Research Focus Groups

Additional Funding


The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center supports on an annual basis Research Focus Groups that aim to bring together faculty and graduate students with shared research interests from different fields and departments or programs in order to foster the development of interdisciplinary research agendas in the humanities and fine arts. Convened by individuals from at least two departments or programs, these groups meet regularly (at least two times a quarter) during the academic year to present work in progress, read and discuss texts and current scholarship, and plan and implement common research projects.  Successful RFGs have resulted in new faculty research agendas, new departmental programs, edited volumes, new journals, and new Multi-Campus Research Units.


Application must be made by two individuals from two different departments; at lease one convener must be a faculty member. Priority will be given to interdisciplinary projects that open new avenues of research.  Previous recipients of awards from IHC and members of other RFGs are allowed to apply. Current RFGs may reapply for funding provided they have submitted a final report on the current year’s activities.


A central component of the RFG program is a commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration among UCSB faculty members and graduate students around common research goals and trajectories.  At least half of the RFG’s meetings should be devoted to research-related events such as works-in-progress presentations by local faculty and graduate students and discussions of new works in the field.

Budgets and allowable expenses

The maximum allowable request under this program is $1,500.  The program will permit the following types of funding when adequately justified:  reimbursement for travel costs associated with bringing collaborators and speakers to UCSB, research assistance provided by UCSB graduate students, expenses related to the costs of meeting and honoraria for guest speakers.   RFG funds should not be used for co-sponsoring departmental speakers and events, unless these events are central to the RFG’s work.


IHC will undertake the administrative and clerical work needed to advertise group events and to keep the groups running smoothly. RFGs are encouraged to use the IHC Seminar Room for meetings.

Evaluation and review

Proposals will be reviewed for their quality, their interdisciplinary nature, and their promise of significant results.

Application Process

Both new and established Research Focus Groups should submit an application by May 15.  If this deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.

Please complete the RFG contact form below.  This form cues us to expect an application from you, and to contact you if it does not arrive.  You do not need to include a printout of the form with your application.

All applications must include:

  • A fully completed cover sheet (download form)
  • A detailed description of proposed activities (1-2 pages single-spaced), including:
  • The research interests of the group
  • The names of the conveners of the group, as well as the names of faculty and graduate students who have agreed to participate in the group and/or strategies for identifying and recruiting members
  • The activities planned for the year, specifying themes, topics, and materials that are likely to be covered
  • Names of outside speakers (if any) who will be or have been invited
  • a proposed budget for the year’s activities.

Established RFGs must also submit with their applications:

  • A report of activities in the current academic year with the following information: the number of meetings and sponsored activities; the titles of texts or papers read and discussed; the names and institutional affiliations of invited speakers, and a report of expenses for the year.

Please send all required application materials as a single PDF to You will receive a confirmation email within three business days.  (If this deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For further information, please contact Emily Zinn  (, x3137)

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