the CHFA seed grants might be used for “proof of concept” or pilot projects that would enhance applications for external funding. The review of proposals and recommendations for recipients will be made by the directors of the Digital Humanities Initiative, in consultation with the dean.

Applicants may apply for grants up to $10,000; larger amounts will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Applications should include the following sections:

1 ) Description of the Project
2 ) Significance of the Project within one’s field of study
3 ) Statement of Innovation, specifying the contribution of the project to the digital humanities
4 ) Proposed External Sponsor and Timeline for application
5 ) Detailed Budget, including equipment needed
6) Proof of willingness to cooperate from any collaborators (on or off campus). An email asserting a willingness to cooperate is sufficient.

Applications should not exceed five pages, single-spaced, and are due November 5, 2010. Please attach a short c.v. and a copy of the RFP (or program description) for the intended externally sponsored grant that will come out of this seed funding. Send completed applications as an attachment (pdf or Word) to Kate Freedman at

Successful applicants will be expected to become active members in the Digital Humanities Initiative and will gain access to its facilities and support structures. The Digital Humanities Initiative is composed of core HFA faculty whose research projects directly engage the use of digital tools for analysis, as a site of study, or as a forum for engaging scholarly and public audiences in research findings. The Initiative provides lab space (in Herter Hall adjacent to the Translation Center) for those working on such projects, a collaborative research group to help develop successful proposals, and a seminar series open to interested faculty on ongoing digital research projects. Any faculty member who seeks sponsored funding for a digital humanities project may put a sponsored grant through the Initiative, thus gaining access to the lab, support staff, and collaborative mentorship. In return, a faculty member with an active project in the Initiative becomes a core member and contributes to the expanding and defining of the group’s goals.

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