Application Guidelines

Application Deadline: Friday, May 15, 2020

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. 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. For further information, please contact Erin Nerstad at

Application must be made by two individuals from two different departments; at least 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. The RFG should meet at least two times per quarter and at least one meeting per quarter and at least half of your total meetings should be devoted to research-related activities such as works-in-progress presentations by and discussions of new works in the field with local RFG members.

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 cosponsoring departmental speakers and events, unless these events are central to the RFG’s work. A maximum of 40% of RFG funds may be used toward expenses for food and refreshments. For internal RFG events, no more than $40 on refreshments per event will be reimbursed. Visit here for more details.

The 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 Instructions

To apply, submit an online application form, which also requires you to upload the following as a PDF file:

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. The RFG should meet at least two times per quarter. At least half of the RFG’s meetings and at least one meeting per quarter 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.
  • 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 (as a separate PDF):

  • A report of activities in the current academic year with the following information: a list 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. This report should demonstrate that the RFG has devoted at least half of its meetings and at least one meeting per quarter to research-related events such as works-in-progress presentations by local faculty and graduate students and discussions of new works in the field.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.